The Four Gospels

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The Four Gospels

Post  sunshine307 on Mon 03 Aug 2009, 10:45 am

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are collectively known as the gospels.

Gospel
The word "gospel" comes from an Old English word that meant "good tale" or "good news." Today the word "gospel" is used to describe the 4 New Testament books that present the life of Christ. In a general sense, gospel is also used to describe the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Indeed, the story of Jesus is good news!

The 4 Gospels
Matthew is the gospel of the kingdom. It was directed to Jews to show that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the "King of the Jews."

Author
Matthew was a Jew, hired by Rome to collect taxes in Capernaum. He was also known as Levi. Jesus called him to be an apostle. Matthew was probably wealthy. He hosted a great feast for Jesus. See Luke 5:27-32 and Matthew 9:9-13.

Written For:
Matthew was written to Jews who were familiar with Old Testament prophecy. Jewish customs were not explained in this gospel. Matthew often mentioned the Law of Moses. Matthew was written to convince Jews that Jesus was the promised Messiah. The book opens with a genealogy to prove that Jesus was an heir to King David. Matthew's birth narrative contains five prophecies that were fulfilled.

Mark is the gospel of miracles. Mark's fast-paced account was written to a Roman audience. Mark portrayed Jesus as God's suffering servant.

Author
Mark traveled with his cousin Barnabus and with Paul. Peter and Paul favorably mentioned him. He was known as Mark (Latin) and John (Hebrew).

Written For:
The book of Mark was probably written for Romans. Mark often explained Jewish words, customs, and places. He used Roman time rather than Hebrew time. And he translated some words into Latin. Mark is a compact, action-oriented gospel. Mark omits the birth and genealogy of Jesus, and moves straight into His baptism and ministry. The teaching passages in Mark seem condensed when compared to other gospels

Luke is the historical gospel. Luke emphasized the humanity of Jesus, and portrayed Christ as the "Son of Man."

Author
Luke was a Greek doctor. He was the friend of the Apostle Paul, who referred to Luke as the "beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14). As befits a doctor, medical details are often introduced in this gospel (Luke 4:38, 5:12, 6:6, 9:39-42, 18:25, 22:44). Luke wrote the third gospel and the book of Acts. Both books were addressed to a nobleman whose name meant "one who loves God." Jewish customs and locations in Palestine are often explained in Luke.

John is the gospel of belief. John was written to the world to show that Jesus was the "Son of God."

Author
James and John were the sons of Zebedee and Salome. They were fishermen who were business partners with Peter and Andrew (Luke 5:10). John was one of the three who were selected to be with Jesus at the raising of Jairus' daughter, the transfiguration, and in the Garden of Gethsemane. In addition to the fourth gospel, John also wrote 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, as well as the Revelation.

This gospel was directed toward a Gentile, Christian audience. John frequently explained Jewish customs and often described places in Palestine.

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