Saturday, February 16, 2008

the gospels

The reverse side of Papyrus 37, a New Testament manuscript of the Gospel of Matthew. Most likely originated in Egypt. Currently housed in: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Library, Date: 3rd/4th CenturyBooks in the new testament referred to as the Gospels:

Books in the new testament referred to as the Gospels:
In Christianity, a gospel (from Old English, "good news") is generally one of four canonical books of the New Testament that describe the miraculous birth, life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus. These books are the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, written between 65 and 100 AD.

Many modern scholars argue that the sequence in which the Gospel accounts have traditionally been printed in the Bible is not the order of their composition, and that the first canonical gospel to have been written is Mark (c 65-70), which in turn was used as a source for the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Matthew and Luke may have also used the hypothetical Q Document. These first three gospels are called the synoptic gospels because they share a similar view. The last gospel, the gospel of John, presents a very different picture of Jesus and his ministry from the synoptics. The canonical gospels were originally written in Greek.

Bethlehem, the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, the Last Supper, resurrection accounts, and the Great Commission.

Gospel has generally been used in three ways:

  1. To denote the proclamation of God's saving activity in Jesus of Nazareth or to denote the message proclaimed by Jesus of Nazareth. This is the original New Testament usage (for example Mark 1:14-15 or 1 Corinthians 15:1-9, see also Strong's G2098).

  2. More popularly to refer to the four canonical Gospels, which are attributed to the Four Evangelists: (Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke and Gospel of John); and sometimes other non-canonical works (eg. Gospel of Thomas), that offer a narrative of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

  3. Some modern scholars have used the term to denote a hypothetical genre of Early Christian literature (cf. Peter Stuhlmacher, ed., Das Evangelium und die Evangelien, Tübingen 1983, also in English: The Gospel and the Gospels).


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