What is a gospel?
- Gospel literally means 'good news', there are are four gospels telling of the life and work of Jesus
- Gospels were judged to be good accounts of the life and teaching of Jesus
- Gospels in the new testament are a distinctive kind of writing. They contain stories about the life and teaching of Jesus, told by people with faith in him. The Gospels were written with a particular group of Christians in mind, not only to give them an idea of preaching and activities of Jesus but also to support faith.
- Almost from the beginning, Christians have been persecuted for claiming that Jesus was the Messiah and had risen from the dead.
- They were first persecuted by the Jews, then the Romans.
- Gospel stories were transferred by word of mouth to give Christians faith and hope
- Eyewitnesses to Jesus' life and work would have been important in the oral tradition because they could explain to others what the had seen and experienced themselves.
- Gradually eyewitnesses began to die out. There was a need to write down the stories or they might be lost forever.
- Four gospels were written some time after Jesus died (some believe around 33 CE). Mark is regarded as the first gospel, written around 34 to 70 CE, Luke follows between 70 and 90 CE; then Matthew in 85 to 110 CE and John in 90 to 120 CE.
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