Jump to navigation Jump to search This dating of the gospels is about the written accounts of the life of Jesus. For the message of Christianity, the “Good News”, see the gospel.
Gospel originally meant the Christian message itself, but in the 2nd century it came to be used for the books in which the message was set out. The Gospel of Mark probably dates from c. In the immediate aftermath of Jesus’ death his followers expected him to return at any moment, certainly within their own lifetimes, and in consequence there was little motivation to write anything down for future generations, but as eyewitnesses began to die, and as the missionary needs of the church grew, there was an increasing demand and need for written versions of the founder’s life and teachings. Written collections of miracle stories, parables, sayings, etc.
Written proto-gospels preceding and serving as sources for the gospels — the dedicatory preface of Luke, for example, testifies to the existence of previous accounts of the life of Jesus. Gospels formed by combining proto-gospels, written collections and still-current oral tradition. Gospel of Thomas and probably not the Q source used by Matthew and Luke. All four also use the Jewish scriptures, by quoting or referencing passages, or by interpreting texts, or by alluding to or echoing biblical themes. The first page of the Gospel of Mark in Armenian, by Sargis Pitsak, 14th century.
The four gospels share a story in which the earthly career of Jesus culminates in his death and resurrection, an event of crucial redemptive significance, but are inconsistent in detail. Each gospel has its own distinctive understanding of Jesus and his divine role. The synoptic gospels represent Jesus as an exorcist and healer who preached in parables about the coming Kingdom of God. He preached first in Galilee and later in Jerusalem, where he cleansed the temple. The consensus among modern scholars is that the gospels are a subset of the ancient genre of bios, or biography. As Luke’s attempt to link the birth of Jesus to the census of Quirinius demonstrates, there is no guarantee that the gospels are historically accurate. Luke, which he edited to fit his own theology.