|Books of the|
|Acts of the Apostles|
| Romans |
1 Corinthians · 2 Corinthians
Galatians · Ephesians
Philippians · Colossians
1 Thessalonians · 2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy · 2 Timothy
Titus · Philemon
Hebrews · James
1 Peter · 2 Peter
1 John · 2 John · 3 John
|New Testament manuscripts|
Gospel originally meant the Christian message,but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out; in this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrative of the words and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth, culminating in his trial and death and concluding with various reports of his post-resurrection appearances.
The four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John share the same basic outline: Jesus begins his public ministry in conjunction with that of John the Baptist, calls disciples, teaches and heals and confronts the Pharisees, dies on the cross, and is raised from the dead.Each has its own distinctive understanding of Jesus and his divine role: Mark never calls him "God", Luke expands on Mark while eliminating some passages entirely, but still follows his plot more faithfully than does Matthew, and John, the most overtly theological, is the first to make Christological judgements outside the context of the narrative of Jesus's life. They were probably written between AD 66 and 110. All four were anonymous (the modern names were added in the 2nd century), almost certainly none were by eyewitnesses, and all are the end-products of long oral and written transmission. Mark was the first to be written, using a variety of sources; the authors of Matthew and Luke, acting independently, used Mark for their narrative of Jesus's career, supplementing it with the collection of sayings called the Q document and additional material unique to each; and there is a near-consensus that John had its origins as a "signs" source (or gospel) that circulated within a Johannine community. Modern scholars are cautious of relying on the gospels uncritically, but nevertheless they do provide a good idea of the public career of Jesus, and critical study can attempt to distinguish the original ideas of Jesus from those of the later authors.
Many non-canonical gospels were also written, all later than the four canonical gospels, and like them advocating the particular theological views of their various authors.Important examples include the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Peter, the Gospel of Judas, the Gospel of Mary, infancy gospels such as the Gospel of James (the first to introduce the perpetual virginity of Mary), and gospel harmonies such as the Diatessaron.
The four canonical gospels share the same basic outline of the life of Jesus: he begins his public ministry in conjunction with that of John the Baptist, calls disciples, teaches and heals and confronts the Pharisees, dies on the cross, and is raised from the dead.Each has its own distinctive understanding of him and his divine role: Mark never calls him "God" or claims that he existed prior to his earthly life, apparently believes that he had a normal human parentage and birth, makes no attempt to trace his ancestry back to King David or Adam, and originally had no post-resurrection appearances, although Mark 16:7, in which the young man discovered in the tomb instructs the women to tell "the disciples and Peter" that Jesus will see them again in Galilee, hints that the author knew of the tradition. Matthew and Luke base their narratives of the life of Jesus on that in Mark, but each makes subtle changes, Matthew stressing Jesus's divine nature – for example, the "young man" who appears at Jesus' tomb in Mark becomes a radiant angel in Matthew. Similarly, the miracle stories in Mark confirm Jesus' status as an emissary of God (which was Mark's understanding of the Messiah), but in Matthew they demonstrate divinity. Luke, while following Mark's plot more faithfully than does Matthew, has expanded on the source, corrected Mark's grammar and syntax, and eliminated some passages entirely, notably most of chapters 6 and 7. John, the most overtly theological, is the first to make Christological judgements outside the context of the narrative of Jesus's life. Scholars recognise that the differences of detail between the gospels are irreconcilable, and any attempt to harmonise them would only disrupt their distinct theological messages.
Matthew, Mark and Luke are termed the synoptic gospels because they present very similar accounts of the life of Jesus. John presents a significantly different picture of Jesus's career,omitting any mention of his ancestry, birth and childhood, his baptism, temptation and transfiguration. John's chronology and arrangement of incidents is also distinctly different, clearly describing the passage of three years in Jesus's ministry in contrast to the single year of the synoptics, placing the cleansing of the Temple at the beginning rather than at the end, and the Last Supper on the day before Passover instead of being a Passover meal. The Gospel of John is the only gospel to call Jesus God. In contrast to Mark, where Jesus hides his identity as messiah, in John he openly proclaims it.
Like the rest of the New Testament, the four gospels were written in Greek.The Gospel of Mark probably dates from c. AD 66–70, Matthew and Luke around AD 85–90, and John AD 90–110. Despite the traditional ascriptions, all four are anonymous and most scholars agree that none were written by eyewitnesses. (A few conservative scholars defend the traditional ascriptions or attributions, but for a variety of reasons the majority of scholars have abandoned this view or hold it only tenuously.)
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.The stages of this process can be summarised as follows:
Mark is generally agreed to be the first gospel;it uses a variety of sources, including conflict stories (Mark 2:1–3:6), apocalyptic discourse (4:1–35), and collections of sayings, although not the sayings gospel known as the Gospel of Thomas and probably not the Q source used by Matthew and Luke. The authors of Matthew and Luke, acting independently, used Mark for their narrative of Jesus's career, supplementing it with the collection of sayings called the Q document and additional material unique to each called the M source (Matthew) and the L source (Luke). Mark, Matthew and Luke are called the synoptic gospels because of the close similarities between them in terms of content, arrangement, and language. The authors and editors of John may have known the synoptics, but did not use them in the way that Matthew and Luke used Mark. There is a near-consensus that this gospel had its origins as a "signs" source (or gospel) that circulated within the Johannine community (the community that produced John and the three epistles associated with the name), later expanded with a Passion narrative and a series of discourses.
All four also use the Jewish scriptures, by quoting or referencing passages, or by interpreting texts, or by alluding to or echoing biblical themes.Such use can be extensive: Mark's description of the Parousia (second coming) is made up almost entirely of quotations from scripture. Matthew is full of quotations and allusions, and although John uses scripture in a far less explicit manner, its influence is still pervasive. Their source was the Greek version of the scriptures, called the Septuagint – they do not seem familiar with the original Hebrew.
The consensus among modern scholars is that the gospels are a subset of the ancient genre of bios, or ancient biography.Ancient biographies were concerned with providing examples for readers to emulate while preserving and promoting the subject's reputation and memory; the gospels were never simply biographical, they were propaganda and kerygma (preaching). As such, they present the Christian message of the second half of the first century AD, and 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.
The majority view among critical scholars is that the authors of Matthew and Luke have based their narratives on Mark's gospel, editing him to suit their own ends, and the contradictions and discrepancies between these three and John make it impossible to accept both traditions as equally reliable.In addition, the gospels we read today have been edited and corrupted over time, leading Origen to complain in the 3rd century that "the differences among manuscripts have become great, ... [because copyists] either neglect to check over what they have transcribed, or, in the process of checking, they make additions or deletions as they please". Most of these are insignificant, but many are significant, an example being Matthew 1:18, altered to imply the pre-existence of Jesus. For these reasons modern scholars are cautious of relying on the gospels uncritically, but nevertheless they do provide a good idea of the public career of Jesus, and critical study can attempt to distinguish the original ideas of Jesus from those of the later authors.
Scholars usually agree that John is not without historical value: certain of its sayings are as old or older than their synoptic counterparts, its representation of the topography around Jerusalem is often superior to that of the synoptics, its testimony that Jesus was executed before, rather than on, Passover, might well be more accurate, and its presentation of Jesus in the garden and the prior meeting held by the Jewish authorities are possibly more historically plausible than their synoptic parallels.Nevertheless, it is highly unlikely that the author had direct knowledge of events, or that his mentions of the Beloved Disciple as his source should be taken as a guarantee of his reliability.
The oldest gospel text known is 𝔓52 , a fragment of John dating from the first half of the 2nd century. The creation of a Christian canon was probably a response to the career of the heretic Marcion (c. 85–160), who established a canon of his own with just one gospel, the gospel of Luke, which he edited to fit his own theology. The Muratorian canon, the earliest surviving list of books considered (by its own author at least) to form Christian scripture, included Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Irenaeus of Lyons went further, stating that there must be four gospels and only four because there were four corners of the Earth and thus the Church should have four pillars.
The many apocryphal gospels arose from the 1st century onward, frequently under assumed names to enhance their credibility and authority, and often from within branches of Christianity that were eventually branded heretical.They can be broadly organised into the following categories:
The apocryphal gospels can also be seen in terms of the communities which produced them:
|Epistle of the Apostles||Mid 2nd c.||Anti-gnostic dialogue between Jesus and the disciples after the resurrection, emphasising the reality of the flesh and of Jesus' fleshly resurrection|
|Gospel According to the Hebrews||Early 2nd c.||Events in the life of Jesus; Jewish-Christian, with possible gnostic overtones|
|Gospel of the Ebionites||Early 2nd c.||Jewish-Christian, embodying anti-sacrificial concerns|
|Gospel of the Egyptians||Early 2nd c.||"Salome" figures prominently; Jewish-Christian stressing asceticism|
|Gospel of Mary||2nd c.||Dialogue of Mary Magdalene with the apostles, and her vision of Jesus' secret teachings.|
|Gospel of the Nazareans||Early 2nd c.||Aramaic version of Matthew, possibly lacking the first two chapters; Jewish-Christian|
|Gospel of Nicodemus||5th c.||Jesus' trial, crucifixion and descent into Hell|
|Gospel of Peter||Early 2nd c.||Fragmentary narrative of Jesus' trial, death and emergence from the tomb. It seems to be hostile toward Jews, and includes docetic elements. It is a narrative gospel and is notable for asserting that Herod, not Pontius Pilate, ordered the crucifixion of Jesus. It had been lost but was rediscovered in the 19th century.|
|Gospel of Philip||3rd c.||Mystical reflections of the disciple Philip|
|Gospel of the Saviour||Late 2nd c.||Fragmentary account of Jesus' last hours|
|Coptic Gospel of Thomas||Early 2nd c.||The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church says that the original may date from c. 150. Some scholars believe that it may represent a tradition independent from the canonical gospels, but that developed over a long time and was influenced by Matthew and Luke; other scholars believe it is a later text, dependent from the canonical gospels. While it can be understood in Gnostic terms, it lacks the characteristic features of Gnostic doctrine. It includes two unique parables, the parable of the empty jar and the parable of the assassin. It had been lost but was discovered, in a Coptic version dating from c. 350, at Nag Hammadi in 1945–46, and three papyri, dated to c. 200, which contain fragments of a Greek text similar to but not identical with that in the Coptic language, have also been found.|
|Infancy Gospel of Thomas||Early 2nd c.||Miraculous deeds of Jesus between the ages of five and twelve|
|Gospel of Truth||Mid 2nd c.||Joys of Salvation|
|Papyrus Egerton 2||Early 2nd c.||Fragmentary, four episodes from the life of Jesus|
|Diatessaron||Late 2nd c.||Gospel harmony (and the first such gospel harmony) composed by Tatian; may have been intended to replace the separate gospels as an authoritative text. It was accepted for liturgical purposes for as much as two centuries in Syria, but was eventually suppressed.|
|Protoevangelium of James||Mid 2nd c.||Birth and early life of Mary, and birth of Jesus|
|Gospel of Marcion||Mid 2nd c.||Marcion of Sinope, c. 150, had a much shorter version of the gospel of Luke, differing substantially from what has now become the standard text of the gospel and far less oriented towards the Jewish scriptures. Marcion's critics said that he had edited out the portions of Luke he did not like, though Marcion argued that his was the more genuinely original text. He is said to have rejected all other gospels, including those of Matthew, Mark and especially John, which he alleged had been forged by Irenaeus.|
|Secret Gospel of Mark||Uncertain||Allegedly a longer version of Mark written for an elect audience|
|Gospel of Judas||Late 2nd c.||Purports to tell the story of the gospel from the perspective of Judas, the disciple who is usually said to have betrayed Jesus. It paints an unusual picture of the relationship between Jesus and Judas, in that it appears to interpret Judas's act not as betrayal, but rather as an act of obedience to the instructions of Jesus. The text was recovered from a cave in Egypt by a thief and thereafter sold on the black market until it was finally discovered by a collector who, with the help of academics from Yale and Princeton, was able to verify its authenticity. The document itself does not claim to have been authored by Judas (it is, rather, a gospel about Judas), and is known to date to at least 180 AD.|
|Gospel of Barnabas||14th–16th c.||Contradicts the ministry of Jesus in canonical New Testament and strongly denies Pauline doctrine, but has clear parallels with Islam, mentioning Muhammad as Messenger of God. Jesus identifies himself as a prophet, not the son of God.|
The Gospel according to Mark, also called the Gospel of Mark, or simply Mark, is the second of the four canonical gospels and of the three synoptic Gospels. It tells of the ministry of Jesus from his baptism by John the Baptist, his Transfiguration on a mountain, his describing of the Greatest Commandments, to his death, burial, and the discovery of his empty tomb. There is no miraculous birth or doctrine of divine pre-existence, nor, in the original ending, any post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. It portrays Jesus as a heroic man of action, and credits him with being an exorcist, a healer, and a miracle worker. He is also called the Son of God, but keeps his messianic nature secret, with even his disciples failing to understand him.
The Gospel according to Luke, also called the Gospel of Luke, or simply Luke, tells of the origins, birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Together with the Acts of the Apostles, it makes up a two-volume work which scholars call Luke–Acts; together they account for 27.5% of the New Testament.
The Gospel according to Matthew, also called the Gospel of Matthew, or simply Matthew, is the first book of the New Testament and one of the three synoptic Gospels. It tells how Israel's Messiah, Jesus, comes to his people and forms a community of disciples, of how he taught the people through such events as the Sermon on the Mount and its Beatitudes, and how Israel becomes divided and how Jesus condemns this hostile Israel. This culminates in his departure from the Temple and his execution. At this point the whole people reject Jesus, and on his resurrection he instead sends the disciples to the gentiles.
The Gospel according to John is the fourth of the four canonical gospels. It contains a highly schematic account of the ministry of Jesus, with seven "signs" culminating in the raising of Lazarus and seven "I am" discourses culminating in Thomas' proclamation of the risen Jesus as "my Lord and my God". John's account contains Jesus' Farewell Discourse, in which he speaks plainly to his apostles before his crucifixion. The gospel's concluding verses set out its purpose, "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name."
Matthew the Apostle, also known as Saint Matthew and as Levi, was, according to the New Testament, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. According to Christian traditions, he was also one of the four Evangelists and thus is also known as Matthew the Evangelist, a claim rejected by the majority of modern biblical scholars, though the "traditional authorship still has its defenders."
The New Testament (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. The New Testament's background, the first division of the Christian Bible, is called the Old Testament, which is based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible; together they are regarded as sacred scripture by Christians.
The virgin birth of Jesus is the Christian doctrine that Jesus was conceived and born by his mother Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit and without sexual intercourse. It is mentioned only in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38, and the modern scholarly consensus is that the narrative rests on very slender historical foundations.
The empty tomb is the Christian tradition that women coming to the tomb of Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion found it empty. The story is found in all four gospels, but beyond this basic outline they agree on little. However, the whole resurrection narrative predates the gospels and Paul's letters via oral traditions. The gospel authors' usage of standard literary, historical, and biographical compositional practices of their day along with their use of multiple sources account for much of the differences, which were usually over peripheral details. Mark's Gospel, in its original ending, the women who discover the tomb flee, telling no one, after meeting a young man who he tells them that Jesus will meet the disciples in Galilee; Matthew introduces guards and a curious doublet whereby the women are told twice, by angels and then by Jesus, that he will meet the disciples in Galilee; Luke changes Mark's one "young man" to two, adds Peter's inspection of the tomb, and deletes the promise that Jesus would meet his disciples in Galilee; John reduces the women to the solitary Mary Magdalene and introduces the "beloved disciple" who visits the tomb with Peter and is the first to understand its significance.
The nativity of Jesus, nativity of Christ, birth of Christ or birth of Jesus is described in the biblical gospels of Luke and Matthew. The two accounts agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, his mother Mary was betrothed to a man named Joseph, who was descended from King David and was not his biological father, and that his birth was caused by divine intervention.
The question of the historicity of Jesus is part of the study of the historical Jesus as undertaken in the quest for the historical Jesus and the scholarly reconstructions of the life of Jesus. While the Christ myth theory proposes that Jesus never existed, virtually all historians reject the Christ myth theory and accept that a human Jesus existed, although few events mentioned in the gospels are universally accepted. Standard historical criteria have aided in evaluating the historicity of the gospel-narratives, and two events subject to "almost universal assent" are that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate.
Jesus, c. 4 BC – AD 30 / 33, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity, the world's largest religion. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament.
M source, which is sometimes referred to as M document, or simply M, comes from the M in "Matthean material". It is a hypothetical textual source for the Gospel of Matthew. M Source is defined as that 'special material' of the Gospel of Matthew that is neither Q source nor Mark.
Disputes regarding the internal consistency and textual integrity of the Bible have a long history.
Table I gives an overview of the periods and dates ascribed to the various books of the Bible. Tables II, III and IV outline the conclusions of the majority of contemporary scholars on the composition of the Hebrew Bible and the Protestant Old Testament, the deuterocanonical works, and the New Testament. Some books are considered pseudepigrapha - the person traditionally cited as the author is not the person who actually wrote the text; for some books there appear to have been multiple authors.
The Jewish–Christian Gospels were gospels of a Jewish Christian character quoted by Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerome and probably Didymus the Blind. Most modern scholars have concluded that there was one gospel in Aramaic/Hebrew and at least two in Greek, although a minority argue that there were only two, Aramaic/Hebrew and Greek.
Christianity in the 1st century covers the formative history of Christianity from the start of the ministry of Jesus to the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles and is thus also known as the Apostolic Age.
The historical reliability of the Gospels is the reliability and historic character of the four New Testament gospels as historical documents. While all four canonical gospels contain some sayings and events which may meet one or more of the five criteria for historical reliability used in biblical studies, the assessment and evaluation of these elements is a matter of ongoing debate. Almost all scholars of antiquity agree that a human Jesus existed, but scholars differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the biblical accounts of Jesus, and the only two events subject to "almost universal assent" are that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate. Elements whose historical authenticity is disputed include the two accounts of the Nativity of Jesus, the miraculous events including the resurrection, and certain details about the crucifixion.
Oral gospel traditions is a theorized first stage in the formation of the written gospels as cultural information passed on from one generation to the next by word of mouth. These oral traditions included different types of stories about Jesus. For example, people told anecdotes about Jesus healing the sick and debating with his opponents. The traditions also included sayings attributed to Jesus, such as parables and teachings on various subjects which, along with other sayings, formed the oral gospel tradition. The supposition of such traditions have been the focus of scholars such as Bart Ehrman, James Dunn, and Richard Bauckham, although each scholars vary widely on their conclusions, with Ehrman and Bauckham publicly debating on the subject.
In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, particularly the Twelve Apostles, were the primary disciples of Jesus according to the New Testament. During the life and ministry of Jesus in the 1st century AD, the apostles were his closest followers and became the primary teachers of the gospel message of Jesus. There is also an Eastern Christian tradition derived from the Gospel of Luke of there having been as many as seventy apostles during the time of Jesus' ministry.
The historicity and origin of the resurrection of Jesus has been the subject of historical research and debate, as well as a topic of discussion among theologians. The accounts of the Gospels, including the empty tomb and the appearances of the risen Jesus to his followers, have been interpreted and analyzed in diverse ways, and have been seen variously as historical accounts of a literal event, as accurate accounts of visionary experiences, as non-literal eschatological parables, and as fabrications of early Christian writers, among various other interpretations. It has been suggested, for example, that Jesus did not die on the cross, that the empty tomb was the result of Jesus' body having been stolen, or, as was common with Roman crucifixions, that Jesus was never entombed.
Quotations related to Gospel at Wikiquote
|Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article " Gospel ".|