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Overview
of the
Gospels
The first four books of the New Testament are the story of the life of Jesus of
Nazareth.  Containing the accounts of His birth, life, death, burial, resurrection
and ascension, these books give the historical, factual foundation upon which the
faith of Christians is built.  The Gospels present the what of our faith and the what
of our promises.  The purpose of these books is seen in these quotations.

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of
those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered
them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the
word: it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things
from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that
thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been
instructed. -- Luke 1:1-4

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are
not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is
the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His
name. -- John 20:30,31

The four books of the Gospel do not present four different stories; but, one story
from four different views.  Together they present a full and complete picture of
the Christ.  It is much like looking at a book.  If you look at the front cover, you get
an idea of what the book is like.  If you look at the back cover, you get an idea of
what the book is like.  If you look at the spine, you get an idea of what the book is
like.  If you look at the pages, you get an idea of what the book is like.  Yet, it is
only when you look at them all that you get the full picture of what the book is like.
By looking at the life of Jesus of Nazareth from four different viewpoints, we are
able to obtain a fullness and completeness that would be impossible from just one
viewpoint.

The Gospel according to Matthew

The apostle Matthew in The Gospel according to Matthew presents Jesus as
"the son of David, the son of Abraham."  Jesus is presented as the fulfillment of
prophecy, the Messiah (Hebrew for Christ [Greek for "the Annointed One"]) of the
Jews.  His account appeals to the Jewish mind, presenting evidence that will
convince the Jew that Jesus is, indeed, the fulfillment of the promise given to
Abraham.

The Gospel according to Mark

The inspired evangelist John Mark in The Gospel according to Mark presents
Jesus as the perfect man of action.  Traditionally spoken of as
"The Memoirs of
Peter."
 Mark is said to be the recorder of Peter's preaching concerning the
Christ.  Mark records the life of Jesus with a vividness of action that resembles
the style of Julius Caesar's classic work,
The Gaulic Wars.  Mark thus appeals to
the Roman mind which distained words and speeches, and extolled action.  Thus,
Jesus is shown by His actions to be the Son of God, the Savior of the world.

The Gospel according to Luke

The inspired evangelistic Luke in The Gospel according to Luke presents
Jesus as the perfect Son of man.  Because of Luke's close association with the
apostle Paul, this Gospel has been referred to as the record of Paul's preaching
concerning the life of Jesus.  As a Greek from birth, Luke is fitly suited to present
this account of the life of Jesus that emphasizes the perfect humanity of Jesus
that manifested, and proved with certainty, that He was the Son of God to the
Greek mind.  A more classic style of Greek is evidenced in the writing of this book.

The Gospel according to John

The apostle John in The Gospel according to John presents Jesus as the
Divine Only Begotten Son of God.  Departing from the general outline that is
followed by Matthew, Mark and Luke, John presents facts and statements not
recorded in the other Gospels that prove Jesus is
"God made manifest in the
flesh."  
The agnostic, or skeptic, cannot come away from the reading of this book
believing that Jesus did not know Who He was, or never made the claim to be the
Son of God.  Neither can he come away from the reading of this book saying
there is no evidence for His Deity.  John convincingly declares Jesus to be
"the
Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).