Gospel is the standard term for the first four books of the New Testament, describing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, although it has a wider meaning taking in both the Christian message (the meaning in the Pauline epistles) and works centered on that message which may not necessarily touch on the life of Jesus (the Gospel of Thomas, for example, consists entirely of sayings).
Christianity places a high value on the four canonical gospels, which it considers to be revelations from God and central to its belief system. Christianity traditionally teaches that the four canonical gospels are an accurate and authoritative representation of the life of Jesus, but many scholars and historians, as well as some Christians, believe that much of that which is contained in the gospels is not historically reliable.
The baptism of Jesus and the crucifixion of Jesus are events almost universally agreed upon by biblical scholars to be historically authentic. Elements whose historical authenticity is disputed include the two accounts of the nativity of Jesus, as well as certain details about the crucifixion and the resurrection.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Canonical gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
- 3 Canonisation
- 4 Non-canonical gospels
- 5 Islamic view
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The word gospel, meaning "good news" or "glad tidings", is derived from the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, euangelion. The gospel was considered the "good news" of the coming Kingdom of Messiah, and of redemption through the life and death and resurrection of Jesus, the central Christian message. The Greek word euangelion is also the source (via Latinised evangelium) of the terms "evangelist" and "evangelism" in English. The authors of the four canonical Christian gospels are known as the Four Evangelists.
Paul the Apostle used the term εὐαγγέλιον (gospel) when he reminded the people of the church at Corinth "of the gospel I preached to you". The earliest extant use of "gospel" to denote a particular genre of literature dates to the 2nd century. Justin Martyr (c. 155) in the Apology wrote of "...the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels".
More generally, gospels compose a genre of early Christian writings. Gospels that did not become canonical also circulated in Early Christianity. Many, such as the work known today as Gospel of Thomas, lack the narrative framework typical of a gospel.
Canonical gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
Stages: oral tradition to written gospel
In the immediate aftermath of Jesus' death his followers expected him to return at any moment, and certainly within their own lifetimes. 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:
- Oral traditions - stories and sayings passed on largely as separate self-contained units, and not in any chronological order;
- Written collections of miracle stories, parables, sayings, etc., with oral tradition continuing alongside these;
- Proto-gospels preceding and serving as sources for the written gospels - the dedicatory preface of Luke, for example, testifies to the existence of several previous accounts of the life of Jesus.
- Gospels formed by combining proto-gospels, written collections and still-current oral tradition.
Given this history, it is almost certain that none of the four gospels were written by eye-witnesses. Evidence of this can be seen in the conflicts between them: to take a few examples, according to the synoptic gospels, Jesus' mission took one year, was spent primarily in Galilee, and climaxed with a single visit to Jerusalem at which he cleansed the Temple of the money-changers, while in John, Jerusalem was the focus of Jesus' mission, he visited it three times (making his mission last three years rather than one), and the cleansing of the Temple took place at the beginning rather than the end of the ministry.
The first three gospels are called the "synoptics", from a Greek phrase meaning "seen together", because of the their close similarities to each other: they put the events of Jesus' life in the same order and have many of the same stories and sayings, often in the same or very similar words. The consensus of modern scholarship is that Mark was the earliest.[Notes 1] It was probably written c.AD 66–70, during Nero's persecution of the Christians in Rome or the Jewish revolt. Mark's sources included conflict stories (Mark 2:1–3:6), apocalyptic discourse (4:1–35), and collections of sayings. The book is not history but "history in an eschatological or apocalyptic sense," depicting Jesus caught up in events at the end of time.
It is generally accepted that Matthew and Luke both depend on Mark (i.e., use Mark as their primary source). Luke uses a hypothetical collection of sayings of Jesus (the Q source) for Jesus' teachings and a collection of material found only in Luke called the L (for Luke) source which makes up the preface to the gospel and the birth and infancy stories). Matthew, like Luke, supplements Mark with the Q source and with material unique to Matthew, the M source. Early Christian tradition names the author of Mark as John Mark, a companion and interpreter of the apostle Peter, but most modern scholars regard the authorship as unknown. The consensus of modern scholars has equally rejected the idea that Luke was written by a companion of the apostle Paul, or that Matthew was by an apostle (the superscription "according to Matthew" was added some time in the 2nd century). Scholars date both Matthew and Luke to around 80-90 AD, although some suggest 90-110 for Luke.
The Gospel of John is radically different from the other three: it is the only gospel to call Jesus God, and in contrast to Mark, where Jesus hides his identity as messiah, in John he openly proclaims it. It is usually dated to AD 90–110. Christian tradition identified the author as John the Apostle, but most modern scholars treat it as an anonymous work. It arose in a Jewish Christian community in the process of breaking from the Jewish synagogue, and scholars believe that the text went through two to three redactions (editions) before reaching its current form.  The author may have known the synoptic gospels, but he does not use them in the way that Matthew and Luke used Mark.
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. He states that he offers no sign as proof (Mark) or only the sign of Jonah (Matthew and Luke). In Mark, apparently written with a Roman audience in mind, Jesus is a heroic man of action, given to powerful emotions, including agony. In Matthew, apparently written for a Jewish audience, Jesus is repeatedly called out as the fulfillment of Hebrew prophecy.
In Luke, apparently written for gentiles, Jesus is especially concerned with the poor. Luke emphasizes the importance of prayer and the action of the Holy Spirit in Jesus's life and in the Christian community. Jesus appears as a stoic supernatural being, unmoved even by his own crucifixion. Like Matthew, Luke insists that salvation offered by Christ is for all, and not the Jews only.
The Gospel of John represents Jesus as an incarnation of the eternal Word (Logos), who spoke no parables, talked extensively about himself, and did not explicitly refer to a Second Coming. Jesus preaches in Jerusalem, launching his ministry with the cleansing of the temple. He performs several miracles as signs, most of them not found in the synoptics. The Gospel of John ends:(21:25) "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."
Genre and historicity
The general consensus of scholars is that the gospels form a subset of the genre of the ancient bios, or biography. Ancient biography, however, differed from modern ones. The ancient bios was concerned with providing examples for readers to emulate while preserving and promoting the subject's reputation and memory, meaning that the biography of the gospels included propaganda and kerygma (preaching). One important aspect of the study of the gospels is the genre under which they fall. Genre "is a key convention guiding both the composition and the interpretation of writings". Whether the gospel authors set out to write novels, myths, histories, or biographies has a tremendous impact on how they ought to be interpreted. If, for example, Rudolf Bultmann was correct, and the gospel authors had no interest in history or in a historical Jesus, then the gospels must be read and interpreted in this light. However, some recent studies suggest that the genre of the gospels ought to be situated within the realm of ancient biography. Although not without critics, the position that the gospels are a type of ancient biography is the consensus among scholars today.
The historicity of the gospels refers to the reliability and historic character of the four canonical New Testament gospels as historical documents. Historians subject the gospels to critical analysis, attempting to differentiate authentic, reliable information from what they judge to be inventions, exaggerations, and alterations. E. P. Sanders asserts that all four of the Gospels meet the five criteria for historical reliability,[page needed] but Howard Teeple has concluded that the gospels provide no historical information about Jesus's life since the first gospel account (Mark) may have appeared as much as forty years after Jesus's death.
There are positions between these extremes. Some biblical scholars consider the synoptic gospels to contain much reliable historical information about the historical Jesus as a Galilean teacher and of the religious movement he founded, but not everything contained in the gospels is considered to be historically reliable.
The baptism of Jesus and the crucifixion of Jesus are events almost universally agreed upon by biblical scholars to be historically authentic. Elements whose historical authenticity is disputed include the two accounts of the nativity of Jesus, as well as certain details about the crucifixion and the resurrection.
|Events in the|
|Life of Jesus
according to the Gospels
|Book:Life of Jesus|
The Muratorian canon, from the second half of the 2nd century, is the earliest surviving list of books considered (by its own author at least) to form Christian scripture, and includes the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. A similar insistence upon there being a canon of these four gospels and no others was a central theme of Irenaeus of Lyons, c. 185. In his central work, Adversus Haereses, Irenaeus denounced various early Christian groups that used only one gospel, such as Marcionism which used only Marcion's version of Luke, or the Ebionites, who seem to have used an Aramaic version of Matthew as well as groups that embraced the texts of newer writings, such as the Valentinians (A.H. 1.11).
Irenaeus declared that the four he espoused were the four "Pillars of the Church": "it is not possible that there can be either more or fewer than four" he stated, presenting as logic the analogy of the four corners of the earth and the four winds (3.11.8). His image, taken from Ezekiel 1, or Revelation 4:6–10, of God's throne borne by four creatures with four faces—"the four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and the four had the face of an ox on the left side; the four also had the face of an eagle"—equivalent to the "four-formed" gospel, is the origin of the conventional symbols of the Evangelists: lion, bull, eagle, man. Irenaeus was ultimately successful in declaring that the four gospels collectively, and exclusively these four, contained the truth. He also supported reading each gospel in light of the others.
By the turn of the 5th century, the Catholic Church in the west, under Pope Innocent I, recognized a biblical canon including the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which had been previously established at a number of regional Synods, namely the Council of Rome (382), the Synod of Hippo (393), and the Council of Carthage (397) and Council of Carthage (419). This canon, which corresponds to the modern Catholic canon, was used in the Vulgate, an early 5th-century translation of the Bible made by Jerome under the commission of Pope Damasus I in 382.
There was also another order, the "western order of the gospels", so called because it is typical for the manuscripts which are usually a representative of the Western text-type.
- Gospel of Matthew
- Gospel of John
- Gospel of Luke
- Gospel of Mark
This order is found in the following manuscripts: Bezae, Monacensis, Washingtonianus, Tischendorfianus IV, Uncial 0234. Although there is no set order of the four gospels in patristic lists or discussions, D. Moody Smith suggests that the standard order of Matthew-Mark-Luke-John "projects a kind of intention that can scarcely be ignored".
In what he calls a "mild form of reader criticism", Greg Goswell suggests a possible rationale that "the commission at the end of Matthew (28:20) is in part fulfilled by the subsequent gospels (and letters)" while for Luke,
The preface to Luke (1:1–4) is a possible explanation for that Gospel's canonical placement after Matthew and Mark, for its non-pejorative reference to previous "attempts" (επεχειρησαν) at writing an account of what Jesus said and did can be understood in canonical context as referring to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark.
Goswell concludes by suggesting that the self-reference to "this book" in John 20:30, "can be taken as an implicit acknowledgment of other books, namely the three preceding Gospels".
Medieval copies of the four canonical gospels are known as Gospel Books or also simply as Gospels (in Greek as Tetraevangelia). Notable examples include the Lindisfarne Gospels (c. 700), the Barberini Gospels, Lichfield Gospels and the Vienna Coronation Gospels (8th century), the Book of Kells and the Ada Gospels (c. 800) or the Ebbo Gospels (9th century).
In addition to the four canonical gospels, early Christians wrote other gospels that were not accepted into the canon, some of which are discussed below.
Epiphanius, Jerome and other early church fathers preserve in their writings citations from Jewish-Christian gospels. Most modern critical scholars consider that the extant citations suggest at least two and probably three distinct works, at least one of which (possibly two) closely parallels the Gospel of Matthew.
Gospel of Thomas
The gospel attributed to Thomas is mostly wisdom without narrating Jesus's life. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church says that the original may date from c. 150. It may represent a tradition independent from the canonical gospels, but that developed over a long time and was influenced by Matthew and Luke.
While it can be understood in Gnostic terms, it lacks the characteristic features of Gnostic doctrine. The Jesus Seminar identified two of its 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.
Gospel of Peter
The gospel of Peter was likely written in the first half of the 2nd century. It seems to be largely legendary, hostile toward Jews, and including docetic elements. It had been lost but was rediscovered in the 19th century.
Gospel of Judas
The Gospel of Judas is another controversial and ancient text that 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.
A genre of "Infancy gospels" (Greek: protoevangelion) arose in the 2nd century, such as the Gospel of James, which introduces the concept of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (not to be confused with the absolutely different sayings Gospel of Thomas), both of which related many miraculous incidents from the life of Mary and the childhood of Jesus that are not included in the canonical gospels.
Another genre is that of gospel harmonies, in which the four canonical gospels were selectively recast as a single narrative to present a consistent text. Very few fragments of harmonies have survived. The Diatessaron was such a harmonization, compiled by Tatian around 175. It was popular for at least two centuries in Syria, but eventually it fell into disuse.
Marcion's Gospel of Luke
Marcion of Sinope, c. 150, had a much shorter version of the gospel that differed substantially from what has now become the standard text of the gospel of Luke. Marcion's version of the gospel was far less oriented towards the Jewish scriptures than the now canonical texts are. Marcion is said to have rejected all other gospels, including those of Matthew, Mark and especially John, which he allegedly rejected as having been forged by Irenaeus. Marcion's critics alleged that he had edited out the portions he didn't like from the then canonical version, though Marcion is said to have argued that his text was the more genuinely original one.
The Gospel of the Lots of Mary
Written in Coptic, it contains oracles that would have been used to provide support and reassurance to people seeking help for problems. It is not a gospel in the traditional sense, since it doesn’t predominantly teach about Christ.
Injil is the Arabic name for what Muslims believe to be the original gospel of Jesus. This Injil is one of the Islamic Holy Books the Qur'an records as revealed by God, the others being the Scrolls of Abraham, the Scrolls of Moses, the Tawrat (the Torah), the Zabur (the Psalms), and the Quran.
Muslims believe this original gospel to have been corrupted over time, and the teachings of Jesus lost and replaced with false teachings, often believed to be at the instigation of the Apostle Paul. Muslims believe that the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and lost gospels, such as that of Saint Peter, contain fragments of Jesus's message, but that the majority of the original teaching has been corrupted or lost.
- Acts of the Apostles (genre)
- Agrapha are the collection of religious sayings attributed to Jesus Christ that are not found in the canonical gospels.
- Apocalyptic literature
- The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ
- Bodmer Papyri
- Godspell is a musical based on the gospels of Jesus Christ. The word "Gódspell" is Anglo Saxon (c. 1000 AD) for Gospel.
- The Gospel
- Gospel (liturgy)
- List of gospels
- The priority of Mark is accepted by most scholars, but there are important dissenting opinions: see the article Synoptic problem.
- Tuckett 2000, p. 522.
- Stott, John R.W. "Basic Christianity". Inter-Varsity Press, 1971. p. 12
- Keller, Timothy. "The Reason for God". Dutton, 2008. p. 100
- The Myth about Jesus, Allvar Ellegard 1992; Craig Evans, "Life-of-Jesus Research and the Eclipse of Mythology", Theological Studies 54 (1993) p. 5; Charles H. Talbert, What Is a Gospel? The Genre of Canonical Gospels pg 42 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977); "The Historical Figure of Jesus", Sanders, E.P., Penguin Books: London, 1995, p., 3; Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word (Vol. II): Meditations on the Gospel According to St. Matthew – Dr Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, Ignatius Press, Introduction; Grant, Robert M., "A Historical Introduction to the New Testament" (Harper and Row, 1963) http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=1116&C=1230; "Main Body". Church.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-25.
- Jesus Remembered by James D. G. Dunn 2003 ISBN 0-8028-3931-2 page 339 states of baptism and crucifixion that these "two facts in the life of Jesus command almost universal assent".
- Crossan, John Dominic (1995). Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. HarperOne. p. 145. ISBN 0-06-061662-8.
That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be, since both Josephus and Tacitus ... agree with the Christian accounts on at least that basic fact.
- Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell 1998 ISBN 0-664-25703-8 pages 168–173
- Who is Jesus? Answers to your questions about the historical Jesus, by John Dominic Crossan, Richard G. Watts (Westminster John Knox Press 1999), page 108
- James G. D. Dunn, Jesus Remembered, (Eerdmans, 2003) page 779–781.
- Rev. John Edmunds, 1855 The seven sayings of Christ on the cross Thomas Hatchford Publishers, London, page 26
- Stagg, Evelyn and Frank. Woman in the World of Jesus. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1978 ISBN 0664241956[page needed]
- Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The Acts of Jesus: The Search for the Authentic Deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Empty Tomb, Appearances & Ascension" p. 449–495.
- Bruce M. Metzger's Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament: Luke 24:51 is missing in some important early witnesses, Acts 1 varies between the Alexandrian and Western versions.
- Woodhead 2004, p. 4.
- "Gospel". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
- 1 Corinthians 15:1
- "Saint Justin Martyr: First Apology (Roberts-Donaldson)".
- Peter Stuhlmacher, ed., Das Evangelium und die Evangelien, Tübingen 1983, also in English: The Gospel and the Gospels
- Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005, unspecified article
- Honoré 1986, p. 95-147.
- Reddish 2011, p. 17.
- Burkett 2002, p. 124-125.
- Martens 2004, p. 100.
- O'Day 1998, p. 381.
- Reddish 2011, p. 13.
- Reddish 2011, p. 188.
- Reddish 2011, p. 26.
- Hatina 2014, p. 600.
- Perkins 1998, p. 241.
- Boring 2006, pp. 13–14.
- Donahue 2005, p. 15.
- Mckenzie 1995, p. 858.
- Johnson 2010, p. 44.
- Ehrman 1999, p. 80.
- Hurtado 2005, p. 284.
- Burkett 2002, p. 204.
- McMahon 2008, p. 57.
- Senior 1996, p. 22.
- Burkett 2002, pp. 155–6.
- Reddish 2011, p. 36.
- Theissen & Merz 1996 [tr. 1998], p. 32.
- Harrington 1991, p. 8.
- Nolland 2005, p. 16.
- Duling 2010, p. 298-299.
- Charlesworth & 2008 p. 42.
- Burkett 2002, p. 214.
- Lincoln 2005, p. 18.
- Burkett 2002, p. 215.
- Burkett 2002, p. 215–216.
- Edwards 2015, p. ix.
- Ehrman 2004, p. 164–165.
- Perkins 2012, p. unpaginated.
- Ehrman. Misquoting Jesus.
- Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993.
- Harris, Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985
- Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005, article Luke, Gospel of St
- St. Matthew, "The Thompson Chain-Reference Study Bible New King James Version", (B.B. Kirkbride Bible Co. Inc., 1997) p. 1258 verse 12:21, p.1274, verse 21:43.
- Lincoln 2004, p. 133.
- Dunn 2005, p. 174.
- Burridge, R. A. (2006). Gospels. In J. W. Rogerson & Judith M. Lieu (Eds) The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 433
- Bultmann, R. (1921). Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht.
- Stanton, G. N. (1974). Jesus of Nazareth in New Testament Preaching Society of New Testament Studies Monograph Series 27. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 117ff., 124 ff., & 135
- Talbert, C. H. (1977). What is a Gospel? The Genre of the Canonical Gospels. Philadelphia: Fortress Press.
- Wills, L. M. (1997). The Quest of the Historical Gospel: Mark, John and the Origins of the Gospel Genre. London: Routledge. p. 10.
- Frickenschmidt, D. (1997). Evangelium als Biographie: Die vier Evanelien im Rahmen antiker Erzählkunst. Tübingen: Francke Verlag.
- Burridge, R. A. (2004). What are the Gospels? A Comparison with Graeco-Roman Biography. rev. updated edn. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans.
- Hägerland, T. (2003). John's Gospel: A Two-Level Drama?. Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 25(3), 309-322.
- e.g. Vines, M. E. (2002). The Problem of the Markan Genre: The Gospel of Mark and the Jewish Novel. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. pp. 161-162.
- Stanton, G. H. (2004). Jesus and Gospel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 192.
- Burridge, R. A. (2006). Gospels. In J. W. Rogerson & Judith M. Lieu (Eds) The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 437
- E. Sanders (1993). The Historical Figure of Jesus. Penguin Adult. ISBN 978-0-14-014499-4.
- Howard M. Teeple (March 1970). "The Oral Tradition That Never Existed". Journal of Biblical Literature. 89 (1): 56–68. JSTOR 3263638. doi:10.2307/3263638.
- "The nonhistoricity thesis has always been controversial, and it has consistently failed to convince scholars of many disciplines and religious creeds. ... Biblical scholars and classical historians now regard it as effectively refuted."—Van Voorst, Robert E. Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2000), p. 16.
- "The denial of Jesus' historicity has never convinced any large number of people, in or out of technical circles, nor did it in the first part of the century." Walter P. Weaver, The Historical Jesus in the Twentieth Century, 1900–1950, (Continuum International, 1999), page 71.
- The Myth about Jesus, Allvar Ellegard 1992; Craig Evans, "Life-of-Jesus Research and the Eclipse of Mythology", Theological Studies 54 (1993) p. 5; Charles H. Talbert, What Is a Gospel? The Genre of Canonical Gospels pg 42 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977); The Historical Figure of Jesus, Sanders, E.P., Penguin Books: London, 1995, p., 3; Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word (Vol. II): Meditations on the Gospel According to St. Matthew – Dr Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, Ignatius Press, Introduction; Grant, Robert M., "A Historical Introduction to the New Testament" (Harper and Row, 1963) http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=1116&C=1230; "Main Body". Church.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-25.
- Ehrman, p. 240-241.
- Pogorzelski, Frederick (2006). "Protestantism: A Historical and Spiritual Wrong Way Turn". Bible Dates. CatholicEvangelism.com. p. 1. Retrieved 2006-07-11.
- "Canon of the New Testament". Catholic Encyclopedia. NewAdvent.com. 1908. Retrieved 2006-07-11.
- Goswell, Greg (June 2010). "The Order of the Books of the New Testament" (PDF). Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. 53 (2): 228–229. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
- D. Moody Smith, "John, the Synoptics, and the Canonical Approach to Exegesis", in Tradition and Interpretation in the New Testament: Essays in Honor of E. Earle Ellis (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987) 171.
- Philipp Vielhauer in Schneemelcher's New Testament Apocrypha Vol.1 (1971) English revised edition R. Wilson, of Neutestamentliche Apokryphen 1964 Hennecke & Schneemelcher
- "Thomas, Gospel of". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
- Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. "The Gospel of Thomas", p 471–532.
- "Peter, Gospel of St.". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
- Ehrman, Bart (2003). The Lost Christianities. New York: Oxford University Press. p. xi. ISBN 978-0-19-514183-2.
- Achtemeier, Paul J., Th.D., Harper's Bible Dictionary, (San Francisco: Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc.; 1985).
- Daily Mail, 19 February 2015
- "The Gothic and Anglo-Saxon Gospels in Parallel Columns".
- Beaton, Richard C. (2005). "How Matthew Writes". In Bockmuehl, Markus; Hagner, Donald A. The Written Gospel. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-83285-4.
- Boring, M. Eugene (2006). Mark: A Commentary. Presbyterian Publishing Corp. ISBN 978-0-664-22107-2.
- Burge, Gary M. (2014). "Gospel of John". In Evans, Craig A. Routledge Encyclopedia of the Historical Jesus. Routledge. ISBN 9781317722243.
- Burkett, Delbert (2002). An introduction to the New Testament and the origins of Christianity. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-00720-7.
- Donahue, John (2005). The Gospel of Mark. Liturgical Press. ISBN 9780814659656.
- Duling, Dennis C. (2010). "The Gospel of Matthew". In Aune, David E. The Blackwell Companion to the New Testament. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 9781444318944.
- Dunn, James D.G. (2005). "The Tradition". In Dunn, James D.G.; McKnight, Scot. The Historical Jesus in Recent Research. Eisenbrauns.
- Ehrman, Bart D. (2009). Misquoting Jesus. Harper Collins. ISBN 9780061977022.
- Ehrman, Bart D. (2005). Lost Christianities. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195182491.
- Ehrman, Bart D. (1999). Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199839438.
- Hatina, Thomas R. (2014). "Gospel of Mark". In Evans, Craig A. Routledge Encyclopedia of the Historical Jesus. Routledge. ISBN 9781317722243.
- Lincoln, Andrew (2004). "Reading John". In Porter, Stanley E. Reading the Gospels Today. Eerdmans.
- Lincoln, Andrew (2005). Gospel According to St John. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781441188229.
- Mckenzie, John L. (1995). The Dictionary of the Bible. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9780684819136.
- McMahon, Christopher (2008). "Introduction to the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles". In Ruff, Jerry. Understanding the Bible: A Guide to Reading the Scriptures. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780884898528.
- Nolland, John (2005). The Gospel of Matthew: A Commentary on the Greek Text. Eerdmans.
- O'Day, Gail R. (1998). "John". In Newsom, Carol Ann; Ringe, Sharon H. Women's Bible Commentary. Westminster John Knox.
- Perkins, Pheme (1998). "The Synoptic Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles: Telling the Christian Story". In Barton, John. The Cambridge companion to biblical interpretation. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0-521-48593-7.
- Perkins, Pheme (2012). Reading the New Testament: An Introduction. Paulist Press.
- Martens, Allan (2004). "Salvation Today: Reading Luke's Message for a Gentile Audience". In Porter, Stanley E. Reading the Gospels Today. Eerdmans.
- Powell, Mark Allan (1998). Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee. Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0-664-25703-3.
- Reddish, Mitchell (2011). An Introduction to The Gospels. Abingdon Press. ISBN 9781426750083.
- Sanders, E.P. (1995). The Historical Figure of Jesus. Penguin UK.
- Tuckett, Christopher (2000). "Gospel, Gospels". In Freedman, David Noel; Myers, Allen C. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Eerdmans. ISBN 9789053565032.
- Woodhead, Linda (2004). Christianity: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
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|Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article Gospel.|
- A detailed discussion of the textual variants in the gospels — covering about 1200 variants on 2000 pages.
- Greek New Testament — the Greek text of the New Testament: specifically the Westcott-Hort text from 1881, combined with the NA26/27 variants.
- Synoptic Parallels A web tool for finding corresponding passages in the Gospels