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The Gospel

Updated on January 21, 2010

The Gospel is the news of man's redemption through Jesus Christ.

The word comes from the Anglo-Saxon godspell, a translation of the Latin evangelium, and means "good news". The Bible contains four accounts, those of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Hence the name "Gospel" also refers to any one of these books. Because the first three accounts generally agree in form and content, they are called the Synoptic (common view) Gospels. They stress that Christ was the Messiah, or Savior, to whom the Old Testament prophets look forward and that He ushered in a new testament, or covenant between God and man, that was to fulfill the covenant of the Old Testament. The Fourth Gospel lays special stress on the doctrine that Christ was divine.

In the years immediately after Christ's death an account of His life and teachings was transmitted by word of mouth from one follower to another. The written record is believed to be based on the oral version and to have been compiled by the end of the 1st century A.D. The word "Gospel" also refers to that portion of the Gospels that is read during a church service.

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