Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel"), but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was reported. In this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrative of the words and deeds of Jesus, culminating in his trial and death and concluding with various reports of his post-resurrection appearances. Modern biblical scholars are cautious of relying on the gospels uncritically, but nevertheless, they 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 Christian authors.The canonical gospels are the four which appear in the New Testament of the Bible. They were probably written between AD 66 and 110. All four were anonymous (with the modern names of the "Four Evangelists" 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 th
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