There is a sense in which the question ought to be, “Why are there only four Gospels?” The life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have had the greatest impact on humanity of any event in history! How can these short accounts do justice to something so important? As John the apostle said at the close of his Gospel, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25).
Therefore, even four accounts are not enough, but these do give us a four-dimensional portrait of Jesus. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were written by eyewitness apostles or their associates. They were evangelists and desired to present whatever part of Jesus’ ministry and teaching which would appeal to the particular audience they were trying to reach. They are not repetitious chronological biographies of Jesus’ life. Each Gospel has a distinct purpose, an identifiable audience, and individual characteristics which are evident in their contents. Each contributes a significant, supplemental, true dimension to our understanding of Jesus. [Read more…]