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The four gospel books in the New Testament are the principal foundation of the information regarding the life of Jesus. These books include Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The four books tell the story of the life of Jesus, but from different perspectives. Christian faith depends on the four gospel books that narrate the historical life of Jesus. As a result, if the provisions in these four books are a correct historical account of Jesus, then the faith of Christians is practical. Moreover, if indeed Jesus rose on the third day from the departed, the claim that Jesus is the Son of God is rational. If the claim that Jesus taught the people many things highlighted in the four gospel books, then believing in Him is the only means through which Christians can have everlasting life. Although the gospel books particularly Matthew, Mark and Luke demonstrate the synoptic problem, it is possible to claim the gospel accounts of Jesus are an accurate account of His life, and that Jesus of Gospels is indeed the son of God.
The four books of Gospel highlight the same story of the Life of Jesus but from different perspectives. While one author emphasizes on Jesus teaching via parables, the other chooses to rest on the temperament and the character of Jesus. Bringing together the accounts of the four Gospel books offers a complete and understandable representation of the works and Life of Jesus, the savior (Imperato 2008, p.2). The Gospel according to Mark states that Jesus is the Son of God. In the Old Testament, the Son of God is used to Israel as God's persons. In Mark, Son Of God is a major tile for Jesus, "The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet" (Mark 1:1, NIV). The distinctive and theologically significant Markan incidents of Jesus are evident in the context of the death and suffering of Jesus (Donahue & Harrington 2002, p.26). While Peter confesses that Jesus is the messiah, Jesus offers his first Passion prophecy, "He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again" (Mark 8:31, NIV).
The accounts of the life of Jesus are true representation of his life. This is because the provisions in the gospel books, particularly in Luke, were collected from eyewitnesses, "Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. (Luke 1: 1-4, NIV). While people think of the four Gospels, Luke records that scores of people in his day had resorted in drawing up a record of the things Jesus did. The four Gospels were ascribed before 70 AD. Apparently, Jesus prophesied in Mark 13:2, Matthew 24:2, and Luke 21:6 about the damage of the temple of the Jewish people that took place in 70 AD. Therefore, the gospel books were ascribed before the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 AD, but around 60 AD.
While Luke and Mark used the accounts of eyewitness to record the life and works of Jesus, they also included some records that were not inspired that are not preserved to the present (Redford 2007, p.12). Some of the historical accounts of the life of Jesus were not correct as the authors wrote them without cautious investigation and without the leadership of the Holy Spirit (Green & Turner 1999, p.232). For example, Luke did not criticize the correctness of other gospel writers to set forth an account of Jesus' life. Perhaps he believed that the records were incomplete or un-orderly. He therefore gave his own account of Jesus' life not to rectify misinformation but to substantiate the things that Christian believed and knew about their savior, Jesus Christ.
The word, " Fulfilled" appears regularly in the Gospels to demonstrate the relationship between the incidents of Jesus' life and ministry and the prophecies of the Old Testament. It should cause people to contemplate on the fact that the incidents of Jesus were no accident, but were a portion of a divinely or organized plan (Theissen & Merz 1998, p.67). However, some believed that Jesus was a magician who deceived people (Stanton 2004, p.127). Towards the end of Luke's account of Jesus works and life, Luke shows how the resurrected Christ declared to his followers," He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." (Luke 24:44, NIV).
The authors of the Gospel were not eyewitness of any of the incidents of the earthly life of Jesus, but they received correct information from those who witnessed the life and works of Jesus. Unquestionably, the authors of the Gospel books spoke to many people who were directly engaged in the incidents of Jesus life. For instance, it is probable that they conferred with the mother of Jesus, Mary. However, only the Gospel according to Luke mentions Angel Gabriel's visit to Mary prior to Jesus birth. Luke also mentions the shepherds in the Bethlehem fields, the manager and other protocols linked to the birth and infancy of Christ Jesus. The authors also spoke to some women who assisted the ministry of Jesus, "and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means (Luke 8:2-3).
The historical accounts of the life of Jesus are not myths, fiction or legends. This is because they entailed a short period between when the occurrences took place and when the ascribed works started to appear. The short period between the taking place and the recording of events implies that there were people alive who could clarify the correctness of the Gospel accounts. Matthew, Luke and Mark were written within approximately thirty years after the death of Christ. In fact, it takes longer than 30 years to create a myth or a legend.
The Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus are not accumulations or gathering of legends. Men who received inspiration from God ascribed the records. In fact, Matthew and John were themselves with Jesus as his disciples while Mark and Luke conferred with eyewitnesses. The inspirations of the scripture do not imply that an author could not employ his own personality or that the writings would not mirror an author's own style. For instance, in the case of Luke, the Holy Spirit inspired him to seek the help of eyewitnesses. The inspiration dogma does not confirm that every word of the Scripture be provided by God directly. Inspiration is the procedure through which God guarded the words that were ascribed, whether they came from God's revelation, writer' research or memory, or from other sources. Inspiration and revelation instigated the production of a reliable, trustworthy and fully inerrant in the original manuscripts.
There are scores of extra-biblical writing that affirms or promotes some parts of the four Gospels. Such writings include the Josephus's "Antiquities of the Jews." These writings supports the actions of Jesus documented in the Gospels. Josephus's writings demonstrate a remarkable indication of Jesus outside the provisions of the Bible. Josephus was a Jewish historian who talked about Jesus in his writings. Josephus views Jesus as a wise man because he performed wonderful works and taught men. Josephus ascertains Jesus was Christ and when he was condemned to the cross by Pilate he rose from the dead on the third day, "About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he . . . wrought surprising feats. . . . He was the Christ. When Pilate . . .condemned him to be crucified, those who had . . . come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared . . . restored to life. . . . And the tribe of Christians . . . has . . . not disappeared (Josephus 2006, p.17). In his writing, Josephus states that those who loved Jesus were not forsaken because Jesus appeared to them again when he rose from the death on the third day. This is a good example that promotes the portrayal of…[continue]
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