Note 5.3 - A Brief Overview of the Four Gospels

Of the four Gospel accounts of the New Testament, only two have traditionally been claimed to have been written by men that Jesus Himself had called to be His apostles; Matthew Levi, a tax collector from Capernaum, and John Zebeddee the fisherman and younger brother of James ("the Elder"), also from Capernaum.  For more information about the author of the Gospel of John, see Article 3 - Why Include the Gospel of John.

Whoever the authors of any of these four Gospel accounts of the sayings and events of the life and ministry of Jesus were, each writer was a unique individual, who had his own particular personality, ancestral lineage, cultural heritage, education, occupation, beliefs and point of view.  Therefore, each author had a different reason as to why he chose to add his version of events from the life of Jesus Christ to the others that already existed, and each Gospel account was written to satisfy the needs and interest of a different group of people.  As such, each Gospel narrative has a different focus and emphasis; whether to prove to the Jewish people that Jesus was their promised Messiah, or to show the Gentiles of the Greek and Roman worlds that He is also the Savior sent by God for the salvation of all of humanity.

It is likely that all four of the Gospel accounts were originally written in Greek, the language of trade and commerce in that region of the world at that time, although some believe that there may have been a proto-Matthew source document that was originally written in Aramaic or Hebrew.