Why are there 4 gospels in the New Testament?  


By BibleAsk Team

The Four Gospels

The theme of each of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) is the incarnation, perfect life, ministry, sacrificial death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 5:39,46). It was not random that all four gospels were included in the Holy Bible. This was the will of God. For “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).   

Each gospel has its own unique addition to the complete gospel story. There were so many incidents in the life of Jesus that it would have been hard even for a person who is very close to the Lord to comprehend the importance of every aspect of His amazing life (John 21:25).  

Matthew wrote for Jewish readers. Therefore, his message was to prove that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies for the Messiah (Matthew 1:22; 2:15; 2:23; 4:14…etc.).

Mark wrote for the gentiles and he stressed Christ as a Man of action. Interestingly, Mark recorded almost all the miracles that are reported by both the other synoptic writers.   

Luke, the only gentile author in the New Testament, also wrote having the gentiles in mind. Being a physician, he stressed true scholarship in a systematic way. Luke’s claim concerning his “understanding of all things” (Luke 1: 3) could not be disputed. For 43 of some 179 sections of the synoptic narrative appear only in his gospel. Whereas Matthew presented the teachings of Jesus, and Mark, the incidents from His life ministry, Luke united both aspects in a more complete way than either of the others.   

John differed from the Synoptics in other ways. His aim was not so much biographical or historical as it was theological. Yet, he wrote much of both history and biography. Whereas the synoptic writers presented the Messiahship of Jesus in a preparatory way, John declared it in the very first chapter.  And many chapters of his book were on the discourses of Jesus.

A Complete Picture  

The Holy Spirit inspired four men to write down a record of the gospel story so that there might be a comprehensive record for people in the coming generations about the life and ministry of the Son of God. The Holy Spirit guided, each to write about a different aspect of the narrative of the Messiah. “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).  

Jesus Christ Himself promised His disciples that after His ascension, the Holy Spirit will guide them in this matter. He said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26 also John 16:13).  

The narrative of the life and death of Jesus was to be given by different authors so that people may have an adequate knowledge to build their faith on. In like manner, the Lord in the Scriptures taught that a judicial decision in a court of law was not to be taken against a person based on the testimony of one eyewitness in order to verify the facts but rather on 2 or 3 witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15).   

Each of the gospel evangelists had a distinct objective as he recorded his book. Each excluded events written by the others and wrote his own personal details. The authors related differently to what they saw and heard because of their different backgrounds, knowledge and experiences (1 John 1:1). Therefore, each of the gospel writers stressed different aspects of the ministry of the Son of God in order to reach all people.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team