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Irenaeus of Lyons went further, stating that there must be four gospels and only four because there were four corners of the Earth and thus the Church should have four pillars.Epiphanius, Jerome and other early church fathers preserve in their writings citations from Jewish-Christian gospels.The authors of Matthew and Luke, acting independently, used Mark for their narrative of Jesus's career plus a collection of sayings called the Q document and additional material unique to each called the M source (Matthew) and the L source (Luke).There is a near-consensus that this gospel had its origins as a "signs" source (or gospel) that circulated within the Johannine community (the community that produced John and the three epistles associated with the name), later expanded with a Passion narrative and a series of discourses.85–160), who established a canon of his own with just one gospel, the gospel of Luke, which he edited to fit his own theology.The Muratorian canon, the earliest surviving list of books considered (by its own author at least) to form Christian scripture, included Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.Ancient biographies were concerned with providing examples for readers to emulate while preserving and promoting the subject's reputation and memory, and so they included both propaganda and kerygma (preaching) in their works.Despite this, scholars are confident that the gospels do provide a good idea of the public career of Jesus, and that critical study can attempt to distinguish the ideas of Jesus from those of later authors and editors.

It paints an unusual picture of the relationship between Jesus and Judas, in that it appears to interpret Judas's act not as betrayal, but rather as an act of obedience to the instructions of Jesus.

This article is about books written about the life of Jesus.

For the Good News of salvation through Jesus, The gospel.

Mark, the first gospel, never calls Jesus "God" or claims that Jesus existed prior to his earthly life, never mentions a virgin birth (the author apparently believes that Jesus had a normal human parentage and birth), and makes no attempt to trace Jesus' ancestry back to King David or Adam.

although Mark 16:7, in which the young man discovered in the tomb instructs the women to tell "the disciples and Peter" that Jesus will see them again in Galilee, hints that the author may have known of the tradition.

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The Gospel of Mary was originally written in Greek during the 2nd century. It consists mainly of dialog between Mary Magdalene and the other disciples.