- When was it decided there should be four gospels?
- Were gospels removed from the Bible?
- What makes the 4 Gospels Different?
- Is there any evidence for the reliability of the four gospels?
- Early Witnesses to the Four-Gospel Collection
- Primary source materials on Gospels
Recommended Resources and Publications
In addition to our 'Recommended Reading' column, we also recommend visiting our 'Links' tab for online resources. Texts listed below have also been helpful contributions to our authors and this site.
The Historical Reliability of the Gospels
"The Gospels provide the most thorough account of Jesus Christ. But what if the stories about his life and work are legends? Scholars have occasionally cast doubt on the reliability of the Gospels. New approaches to biblical studies have only increased the challenges. Can we continue to trust the New Testament? Craig Blomberg reveals the faulty analysis and presuppositions that have led to mistaken conclusions about the Gospels, providing scholarly criteria for judging these books and biblical answers to our hard questions." more...
The Historical Reliability of John's Gospel
"Throughout much of the twentieth century the Fourth Gospel took a back seat to the Synoptics when it came to historical reliability. Consequently, the contemporary quest of the historical Jesus discounted or excluded evidence from the Fourth Gospel. The question of the historical reliability of John's Gospel is well overdue for a thorough reinvestigation and reassessment. In this foundational study, Craig L. Blomberg sheds new light on persistent questions. He presents his conclusions largely in commentary form, following the principal scenes of the Gospel..."
"In his commentary examining the text of the Fourth Gospel, Blomberg asks two essential questions. First, using the recently nuanced criteria of authenticity," What positive evidence do we have that the actions or words of the characters in John's narratives are indeed historical?" Second, "Is there anything in the text . . . that is implausible within the historical context to which it is attributed, particularly if we assume the general historical trustworthiness of the Synoptics?" The result is a seminal work for the present day--one that affirms the historical reliability of John's Gospel with intelligence and sure-footed care." more...
The Jesus Legend
"Even mature Christians have trouble defending the person and divinity of Christ. The Jesus Legend builds a convincing interdisciplinary case for the unique and plausible position of Jesus in human history. He was real and his presence on the planet has been well-documented."
"The authors of the New Testament didn't plant evidence, though each writer did tell the truth from a unique perspective. This book carefully investigates the Gospel portraits of Jesus--particularly the Synoptic Gospels--assessing what is reliable history and fictional legend. The authors contend that a cumulative case for the general reliability of the Synoptic Gospels can be made and boldly challenge those who question the veracity of the Jesus found there." more...
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses
By Richard Bauckham
This new book argues that the four Gospels are closely based on eyewitness testimony of those who knew Jesus.
The Gospel of Judas
by Simon Gathercole
`Judas' is synonymous with `traitor'. But a newly-discovered ancient text of the Gospel of Judas offers a picture of Judas Iscariot radically different from the Church's traditional understanding of him, and maintains that far from being the infamous betrayer, Judas was actually Jesus' trusted friend and the recipient of secret revelation. Simon Gathercole's new book includes a translation of the ancient Egyptian text of the Gospel of Judas and a running commentary, and offers new translations of all the ancient evidence about Judas Iscariot and the Gospel attributed to him... more
The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ
by Martin Hengel
How could the word, 'gospel', be used both by Paul for a proclamation which seems to include no narrative about the earthly Jesus, and by the author of the Gospel according to Mark and his successors, as a title works, which adopt an essentially narrative form? Why did the church, in forming its canon of scripture, choose to include four different and sometimes contradictory accounts of the life of Jesus, when others, like Tatian and Marcion, opted for a harmony, for one account? more