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Here are some reasons why God gave four Gospels instead of just one:1) To give a more complete picture of Christ. While the entire Bible is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16), He used human authors w...
I wrote a short story once upon a time. (Don't know what happened to it) that I believe does a good job of answering your question. The Four Characters in the story were named Matt, Marcus, Lucas and Johnathon. They each came into Bill's (yes that's me) office at different times one day. When the Matt came in, he told me about seeing a flying horse over by the football field going into great detail about how the horse had great wings, etc. My character basically laughed him out of the office. A little while later, Marcus came in and was all excited because he said that he was driving over by the football field and a flying horse almost flew into his car. I noticed that his description of the flying horse was a lot like Matt's, so, figuring they were in cahoots, I asked him if he knew Matt. He said that he did but hadn't seen him in a while. Convinced they were trying to "pull my leg", I remained unconvinced. Sure enough, my next customer was named Lucas and though I didn't make the connection he too had a big story of this amazing sight he had witnessed that morning. And yes it was over by the football field. Finally Johnathon came in and said he had just seen the mythical Pegasus. All four guys had admitted to knowing each other but each one have a very believable account of their witnessing the miraculous events. After the first witness account, I laughed him away. After the second, I figured it was a "in cahoots" prank. After the third, I started to believe and after the fourth I left for the football field fully believing and fully expected to see this miracle for myself!
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John do not, I repeat, do not add up to four gospels. These four writers wrote four different personal accounts of the life of Jesus Christ. Matthew wrote to the Jews, Mark wrote to the Romans, Luke wrote to the Greeks, and John wrote to everyone else, a universal audience. There is only one gospel of Jesus Christ, His death, burial and resurrection. It is found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, written by the apostle Paul. There is no other gospel found in the Bible.
In my view there is only one Gospel, but God inspired several people to write according to how they understood the message. They wrote it in their personal styles complete with their imperfect understanding of other issues. I am sure there were many more writers, although for one reason or the other they were not included in the 66 books of the bible. It needs to be appreciated as well that God did not sit and dictate what the authors wrote, but He inspired their intellect and they wrote as they understood the message. Most probably Matthew was an accountant and he was meticulous in accounting for the life of Jesus and the miracles including the genealogy. Luke targeted a gentile audience and his style had to be appealing to such. The apostle John also took an approach which wanted to prove that Jesus was God and Messiah. Unfortunately other fake "gospels" have emerged from archaeology. These have so far been easy to dismiss because they contradict what we already know about Jesus. One principle of the bible is that it all comes together and does not contradict its self. Whether you are reading a book in the Old Testament, they all come together in God's great love for fallen humanity and the fact that God will go to any righteous length to save mankind.
The Scriptures contain the four gospel records to show four different views of the life of Jesus. Matthew's gospel shows Jesus as the King of the Jews; Mark's shows Jesus as a servant; Luke's shows the Lord as the Son of Man; John's shows Jesus as the Son of GOD. Taking these four views and adding Hebrews which shows Jesus as the High Priest of the New Covenant, we have a better picture of who Jesus is. Each aspect is true, but it takes the entire scope to gain a more full understanding.
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