To Christian believers, the Gospels record the 'greatest story ever told,' the events of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah. They narrate the climax and turning point in human history, when God acted decisively to achieve salvation for people everywhere. To study the Gospels is to study the foundation of Christianity.
Even to those who do not follow Jesus as their Lord, the Gospels serve as the primary source documents for the most influential life ever lived. Jesus of Nazareth has been the topic of more books, movies, discussions and debates than any person in history.
But who was this man Jesus, and how did his movement begin? In this textbook we will examine the nature and content of the four Gospels, the primary source documents for the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. Where did these books come from? What was their purpose? What can they tell us about Jesus? These are the questions we will seek to answer.