The term Gospel (derived from the Old English ‘god spel’, which like Evangelium in German and euangelion in Greek means ‘good news’) refers for a start to the first four books of the New Testament (Mark, Matthew, Luke and John). But the term also designates the good news, the happy news of the Kingdom of God and salvation through Jesus Christ.
The first Christian communities did not at once think of writing down the words of Jesus – seeing that they lived in anticipation of the imminent Second Coming of Christ. Only around 50 AD were the words of Jesus collected, giving rise to the ‘Sayings Source’, a document also known as ‘Q’. This collection of the sayings of Jesus has unfortunately been lost, but it has been reconstructed subsequently on the basis of the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke. Researchers today assume that Gospel of Mark was written before 70 AD, and so is the oldest of the four Gospels. The evangelists Matthew and Luke were familiar with it, and working independently of one another also incorporated the Sayings Source in their Gospels. In view of the way they were created, the three first Gospels are also known as the Synoptic Gospels. The Gospel of John, which is somewhat idiosyncratic in its language, was probably written between 85 and 90 AD.
The central point of New Apostolic divine services and of the church’s proclamation of the Word is the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. As the first apostles had the burning desire to proclaim the good news and make known the essence of Jesus, so too today the church proclaims to the faithful the plan of God for the redemption of humanity and the love of Jesus Christ and his future Second Coming.