What are the Gospels?
The gospels are not biographies, rather, they are a collection of stories told in such a way, by 4 different disciples, so as to evoke a certain image of Jesus. Each author, who is a close follower of Jesus, conveys a first-hand message of the Messiah and his ministry. You could easily state that the authors were spreading the ‘good news’ to its audience. That’s what the gospel, The Good News, is really about.
The four gospels found in the New Testament, are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The first three are generally referred to as the “synoptic gospels,” because they look at things in a similar way, or they are similar in the way that they tell the story. Of these then, Mark is the earliest, probably written between 70 and 75. Matthew is next – written somewhere between 75 and about 85, maybe even a little later than that. Luke is a little later still, being written between 80 and maybe 90 or 95. And, John’s gospel is the latest, usually dated around 95, although it may have been completed slightly later than that, as well.