The gospels

The English term gospel comes from the Old English ‘godspel.’  There was a 1971 musical play with the name “Godspell.”  Like the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, gospel means good news or good tidings.  This term originally meant the Christian message itself.  However, in the second century, it came to be used for the books in which this message was set out.  Thus, the gospels became known as the written accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.  These books are the basis of our knowledge about Jesus Christ.  They present a somewhat coherent picture of the life of Christ with different emphasis from each author.  We also have the phrase, “That’s the gospel truth.”

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Judaism as the root of Christianity

A rough comparison of Judaism and Christianity might be like the relationship of the eastern religions of Hinduism and Buddhism.  Judaism would be like Hinduism and Christianity would be like Buddhism.  Both religions, Buddhism and Christianity rely on an already established religious base, Judaism and Hinduism, and emphasis the role of a single person, Buddha and Jesus.  Both Christianity and Judaism have the same base.  The center of the Old Testament covenant was Yahweh and his people, while the heart of the Christian message was around Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, who was Jewish.