Life of Jesus in the New Testament  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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The four canonical gospels of the New Testament are the primary sources of information for the doctrinal Christian narrative of the life of Jesus. There is not a single New Testament "view" on the life of Jesus, the four Canonical gospels tell different but connected stories. There is wide consensus among contemporary critical scholars that Mark is the earliest written gospel, dating to around 55, that the authors of Matthew and Luke had copies of Mark when they wrote, and adapted Mark for their purposes, and that John, written last, had knowledge of the other three.<ref>Bart Ehrman, Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium, Oxford University Press, 1999, page 48.</ref> It has been the work of Christian apologists since Tatian to blend the four books into a coherent account, the work of Tatian being the Diatessaron, a "Gospel harmony," or synthesis, of the four New Testament Gospels into a combined narrative of the life of Jesus. Ephrem the Syrian referred to it as the Evangelion da Mehallete ("The Gospel of the Mixed"). This article comes from that synthetic tradition.

In all four gospels, Jesus conducted a miraculous ministry, leads a circle of disciples, draws the ire of religious authorities, is crucified, and rises from the dead. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the Synoptic Gospels, portray Jesus as the Son of God, a healer and exorcist who told parables about the Kingdom of God and coming Judgment. The identity of Jesus as the Messiah is kept secret, except to chosen disciples. For example, the current generation was denied any sign in Mark, or given only the Sign of Jonah in Matthew and Luke. John portrays Jesus as the physical incarnation of the Logos, or Divine Word. The Jesus of John tells no parables, demonstrates his divine identity with seven signs, and speaks at length about himself. John makes no direct reference to the synoptic concept of a coming judgment.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Life of Jesus in the New Testament" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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