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80- Is the Gospel a book or four different books?
Muslims have the idea that "the Gospel" (Injil) is a book which God has been pleased to send down to Jesus. But to Jesus' first disciples, and to the Christian Church, "the Gospel" is not a book; it is above all "Good News"; it is the proclamation of God's wonderful intervention in the world of men, for our salvation.
"The Gospel" is that the Lord God wished to reveal Himself to us in Mercy and Love; He wishes to bind us to Himself in a relation of dependance, trust and loyalty. He wants us to know Him as Father, to be joyful in living lives that are pleasing to Him, to have hearts filled with His peace. He does not want us to tremble in fear like a slave before his master. He wants us to love Him, and to serve Him willingly and gladly because we like to please Him.
"The Gospel" is that Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus the Messiah came from God to reveal God's nature and to initiate this relationship between God and man. Jesus is the living testimony to the Love of God; He is the expression of God's love for man. "The Gospel" is in brief the proclamation of God's love revealed in Jesus the Messiah.
We also say that the New Testament contains four "gospels"; these are four narratives which tell the story of the Lord Jesus from different points of view. It is therefore necessary to distinguish between the Gospel (which is the good news of what Jesus means for mankind), and the gospels (which are books describing Jesus' life and teaching).
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