(Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
The Gospel of Mark was the first written Gospel, written around 70 A.D. The Evangelist who wrote Mark was writing to a non-Jewish audience. Matthews Gospel was written around 85 A.D. and was written for a Jewish audience, that’s why in Matthew the Jewish practices are not explained. Matthew is also an expanded and revised version of Mark. The author who wrote Luke was a Gentile and wrote his Gospel around the same time as Matthew’s. Luke new of Jewish traditions though and also drew from the Gospel of Mark.
The Gospel of John however (which many people find the hardest to understand) was written much later than the three other Gospels and most likely for the Christians living in the Eastern Mediterranean area. Matthew, Mark and Luke together are known as the Synoptic Gospels as they are very similar to each other.
The Gospel of John seems different because the author adds so many different characters to his testimony of the Savior, including Nicodemus, The man born blind, Lazarus and the Samaritan women. In Johns Gospel the Savior is not described as the the down-to-earth carpenter living in Galilee with his fisherman disciples like the other Gospels. Johns bares his testimony of the spiritual significance of the savior for example John 14:6 reads I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
The word Gospel is an Old English derivation of “Good News”. The word Evangelist (which is what the authors of the four Canonized Gospels were) is the English translation of the Greek word “euangelion” which means “”Good News” or “Good Message”.