Canonical Gospels Open this page in a new tab

The four canonical Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) were written by anonymous authors with the headings of attributed authorship added, by some estimates, in the 2nd century CE. Depending on the Gospel, they are thought to have been composed between ~60 and 110 CE. The first three Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) are known as the Synoptic Gospels due to similarities in wording and narrative structure. Because of this, there is a presumed literary relationship between them (e.g., the authors of Matthew and Luke accessed copies of the Gospel of Mark before they finished their compositions). These Gospels were canonized (i.e, deemed authoritative and worthy of inclusion in the New Testament) through a process of growing consensus and Church Councils that took place over a few hundred years.