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Gospels are a genre of Early Christian literature claiming to recount the life of Jesus , to preserve his teachings, or to reveal aspects of God 's nature. The New Testament has four canonical gospels which are accepted as the only authentic ones by the great majority of Christians, but many others exist, or used to exist, and are called either New Testament apocrypha or pseudepigrapha. Some of these have left considerable traces on Christian traditions, including iconography.
The word "gospel" – Old English for " Good News " – is the English term for the Greek word ευαγγέλιον ( euangélion ) which means "blessed proclamation", and from which we get the word evangel and its cognates.