Anglo-Saxon: godspell, good news
An authentic and inspired document containing the glad tidings of redemption and revelation through the life, teachings, and death of Jesus. There are four such documents, the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The titles of these books, “Gospel according to,” etc., signify “the Gospel history as written by,” etc. The first three so manifestly agree in many points that they are classed together as synoptic (at a glance); the fourth differs from them in content, style, language. Prior to the writing of the Gospels was the spoken record of the acts and sayings of Jesus, the “Oral gospel,” as it is called, or tradition; but the writers of the Gospels were inspired to record many things not remembered or handed down by word of mouth. There are many books which claim to be “Gospels,” but only the four mentioned rightly claim Apostolic authority, and they alone are received by the Church. All others, of later origin, often trivial, absurd, and legendary, were rejected as spurious and are known as Apocrypha.