The Qura’ n mentions one Gospel [Injil] Why then do Christians
talk about four Gospels?
Dear Friend, thank you for your question. Let me explain to you first
what the word Injil means. I am glad that the Qura’n uses the
word Injil. Actually this is not an Arabic word but a Greek one.
It is taken from the Greek word Eu-Anglion which means the good
news or good tidings. It is basically the good news of the coming of
Jesus to save the world from sin and its domination over the human race.
It is good news because God loves the world and wants the world to come
back to him in obedience.
At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus announced that he had been
commissioned specifically to preach the gospel; later he charged the
apostles [his followers] to continue his ministry by spreading the
gospel. "Now after John (Yhaya) was arrested, Jesus (Isa) came into
Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘the time is
fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the
gospel’". He also said, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has
anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim
freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to
release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."
It is important to observe that Jesus thought of himself not only as
declaring, but also as constituting the good news. Jesus was the message
as well as the messenger (he was the Riesalat and the Rasul). So the
message of salvation is connected with the coming of Jesus.
So you wonder, what is the good news? The good news is what Jesus
said and did. Jesus has come to redeem us; to bring salvation (Fida’ and
Najat) from sin and death, and give whoever believes in him eternal
life—a relationship with God that will never be broken: "That everyone
who believes in him may have eternal life."
The gospel is a message of hope to those whose relationship with God
is severed, what Christians call spiritual death. This subject will be
answered in another article because it is an important one and many
Muslims like you ask why Jesus has come and how could he die. Because I
am limited to space I will address this particular subject later.
But to get to your main question. If the gospel is what Jesus said
and did, who saw and heard it? Four of Jesus’ followers were inspired by
the spirit of God (Wahi) to write what they have seen and heard. Luke,
the articulate doctor, was very careful in his account. The terms that
he put down were very historically accurate, and his audience was the
Gentiles, Romans, Greeks, etc. Matthew was an accountant, and his
audience was Jewish, Mark was the vibrant young man and John an elderly
wise and quiet man. Though these four are different people, the core
message was the same: the good news.
Now you ask why not only one? Let me use this illustration. If you
were involved in a car accident, the police would come to ask questions
of those who witnessed the accident and find who was at fault. Then the
case would be sent to the court for the Judge to deliver a verdict. Let
me ask you the question: if you have four witnesses to say that you were
not at fault, would not this be better than only one witness? You see,
the four perspectives do all agree on the major facts. Do you not think
that the witness of four is better than the witness of one? The four
accounts also work as a way to make sure that each would say the truth.
I encourage you to read the gospels to see the four portraits of Jesus (Isa).
I would like to leave you with these words of the gospel (Injil) called
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat
down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the
meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and
thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the
merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be
called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of
righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when
people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil
against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your
reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who
were before you. You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses
its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for
anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light
of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light
a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it
gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light
shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your
Father in heaven. “