GOSPEL - (Sl. Eyangeliye, Gr. Evangelion) Literally "Good News." A recording of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ written by an evangelist. Collectively, the writing of the four evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the first books of the New Testament. Also the word Gospel is applied to the reading of an extract from any of the four Gospels during divine services, Divine Liturgy and Matins. The Gospels contain an account of the earthly life of our Lord Jesus Christ: His teaching, His miracles, His Passion and Death on the Cross, His glorious Resurrection and His Ascension into heaven. The Christian gospel is summarized in the statement, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (Matt. 3:2; 4:17).
As a liturgical book it is usually arranged by the pericopes appointed to be read throughout the liturgical year. It is generally kept on the altar table in a metal cover decorated with icons of the evangelist.