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Page ix of Four hitherto unpublished gospels : a series of character studies cast in the form of personal memoirs of John the Baptist, Andrew the brother of Simon Peter, Judas Iscariot, James the brother of Jesus / by William E. Barton.

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PREFACE These four narratives make no pretence of antiquity. They are a modern attempt to dis- cover what kind of side-light would have been cast upon the ministry of Jesus if four other men, besides the four who have told us of Him, had written brief stories of what thev sawv and thought about Jesus. For most that these con- tain, the Four Gospels themselves are our au- thority; but the material is given a somewhat different emphasis when we attempt to view it successively through the eyes of John the Bap- tist, James the brother of Jesus, Judas Iscariot, sand Andrew the brother of Simon Peter. If anyone finds himself disposed to criticise the application of the term "Gospel" to these quasi autobiographical sketches, I shall be the first to admit the justice of the criticism. If a "gospel" be an attempt to tell the whole story of the life of Jesus, these are not gospels, but personal reminiscences. But we have come to use the word "gospel" in a special sense which may perhaps be sufficiently elastic to cover these narratives. The use of the word "gospel" to describe any narrative is an accommodation of language. Gospel is "good news" and the term is used in the New Testament strictly in this sense. Paul rejoiced when Timothy arrived in Corinth and "preached the gospel" that the people of Thessalonica were steadfast in their ix