The word evangel, or Christian gospel, comes from the Greek and means good news. In Christianity this is the message of Jesus Christ, but the term also applies to the four books of the New Testament, in which his life and teachings are recorded by the four evangelists, namely Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In medieval Gospels they are depicted behind their desks wearing ancient togas. In art they are also represented by symbolic figures: the angel for Matthew, the lion for Mark, the bull for Luke and the eagle for John. Of the four, John the Evangelist occurs most prominently in medieval painting and sculpture.

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