The principal, and practically the only sources for our knowledge of Jesus Christ are the four Canonical Gospels - distinction being made in these between the first three (Synoptic) Gospels, and the Gospel of John. Nothing, either in the few notices of Christ in non-Christian authors, or in the references in the other books of the New Testament, or in later Christian literature, adds to the information which the Gospels already supply. The so-called apocryphal Gospels are worthless as authorities (see under the word); the few additional sayings of Christ (compare Act_20:35) found in outside writings are of doubtful genuineness (compare a collection of these in Westcott's Introduction to the Study of the Gospels. ISBE: By Pompey's 63 BCE siege of Jerusalem, the partially Hellenized territory had come under Roman imperial rule as a valued crossroads to trading territories and buffer state against the Parthian Empire. Beginning in 6 CE, Roman prefects were appointed whose first duty to Rome was to maintain order through a political appointee the High Priest. After the uprising during the Census of Quirinius (6 CE) and before Pilate (26 CE), in general, Roman Judea was peaceful and self-managed, although riots, sporadic rebellions, and violent resistance were an ongoing risk. The conflict between the Jews' demand for religious independence and Rome's efforts to impose a common system of governance meant there was underlying tension.

Four decades after Jesus' death the tensions culminated with the first Jewish-Roman War and the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

Gabriel ( “Man of God” ): The name of the angel commissioned to explain to Daniel the vision of the ram and the he-goat, and to give the prediction of the 70 weeks (Daniel 8:16; Daniel 9:21). In the New Testament he is the angel of the annunciation to Zacharias of the birth of John the Baptist, and to Mary of the birth of Jesus (Luke 1:19, Luke 1:26). Though commonly spoken of as an archangel, he is not so called in Scripture.