Justin Marc Smith argues that the gospels were intended to be addressed to a wide and varied audience. He does this by considering them to be works of ancient biography, comparative to the Greco-Roman biography. The earliest Christian interpreters of the Gospels did not understand their works to be sectarian documents. Rather, the wider context of Jesus literature in the second and third centuries points toward the broader Christian practice of writing and disseminating literary presentations of Jesus and Jesus traditions as widely as possible.
Smith addresses the difficulty in reconstructing the various gospel communities that might lie behind the gospel texts and suggests that the 'all nations' motif present in all four of the canonical gospels suggests an ideal secondary audience beyond those who could be identified as Christian.