Barry Newman's Blog

July 7, 2012

The Gospel and its Proclamation (part XVII)

Filed under: Proclaiming the gospel,The Gospel — barrynewman @ 4:39 am

              In the Pauline letters

Mention has already been made of the occasions when Paul uses “euaggelizomai” in close association with “euaggelion” [he proclaims the gospel (1 Cor 15: 1; 2 Cor 11; 7 and Gal 1: 11] and where “euaggelizomai” is used by him in relatively close association with “euaggelion” [Rom 10: 15, 16, Gal 1: 6-8 (2x) and 1 Cor 9: 18].

Paul’s desire to preach the good news is evident in his letter to the believers at Rome (“I am ready to proclaim to you at Rome also” [Rom 1: 15] and “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ has not already been named [Rom 15: 20]) as well as in his second letter to the believers in Corinth (“so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you” [2 Cor 10: 16]).

Paul writes against either himself or an angel proclaiming a gospel contrary to the one received (Gal 1: 8, 9). In perhaps the only use of “euaggelizomai” in the New Testament that is not directly related to gospel proclamation, Paul writes of Timothy declaring the faith and love of the Thessalonian believers (1 Thess 3: 6).  He quotes from Isaiah 52: 7 in referring to “how beautiful are the feet of those who proclaim peace” while referring to the necessity of the preacher and the preacher being sent (Rom 10: 15). And he writes of Christ who proclaimed peace to the gentiles who were far off and peace to the Jew who was near (Eph 2: 17).

But in the vast majority of occasions when he refers to the proclaiming the gospel – it is with reference to himself, the proclaimer – Rom 1: 15, 15: 20; 2 Cor 10: 16 and Gal 1: 8 have already been referred to. There are another 12 instances where the reference is to himself: “Christ did not send me to baptise but to proclaim the gospel” (1 Cor 1: 17), “For though I preach the great news I have nothing of which to glory (1 Cor 9: 16), “Woe to me if I do not preach the great news” (1 Cor 9: 16), his reward is that in preaching the gospel he makes it free of charge (1 Cor 9: 18), he reminds the Corinthians the gospel which he had proclaimed to them (1 Cor 15: 1) by means of which preaching of the gospel they are saved (1 Cor 15: 2), it was the gospel of God that he had proclaimed to them (2 Cor 11: 7), the gospel which Paul had preached to the Galatians did not have its origin in man (Gal 1: 11), God’s Son had been revealed to Paul so that he could proclaim him among the gentiles (Gal 1: 16), he could refer to others who reported of him in earlier days as, the one who had persecuted believers but then proclaimed the faith (Gal 1: 23), he writes to the Galatian believers of how when he first proclaimed the great news to them it was while he was in the weakness of the flesh (Gal 4: 13), but explains to the believers in Ephesus how grace had been given to him to proclaim among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of the Christ (Eph 3: 8).

            In Hebrews, 1 Peter and Revelation

Reference has already been made to the angel with an everlasting gospel to proclaim (Rev 14: 6) and the use of the active voice in the reference to the mystery of God, announced to his servants the prophets in times past, about to come to its fulfilment (Rev 10: 7).  The two instances in Hebrews, each occurring in the passive voice, have already been referred to: “For we also have had the good [great?] news announced to us just as to them” (Heb 4: 2) and “Those who formerly had the good [great?] news announced (to them) failed to enter because of disobedience” (Heb 4: 6).  Two of the three instances in which “euaggelizomai” occurs in 1 Peter, both being in the passive voice have also been mentioned above: “The word of the Lord abides forever and this is the word, the good news announced to you” (1: 25) and “For this is also why the good [great?] news was announced to the dead” (4: 6).  The third instance found in 1 Peter is where he writes of the prophets of times past and their involvement in the things which have now been announced (anaggello) to his readers by those who preached the good news to them through the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1: 12).  All but the first of these seven texts have some reference to the past.  As suggested earlier, the only exception, (Rev 14: 6), is probably not a reference to the proclaiming of the great news which so dominates the pages of the New Testament.

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