Barry Newman's Blog

July 11, 2012

The Gospel and its Proclamation (part XVIII)

Filed under: Proclaiming the gospel,The Gospel — barrynewman @ 8:04 am

Frequency of “euaggelizomai” in the New Testament books

Of the 52 instances of “euaggelizomai” and the 2 instances of “euaggelizo” in the New Testament, 15 occur in the book of Acts, 10 in Luke, 7 in Galatians, 6 in 1 Corinthians, 3 each in Romans and 1 Peter, 2 each in 2 Corinthians , Ephesians, Hebrews and Revelation, and  1 each in Matthew and 1 Thessalonians.

The book with the greatest relative frequency is Galatians.

Euaggelizomai as proclaiming, announcing, declaring, preaching

As discussed earlier, “euaggelizomai” in the New Testament carries with it the sense of conveying information in a grand or sober manner.  Words such as, “proclaiming”, announcing”, “declaring” or even “preaching” seem admirably suited for conveying such sense. Which one of those words is more suitable could be determined by a consideration of context though often there is little available for deciding between one word and the other.  Whether or not one should also refer to “good news”, “great news”, “solemn news” or something similar, is however another matter.

When considering how “euaggelizomai” is used in the Greek literature external to the New Testament the suggestion was made that there appears to be a general rule that when what is being announced or conveyed in some way or another is directly and explicitly referred to at that point in the text, a translation that refers simply to “announcing” or similar seems permissible. This general rule seems to apply to New Testament usage as well.  This is most obvious when the direct object is “euaggelion” (1 Cor 15: 1; 2 Cor 11: 7; Gal 1: 11; Rev 14: 6).

Consider also the following:

“I was sent to announce these things to you” (Luke 1: 19), “I declare to you, “great joy” (Luke 2: 10) , “(Jesus) preaching and proclaiming the kingdom of God” (Luke 8: 1), “From that time the kingdom of God is announced” (Luke 16: 16), “They did not cease teaching and proclaiming Jesus the Christ” (Acts 5: 42), “they went everywhere, proclaiming the message” (Acts 8: 4), “They believed Philip as he proclaimed the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 8: 12), “(Philip) proclaimed to him Jesus” (Acts 8: 35), “ certain of them spoke to the Hellenists proclaiming the Lord Jesus” (acts 11: 20), “we declare to you the promise made to the fathers” (Acts 13: 32), “because he proclaimed to them Jesus and the resurrection” (Acts 17: 18), “how beautiful are the feet of those announcing peace” (Rom 10: 15), “the message I proclaimed to you if you hold fast” (1 Cor 15: 2), “if we or an angel from heaven proclaimed to you contrary to what we proclaimed to you” (Gal 1: 8); “I should proclaim him among the nations” (Gal 1: 16), “He who once persecuted us now proclaims the faith” (Gal 1: 23), “(Christ) proclaimed peace” (Eph 2: 17), “I should proclaim among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of the Christ” (Eph 3: 8), “Timothy having declared to us your faith and love” (1 Thess 3: 6), “This is the message that was declared to you” (1 Peter 1: 25), “the mystery of God as announced to his servants the prophets” (Rev 10: 7).

In each case, one may judge it sufficient to refer to “proclaiming”, “announcing”, “declaring” or even “preaching” without also adding “good news” or the like as indicated in the translations provided. Alternatively, in a number of cases, the translator may sense that the addition of “good news” or similar is appropriate.  This may be particularly so when it is very obvious that what is being proclaimed etc is indeed “good news”.

There are also other instances, where no direct and explicit reference is being made to what is being announced, and contrary to the few examples cited from the literature external to the New Testament, no reference to “good news” or similar seems to be necessary.  For example, Jesus referred to the requirement for him to preach in other towns beyond Capernaum (Luke 4: 43) and Paul in his letter to the Galatians writes of his preaching to them in the weakness of the flesh (Gal 4: 13).  The word, “preaching” delivers the translator from having to automatically refer to “good news”.


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