Barry Newman's Blog

July 19, 2012

The Gospel and its Proclamation (part XXI)

Filed under: Proclaiming the gospel,The Gospel — barrynewman @ 11:02 pm

Concluding Comments

With respect to the noun, “euaggelion” and the verb, “euaggelizomai” the language of the New Testament and as found in the Greek literature external to the New Testament up until about the time of the New Testament, have much in common.  It is essentially “good news” and the “good news” is announced or proclaimed.

However there are some differences.  In the New Testament, unlike in the other Greek literature, the noun predominantly appears as “the good news” rather than simply “good news”.   It is “the gospel”. In the New Testament, the news, perhaps better understood as the announcement, the proclamation or the declaration, is really very good, very great or even very sombre. Furthermore, in the Greek literature external to the New Testament, the “good news” almost always relates to a specific event, whereas the gospel of the New Testament, in its totality, relates to a large number of interwoven and weighty events or situations.  There is one instance in the New Testament where what is referred to as “a gospel” seems to relate to a very specific gospel being delivered at a specific point in time, rather than “the gospel” which dominates the pages of the New Testament. There are a couple of other occurrences where reference is being made to a false gospel.

In both the New Testament and the Greek literature outside of the New Testament, the verb can often simply be translated without reference to “good news” or similar.  However, depending on the actual verb used in the translation, in some texts something like “good news” also need to be mentioned. And while the verb in the Greek literature external to the New Testament can often be translated as “announcing” or proclaiming”, it lacks the context that would make sense of translating it as, “preaching”.  Sometimes the context displayed in this literature is such that the words, “proclaiming”, “announcing” or “declaring” could be judged to be inappropriate if too much “grandeur” is read into their usage. Not so in almost all instances occurring in the New Testament. Furthermore, while in the Greek literature external to the New Testament, the verb translated as proclaiming or announcing always has the idea of “good news” behind it, in the New Testament, as with the noun, the proclaiming, announcing, or declaring is occasionally more “sombre” rather than “good”.  There is one instance in the New Testament where the verb relates to some “giving of good news” that is simply related to human beings (though it does indeed concern their faith and love).

The message that is so great comes from God and is about his Son.  We in the apostolic tradition have nothing to boast about in ourselves.  Our boasting is in the Lord Jesus Christ, crucified for sinners, raised gloriously by the Father, appointed judge of all men and before whom all shall appear – some for glory some for condemnation.

We have received the message.  We, as his messengers, have a message to tell.  The gospel is the announcement, the declaration, the proclamation that the world must hear.  If we do not declare, if we do not announce, if we do not proclaim, how shall they hear?

And we must live by the gospel, unashamedly demonstrating that in the great mercy of God, according to his great kindness Christ has set us free, free to love, free to serve, free to glorify the one who has done great things for us.  Praise be to God!  Honour and glory to his name!


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