The gospel

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In Christianity, The Gospel (Greek : εὐαγγέλιον, translit.  euangélion; Old English :gōdspel; Latin : ēvangeliumLatin pronunciation:  [e.vanˈd͡ʒeː.li.um] ), or the Good News, is the core message of Christianity and is the news of reconciliation of humanity with God [1] . The message of good news is described historically in the four canonical gospels.

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers.

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Romanization of Greek is the transliteration (letter-mapping) or transcription (sound-mapping) of text from the Greek alphabet into the Latin alphabet. The conventions for writing and romanizing Ancient Greek and Modern Greek differ markedly, which can create confusion. The sound of the English letter B was written as β in ancient Greek but is now written as the digraph μπ, while the modern β sounds like the English letter V instead. The Greek name Ἰωάννης became Johannes in Latin and then John in English, but in Greek itself has instead become Γιάννης; this might be written as Yannis, Jani, Ioannis, Yiannis, or Giannis, but not Giannes or Giannēs as it would have been in ancient Greek. The masculine Greek word Ἅγιος or Άγιος might variously appear as Hagiοs, Agios, Aghios, or Ayios, or simply be translated as "Holy" or "Saint" in English forms of Greek placenames.

Contents

The message of good news is described as theology in many of the New Testament letters. It relates to the saving acts of God due to the work of Jesus on the cross and Jesus' resurrection from the dead which bring reconciliation ("atonement") between people and God. It may also include the descent of the Holy Spirit upon believers and the second coming of Jesus. Paul gave the following summary (translated into English) of this good news in one of his letters to Christians in the city of Corinth:

New Testament Second division of the Christian biblical canon

The New Testament is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, the first being the Old Testament. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture.

Epistle The letters in the New Testament from Apostles to Christians are usually referred to as epistles

An epistle is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal didactic letter. The epistle genre of letter-writing was common in ancient Egypt as part of the scribal-school writing curriculum. The letters in the New Testament from Apostles to Christians are usually referred to as epistles. Those traditionally attributed to Paul are known as Pauline epistles and the others as catholic epistles.

God in Christianity is the eternal being who created and preserves all things. Christians believe God to be both transcendent and immanent. Christian teachings of the immanence and involvement of God and his love for humanity exclude the belief that God is of the same substance as the created universe but accept that God's divine nature was hypostatically united to human nature in the person of Jesus Christ, in an event known as the Incarnation.

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 NASB)

Christian theology describes the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ not as a new concept, but one that has been foretold throughout the Old Testament and was prophetically preached even at the time of the fall of man as contained in Genesis 3:14–15, [2] which has been called the "Proto-Evangelion" or "Proto-Gospel". [3] [4] [5] [6]

Christian theology is the theology of Christian belief and practice. Such study concentrates primarily upon the texts of the Old Testament and of the New Testament, as well as on Christian tradition. Christian theologians use biblical exegesis, rational analysis and argument. Theologians may undertake the study of Christian theology for a variety of reasons, such as in order to:

Old Testament First part of Christian Bibles based on the Hebrew Bible

The Old Testament is the first part of Christian Bibles, based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites believed by most Christians and religious Jews to be the sacred Word of God. The second part of the Christian Bible is the New Testament.

Fall of man Adam and Eve eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil

The fall of man, or the fall, is a term used in Christianity to describe the transition of the first man and woman from a state of innocent obedience to God to a state of guilty disobedience. Although not named in the Bible, the doctrine of the fall comes from a biblical interpretation of Genesis chapter 3. At first, Adam and Eve lived with God in the Garden of Eden, but the serpent tempted them into eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which God had forbidden. After doing so, they became ashamed of their nakedness and God expelled them from the Garden to prevent them from eating from the tree of life and becoming immortal.

Etymology

Gospel ( /ˈɡɒspəl/ ) is the Old English translation of Greek εὐαγγέλιον, meaning "good news". [7] This may be seen from analysis of euangélion (εὖ "good" + ἄγγελος ángelos "messenger" + -ιον -ion diminutive suffix). The Greek term was Latinized as evangelium in the Vulgate, and translated into Latin as bona annuntiatio.

Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. It was brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers probably in the mid-5th century, and the first Old English literary works date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman conquest of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, as the language of the upper classes by Anglo-Norman, a relative of French. This is regarded as marking the end of the Old English era, as during this period the English language was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English.

Koine Greek, also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the common supra-regional form of Greek spoken and written during the Hellenistic period, the Roman Empire, and the early Byzantine Empire, or late antiquity. It evolved from the spread of Greek following the conquests of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC, and served as the lingua franca of much of the Mediterranean region and the Middle East during the following centuries. It was based mainly on Attic and related Ionic speech forms, with various admixtures brought about through dialect levelling with other varieties.

A diminutive is a word that has been modified to convey a slighter degree of its root meaning, to convey the smallness of the object or quality named, or to convey a sense of intimacy or endearment. A diminutive form is a word-formation device used to express such meanings; in many languages, such forms can be translated as "little" and diminutives can also be formed as multi-word constructions such as "Tiny Tim". Diminutives are often employed as nicknames and pet names, when speaking to small children, and when expressing extreme tenderness and intimacy to an adult. The opposite of the diminutive form is the augmentative. Beyond the diminutive form of a single word, a diminutive can be a multi-word name, such as "Tiny Tim" or "Little Dorrit".

In Old English, it was translated as gōdspel (gōd "good" + spel "news"). The Old English term was retained as gospel in Middle English Bible translations and hence remains in use also in Modern English. The written accounts of the life and teaching of Jesus are also generally known as "Gospels". [8]

Middle English Bible translations

Middle English Bible translations (1066-1500) covers the age of Middle English, beginning with the Norman conquest and ending about 1500. Aside from Wycliffe's Bible, this was not a fertile time for Bible translation. English literature was limited because French was the preferred language of the elite, and Latin was the preferred literary language in Medieval Western Europe.

Modern English is the form of the English language spoken since the Great Vowel Shift in England, which began in the late 14th century and was completed in roughly 1550.

Gospel description of the life of Jesus, canonical or apocryphal

Gospel originally meant the Christian message itself, but in the 2nd century it came to be used for the books in which the message was set out. The four canonical gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—were probably written between AD 66 and 110, building on older sources and traditions, and each gospel has its own distinctive understanding of Jesus and his divine role. All four are anonymous, and it is almost certain that none were written by an eyewitness. They are the main source of information on the life of Jesus as searched for in the quest for the historical Jesus. Modern scholars are cautious of relying on them unquestioningly, but critical study attempts to distinguish the original ideas of Jesus from those of the later authors. Many non-canonical gospels were also written, all later than the four, and all, like them, advocating the particular theological views of their authors.

In Acts and 1 Corinthians

The good news can be summarized in many ways, reflecting various emphases. Cambridge New Testament scholar C.H. Dodd (1964 ) has summarized the Christian good news as taught by the apostle Peter in the Book of Acts (see Kerygma; Acts 2:14-41; Acts 3:11-4:4; Acts 10:34-43):

  1. The Age of Fulfillment has dawned, the "latter days" foretold by the prophets. Acts 3:18-26
  2. This has taken place through the birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Acts 2:22-31
  3. By virtue of the resurrection, Jesus has been exalted at the right hand of God as Messianic head of the new Israel. Acts 2:32-36
  4. The Holy Spirit in the church is the sign of Christ's present power and glory. Acts 10:44-48
  5. The Messianic Age will reach its consummation in the return of Christ. Acts 3:20-21
  6. An appeal is made for repentance with the offer of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, and salvation. Acts 2:37-41

Dr. Gary Habermas notes the Gospel is always consistently preached as "Deity, Death, Resurrection"; that is to say Jesus is divine, he died on a cross and then was resurrected three days later. [9]

In 1 Corinthians 15 the Gospel is presented in a creedal form:

Paul then adds how Christ appeared to him on the road to Damascus as "one untimely born". [10]

Broader Biblical Background

Depicted is Jesus' famous Sermon on the Mount in which he commented on the Jewish Law. Some scholars consider this event to be a completion or fulfilling ("antitype") of the proclamation by Moses on Mount Sinai of the Ten Commandments and the promises and law of God (the "Mosaic Covenant"). Bloch-SermonOnTheMount.jpg
Depicted is Jesus' famous Sermon on the Mount in which he commented on the Jewish Law. Some scholars consider this event to be a completion or fulfilling ("antitype") of the proclamation by Moses on Mount Sinai of the Ten Commandments and the promises and law of God (the "Mosaic Covenant").

Generally speaking, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or the message of salvation, justification, and sanctification, is explained by the apostle Paul in his epistle to the Romans, especially in chapters 3 to 8. The Apostle Paul did not invent the Gospel, as he states in 1 Corinthians he received the Gospel before he began preaching it. [11] In Acts 9 and Galatians 1, Paul went to Jerusalem after his conversion on the road to Damascus to meet with the apostles Peter and James to confirm what he was preaching was accurate. [12] [13] Paul was converted circa A.D 34-36, leaving a 1-3 year period where the Gospel was already being preached in full form. [14]

Christian writers and teachers often present the Good News set within the context of the storyline of the whole Bible. This discipline, of understanding the Christian message in terms of biblical salvation history, is known as biblical theology. This attempts to posit a connection between Old Testament and the Christian teachings of the good news about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

For example, the Roman Catholic Church promotes the teaching of the good news in the context of biblical salvation history as a "fundamental part of the content" of its instruction. [15] There are numerous exponents of the biblical theology approach to understanding the Good News. Some Christian teachers and biblical theologians who have published descriptions of the Bible authors' message in terms of salvation history include Köstenberger and O'Brien (2001), who have published a biblical theology of mission; and Goldsworthy (1991), who writes from an evangelical Christian perspective. Many Bible scholars and Christian groups have placed similar descriptions on the internet. [16] There is a degree of variation in perspective between such descriptions. However, the main focus is generally the same: the Bible storyline tells of God working throughout history to save a people for himself, and these saving acts are completed through the person and work of Jesus.

In various Christian movements

"The certain mark by which a Christian community can be recognized is the preaching of the gospel in its purity."--Martin Luther Luther-Predigt-LC-WB.jpg
"The certain mark by which a Christian community can be recognized is the preaching of the gospel in its purity."—Martin Luther

The good news is described in many different ways in the Bible. Each one reflects different emphases, and describes part or all of the Biblical narrative. Christian teaching of the good news — including the preaching of the Apostles in the Book of Acts — generally focuses upon the resurrection of Jesus and its implications. Sometimes in the Bible, the good news is described in other terms, but it still describes God's saving acts. For example, the Apostle Paul taught that the good news was announced to the patriarch Abraham in the words, "All nations will be blessed through you." (Galatians 3:6-9; c.f. Genesis 12:1-3).

Liberation theology

Liberation theology, articulated in the teachings of Latin American Catholic theologians Leonardo Boff and Gustavo Gutiérrez, emphasizes that Jesus came not only to save humanity, but also to liberate the poor and oppressed. A similar movement among the Latin American evangelical movement is Integral Mission, where the church is seen as an agent for positively transforming the wider world, in response to the good news. [18] This can likewise be seen in black theology of certain African and African American Christians.

Christian Mission

The Women at the Sepulchre. From an Armenian gospel manuscript held by the Bodleian Library Bodleian Library MS. Arm. d.13. Armenian Gospels-0021-0.jpg
The Women at the Sepulchre. From an Armenian gospel manuscript held by the Bodleian Library

The Great Commission is described in the final chapter of the Gospel of Matthew:

18And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [19]

This is described as Jesus' final command and a summary of the mission of Christianity. By going to all the nations and teaching all Christ commanded the disciples, the Gospel would be spread and people would be reconciled to God.

See also

Footnotes

  1. "Bible Gateway passage: 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 - New American Standard Bible". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  2. [3:14-15]
  3. The Proto-Gospel, by R. C. Sproul. Archived 2008-12-03 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Luther and the Christology of the Old Testament Archived 2015-01-20 at the Wayback Machine , by Dr. Raymond F. Surburg, p14, saying: "Messianic prophecy has its origin in Genesis 3:15, which has been called the "protevangelium," the first Gospel promise. It was spoken by the LORD God ( יְהוָה אֱלֹהִם ) to the Serpent, used by Satan, in the hearing of Adam and Eve."
  5. The Lutheran Study Bible, p20, "3:15...This points to Christ and His defeat of Satan on the cross, and for this reason this verse is often called the 'protevangelium' (the first promise of the Gospel)"
  6. Worldwide Mission: The Work of the Triune God Archived 2015-01-20 at the Wayback Machine , by Dr. Paul Peter, p3, saying "After the Fall of man (Gen. 3) and its dire results, the loss of Paradise (3:23f.), death by sin (3:3; Rom. 5:12), and the cursing of the ground (3:17), preceded by the Protevangelium (3:15), the first revelation of the missio Dei, the Scriptures continue with the generations of Adam and the names of all the patriarchs from Adam to Noah..."
  7. Woodhead 2004, p. 4.
  8. Evangelism is the spreading of the evangelium, i.e. Christian proselytization, see also the Great Commission. Evangelicalism is a 20th century branch of Protestantism that emphasizes the reception of the "good news" by the individual (see also Low church), in contrast to the traditional and historical emphasis on the communal aspect of the Church's guardianship of the authentic Gospel (see also High church) as crucial to the salvation of the faithful ( Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus ).
  9. "Answers from Dr. Gary R. Habermas - Online Resource for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ". www.garyhabermas.com. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  10. "Bible Gateway passage: 1 Corinthians 15 - New American Standard Bible". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  11. "Bible Gateway passage: 1 Corinthians 15 - New American Standard Bible". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  12. "Bible Gateway passage: Galatians 1 - New American Standard Bible". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  13. "Bible Gateway passage: Acts 9 - New American Standard Bible". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  14. Galan, Benjamin; Curiel, Jessica; Vander, Shawn; Ashby, William (2012). Bible Overview. China: Rose Publishing. p. 167. ISBN   978-1-59636-569-8.
  15. General Directory for Catechesis 1997, paragraph108
  16. For an example, see 'Biblical Theology' in Bakers Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
  17. Tappert, T.G., Selected Writings of Martin Luther, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007, p.325
  18. Padilla 2004, p. 20
  19. "Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 28 - New American Standard Bible". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2019-07-13.

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