Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Meaning of "Gospel" in Jesus' Day

The Greek word in the New Testament for gospel is euangelion. At the time of Jesus it was not used in a religious context but rather in the context of war and kings. Most often it was a proclamation by a messenger to announce good news on behalf of a king. When a king would come to power he would send out messengers to proclaim the “good news” of his new reign or if he had gained victory over an enemy he would send out the “good news” or if a son had been born to him he would send out messengers with the “good news”. The word was also used of the reports of “good news” when an army would have victory in battle over an enemy.

This understanding fits well with what Mark wrote in the first chapter about what Jesus proclaimed after being baptized and spending forty days being tempted by Satan in the desert.
14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” NKJV
Jesus was telling them that He had been sent by the Father to proclaim the “good news” that God was now going to fulfill His promise to restore His reign and rule over all of creation. So based on this “good news” He told them to turn from their rebellious and idolatrous ways back to God and put their faith, their trust in this “good news”.

1 comment:

John said...

great stuff! thanks for sharing this.

constantly need reminding.