Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

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(2,782 words)

1. Biblical

1.1. Greek Usage

The word “gospel” is a translation of Gk. euangelion. Often found in the plural and attested from Homer, this word means “that which is proper to an euangelos, or messenger of good news.” The verb euangelizomai (mid. and pass.) means “speak as an euangelos,” that is, “bring (good) news.”

The verb and noun have religious significance in the Greco-Roman world only in the emperor cult, in which ta euangelia is used for the good news of the birth or benevolence of the emperor. This usage has only backgrou…

Cite this page
Stuhlmacher, Peter and Jäger, Alfred, “Gospel”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 27 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_G175>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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