Word (Study) of the Week: euangelion
by Aaron Meares
Occasionally in my blog posts there are significant words that I feel compelled to use but many readers may not know. The options are either to avoid using those terms or to help the readers understand these words and why they are important. I have chosen the latter.
In order to accomplish this I am experimenting with a series of posts called, “Word (Study) of the Week.” In these posts, I will present the following:
- the key word (usually either Hebrew or Greek)
- the meaning of the word
- how often in occurs in the Bible
- a helpful pronunciation guide
- perhaps some key passages where the term is used
- how the term is used
- study assignment for those who want to learn more about how the word is used
- and, on occasion, a theological reflection of the word
Since this is an experiment, I would love some feedback on how this type of post works. Since we have been looking at the “gospel” in 1 Corinthians 15 (cf. “Gospel Leaks” part 1 and part 2), I thought I would begin with the following:
Word of the Day: “gospel”
Word of the Day (Greek): euangelion; noun, “gospel, good news,” 76 times in the NT.
What it Looks Like: εὐαγγέλιον
Phonetic Pronunciation: yoo-ahn-GHEL-ee-ohn
euangelizo, euangelizomai, verb, “to proclaim good news,” 54 times in the NT.
euangelistes, noun, “evangelist; one who brings good news,” 3 times in the NT.
Usage in the Old Testament
The verb’s basic meaning is “to communicate good news concerning something” (L&N 33.215). In the Greek translation of the Old Testament it is used in a generic sense for any “good message” (usually translating the Hebrew word, basar). However, in Isaiah 40–66 it employs a more religious meaning. It is used to describe the deliverance that the LORD will bring to God’s people who are in exile in Babylon as he leads them back to their land – the land that God had promised Abraham (cf. Gen 12:1, 7; 13:15; 15:18; 17:8).
Word Study Assignment
Identify the term and how it is used in the following passages: Isa 40:9; 41:27; 52:7; 60:6; 61:1. Read the larger context of each passage.
Q~ How is the word translated in each passage?
Q~ What is it describing in each passage?
Q~ Is there anywhere that these verses quoted or alluded to in the New Testament? [hint: a Bible with a cross-reference system will help. If you do not have one, get one.]
Q~ If it is used in the New Testament, how is it used there?
[SPOILER-ALERT: for those who don’t have a cross-reference I will give these hints: Romans 10:1–17; Luke 4:16–21; Matt 2:1–12. Find out which passages go with which Isaiah passages.]
Usage in the New Testament
We will look more at how these words are used in the New Testament in future posts.
If you did some of the Assignment above, I would love to hear about what you discovered. And again, please leave some helpful suggestions in the comments box or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.