Gospel: Definition and NT Occurances

In the last post, Is Something Wrong with Our Gospel?, I pointed out that the “gospel” that we offer people often fails to lead to transformation or a life of discipleship. I also asked how our “gospel” compares to that of Jesus and the apostles. In this second post of the series, I want to give the definition(s) of the word and a list of occurances in the New Testament, so that we can discover the gospel together.

The word that is translated in the NT as “gospel” or “good news” (euangelion; Gk. εὐαγγέλιον) is defined in BDAG as:

  1. God’s good news to humans
  2. details relating to the life and ministry of Jesus[1]

The verb form (euangelizo; Gk. ευαγγελιζω) is defined as:

  1. bring good news, announce good news
  2. proclaim the divine message of salvation[2]

The noun form (euangelion) occurs 76 times in the NT and can be found in these verses: Mt 4:23; 9:35; 24:14; and 26:13; Mk 1:1, 14, 15; 8:35; 10:29; 13:10; 14:9; and 16:15 (from the “long ending” of Mark); Acts 15:7; 20:24; Rom 1:1, 9, 16; 2:16; 10:16; 11:28; 15:16, 19; and 16:25; 1 Cor 4:15; 9:12, 14 (2x in v. 14), 18 (2x), 23; and 15:1 (the beginning of Paul’s gospel statement which includes vv. 1-8 and 20-28); 2 Cor 2:12; 4:3, 4; 8:18; 9:13; 10:14; 11:4 and 7; Gal 1:6, 7, 11; 2:2, 5, 7, and 14; Eph 1:13; 3:6; 6:15 and 19; Phil 1:5, 7, 12, 16, 27 (2x); 2:22; 4:3 and 15; Col 1:5 and 23; 1 Thes 1:5; 2:2, 4, 8, 9; and 3:2; 2 Thes 1:8 and 2:14; 1 Tim 1:11; 2 Tim 1:8, 10; and 2:8; Philemon v. 13; 1 Pet 4:17; and Rev 14:6.[3]

The verb form (euangelizo) occurs 54 times and can be found here: Mt 11:5; Lk 1:19; 2:10; 3:18; 4:18, 43; 7:22; 8:1; 9:6; 16:16; and 20:1; Acts 5:42; 8:4, 12, 25, 35, 40; 10:36; 11:20; 13:32; 14:7, 15, 21; 15:35; 16:10; and 17:18; Rom 1:15; 10:15; and 15:20; 1 Cor 1:17; 9:16 (2x), 18; 15:1 and 2; 2 Cor 10:16 and 11:7; Gal 1:8 (2x), 9, 11, 16, 23; and 4:13; Eph 2:17 and 3:8; 1 Thes 3:6; Heb 4:2 and 6; 1 Pet 1:12, 25; and 4:6; Rev 10:7 and 14:6.[4]

If you are following along with me, let's read through these verses together, in their immediate context, and begin to develop an answer to the question: what is the gospel? As you read these passages, feel free to include in the comments section any insights that occur to you. Also, hang with me, as not every post will be this tedious. I just think this is a necessary step. 🙂


[1] Walter Bauer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Writings, 3rd ed. (Chicago: University, 2000), 402-3.

[2] Ibid., 402.

[3] John R. Kohlenberger III, Edward W. Goodrick, and James A. Swanson, Greek-English Concordance to the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997), 320.

[4] Ibid., 319-20.

 

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2 comments on “Gospel: Definition and NT Occurances

  1. […] compare what you read in those stories with the way the NT uses the word “gospel.” When we share the gospel, do we mean the same thing as when Jesus and the apostles gospeled? I am […]

  2. […] Part 2 – Gospel: Definition and NT Occurances […]

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