Word Study: Gospel (Part 1) (Greek NT & LXX)

If we call ourselves Christians and do not holdfast to the “one true gospel” we have either fallen from grace or God never has granted us grace. For Paul wrote in the letter to the assemblies of Galatia the following:

“I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him that called you unto the grace of the Mashiach unto another gospel, WHICH IS NOT ANOTHER GOSPEL. But there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of the Mashiac. But though we, or a messenger from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (anethema). As we said before, so say I again, if any person preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed (anethema). For do I now persuade people, or God. Or do I seek to please people? For if yet I please people, I should not be the servant of the Mashiach. But I certify you, brethren (male and female) that the gospel which was preached of me is not according to people. For I neither received it of people, neither was I taught it of people, but I was taught it by the revelation (the uncovering) of Yeshua ha Mashiach.”

And the gospel Paul preached is clearly declared in 1 Cor 15, “Moreover, brethren (male and female), I declare unto the gospel which I preached unto you, which also you have received (past), and wherein ye stand (present), by which you are being saved (future is when salvation comes), if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that the Mashiach died for our sins according to the Old Testament, and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the Old Testament.”

The gospel that Paul preached was not another gospel – it was and is the gospel of Yeshua. Yeshua ha Mashiach is the same yesterday, today and forever. Yeshua primarily declared His gospel in parables in the days of His flesh, but “henceforth know we no person after the flesh, yes, though we have known the Mashiach after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more” – for He, Yeshua ha Mashiach, has been raised from the dead, a life-giving Spirit. Thus, if we know Him now it cannot be after the flesh. For they who worship God must worship in Spirit and truth. After the resurrection the gospel is no longer declared in parables, but it is publically preached and house to house as the resurrected Son of God declared in Luke 24, “O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not the Mashiach to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moshah and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Old Testament the things concerning Himself.” And in another place He said, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Law of Moshah (Torah, first five books of the Old Testament), and in the prophets and in the Psalms (all other books of the Old Testament besides the Torah). Then opened He their understanding that they might understand the Old Testament, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved the Mashiach to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day and that repentance (a change of mind) and remission of sins  (remitting of sins so that the chosen ones would not sin in the days of their flesh after grace, not taste death, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and live abide in the presence of God having sweet fellowship face to face forever, and that the nations of the saved shall bring their glory to the new Yerushalem but not enter in)  should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Yerushalem. And you are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send unto you the promise of my Father (the very Spirit of the Father-the Spirit of God), but tarry you in the city of Yerushalem, until you be endured with power from on high (this is that Spirit that zealously only testifies of the Mashiach’s death for our sins, His burial and His resurrection the third day according to the entire Old Testament). It is written that “the testimony of two confirms the fact”. Yeshua in Luke gave us the testimony of two words, the gospel, that confirms the fact of the one true gospel. The gospel of Yeshua is the one true gospel. And Paul imitated and preached the gospel of Yeshua which is the one true gospel.  This along with the two passages Yeshua in Luke where Yeshua clearly declared the one true gospel, give us the testimony of three. The apostles gave Paul the right hand of fellowship (agreement) which is their agreement that the gospel Paul preached was and is the one true gospel – the gospel of Yeshua. If the testimony of two confirm the fact and there is three and then there is many, how much more is the one true gospel sure and true and an anchor to the soul. The Spirit of prophecy which moved the prophets to speak and record the Old Testament, this Spirit is the testimony of Yeshua. And the testimony of Yeshua is the gospel of Yeshua which is the one true gospel and the gospel Paul and all the apostolos preached.

Saying these things, I will look at the spiritual word “gospel”. The English word “gospel” is not found in the Old Testament. It is not used by the translators one time in the OT. Does this mean that the spiritual word “gospel” is a new word in the New Testament (NT)? No, it is not a new spiritual word. Let me explain.

The Greek word “euaggelion” (Strongs 2098), a noun, is found 77 times in the NT. 46 times it is translated “gospel”; 22 “gospel of Christ”; 7 “gospel of God; 3 “gospel of the kingdom’ and it is translated by various other words 10 times.

The Greek word “euaggelizo” (Strongs 2097), a verb, is found 55 times in the NT. 23 times it is translated “preach”; 22 “preach the gospel”; 1 “bring good tidings”; 1 “show glad tidings”; 1 “declare”, 1 “declare glad tidings”, and it is translated various other words 3 times.

The Greek word “euaggelistes” (strongs 2099), a noun, is found three times in the NT. It is not translated but anglicized as “evangelist”. It is found in three passages in Acts 21:8, Eph 4:11 and 2 Tim 4:5.

These three Greek words, “euaggelion”, “euaggelizo”, and “euaggelistes”  together mean either, the “good message” or “good tidings”; “to declare the good message” or “to declare the good tidings”, or “the person who declares the good message or good tidings”.

“Euaggelistes” is not found in the LXX (Septuigent, the Greek translation of the OT). Two forms of “euaggelion” are found in the LXX,  6 times: 2 Sam 4:10, 2 Sam 18:20, 22, 25, 27 and 2 King 7:9. A form of the Greek word “euaggelizo” which is “euaggelizomai” is found 22 times in the LXX : 1 Sam 31:9, 2 Sam 1:20, 2 Sam 4:10; 2 Sam 18:19, 20 (2 times), 26, 31; 1 Kings 1:42 (2 times), 1 Chron 10:9; Ps 40:10, Ps 67:12; Ps 96:2; Is 40:9 (2 times), Is 52:7 (2 times); Is 60:6; Is 61:1; Jer 20:15; Joel 2:32 and Nahum 1:15.

Thus, while the English word “gospel” is not found in the OT, the Greek word it is derived, is found 26 times in the OT. 22 times it is in its verb form, “euaggelizomai”. 21 times “euaggelizomai” is found in the LXX and it is the translation of the Hebrew word, “basar” (Strongs 1319). The only exception is Joel 2:32 were “euaggelizomai” is translated from the Hebrew word “qara” which means “call” or “cry out”.

The first time the Greek word “euaggelia” (noun) is found in the LXX is in 2 Sam 4:10. In this passage Samuel writes about the slaying of Jonathan’s crippled son, Mephiboasheth (Ishbosheth), by Rechab and Baanah. It was this Miphibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul,  David had pledged his kindness upon (2 Sam 9:1 ff) . Rechab and Ba’anah slayed Mephiboasheth, cut off his head, and thought if they brought his head to David it would be “good news” to the king and they would receive a reward. One of them standing in David’s presence told the king,

“Behold,  Saul is dead, (and thinking to bring “good tidings) (Strongs 1319: basar), I took hold of him (Mephiboasheth), and slew him in Ziglag”. He thought David would have given them a reward for these “good tidings” (Strongs 1309: basorah). “But how much more , when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed. Shall I not therefore require his blood from your hand, and take you away from the earth. And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cutoff their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron. Does not the passage, the prophecy, declare God’s eternal purpose in the Mashiach, Yeshua the Mashiach, condemned in the flesh, justified in the Spirit. Yes, of course!

In Part 2 of this study, I will speak of the underlying Hebrew words in which are translated by the Greek word meaning “the good message” or the “to declare good tidings.

“Lo, in the volume of the book it is written of Me” sayeth God.

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