Friday 20 May 2011

Glen Davis on Pre-Christian Uses of ‘Gospel’

Mike Bird links to a post by Glen Davis who has put together a handy list of pre-Christian uses of the word euangelion and euangelia.

Davis himself says that his list is ‘close to every pre-Christian use of the noun euangelion’, though he ‘did not investigate the verbal form euangelizomai (which is ‘relatively rare in ancient Greek, but common in the New Testament’).

He also notes that ‘the New Testament often talks of the gospel in the singular (to euangelion), but in pre-Christian literature the form used is almost always different (it is usually plural and often does not have the definite article attached). Even though Jesus and the first Christians used a word from their culture, they clearly invested it with new meaning and placed an unprecedented emphasis upon it’.

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