Saturday, March 5, 2011

Gospel Etymology

Just a little while ago a friend asked me to define "the gospel." He was prepping for a Sunday School class and wanted a good, succinct definition that he could use.

Instead of immediately thinking of the best doctrinal formulation, my mind recalled the etymological roots of the word. “Gospel” is from the Anglo-Saxon “godspel,” literally, “glad tidings,” or “good news” (from “god” meaning “good” and “spel” meaning “story”). “Good-gossip” was Samuel Johnson’s translation—which, I have to say, really captures the essence of the idea!

Thus, the word "gospel" connotes the happy announcement of God’s rescue and redemption of His fallen, sinful children by means of the gracious, sufficient, and finished work of Jesus Christ. What a wondrous truth!

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