SPECIAL TOPIC: THE GOSPEL

The gospel of Mark is probably the first written Gospel; if so, this is the first use of the term euangelion (cf. Mark 1:14,15; 8:35; 10:29; 13:10; 14:9) by a Gospel writer (Paul's use in Gal. 2:2 and 1 Thess. 2:9 would be chronologically earlier). It is interesting to note that John never uses the noun, nor do the books of Hebrews or James.  It is literally "the good news" or "the good message." This obviously reflects Isa. 61:1 and possibly 40:9 and 52:7 (see LXX). Its grammatical form can be understood as

1. the message given by Jesus

2. the message about Jesus

The Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, published by IVP, says "The genitive (‘of') is probably both subjective and objective: Jesus proclaims the gospel and it proclaims his story" (p. 285).

The Jerome Biblical Commentary says "Mark's use of the word 'gospel' is akin to that in Paul, where it can mean either the act of proclaiming or the content of what is proclaimed."

The term "gospel" involves several aspects.

1. the initial bad news of mankind's sin and rebellion

2. God's gracious provisions to deal with human sin (i.e., the death of Christ)

3. the open invitation for any or all to accept God's provision by repentance and faith

For a good list of the theolgocial items preached by the early Apostles, see the Special Topic: The Kerygma of the Early Church.

This good news about Jesus involves three aspects.

1. It is a person to welcome (i.e., Jesus).

2. It is truths about that person to believe (i.e., the NT).

3. It is a life which emulates that person (i.e., a Christlike life).

If any one of these three aspects is depreciated the gospel is damaged!

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