The Gospel is the good news that Jesus passed through death to life, and that if we cling to him, he will pull us through too.

Thursday, 9/18/14

St. Paul, in writing to the Christians at Corinth, reminded them of the Gospel he preached to them.

Our English word gospel is a contraction of two early English words gode and spell, with gode being an earlier spelling of good, and spell having been our twelfth century word for news. That is how we translate Paul’s word euaggelon, which meant “happy news.”

When we hear the word gospel we think of the four gospels: of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; but it is better for us to return the word to its original meaning. For the people of Corinth before Paul came there was no escaping death. They saw death as the complete cessation of life and of everything dear to them.

He could have given them nothing more joyous than the assurance that the man Jesus arose from the dead after three days, after promising us that if we believed in  him and loved one another, he could bring us back from death to unending happiness.

That, and that alone, is the gospel, the good news. The accounts from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are just filler, explaining and backing up the good news: namely, that Jesus passed through death to life, and if we hang on to him he will pull us through too.

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