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Gos"pel, n. Etym: [OE. gospel, godspel, AS. godspell; god God + spell story, tale. See God, and Spell, v.] See:Gospels

1. Glad tidings; especially, the good news concerning Christ, the Kingdom of God, and salvation.
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom. Matthew 4:23.
The steadfast belief of the promises of the gospel. Bentley.

Note: It is probable that gospel is from. OE. godspel, God story, the narrative concerning God; but it was early confused with god spell, good story, good tidings, and was so used by the translators of the authorized version of Scripture. This use has been retained in most cases in the Revised Version.
Thus the literal sense [of gospel] is the "narrative of God," i. e., the life of Christ. Skeat.

2. One of the four narratives of the life and death of Jesus Christ, or one of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) (With the definite article); as, written by the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The Four Evangelists are:
Saint Matthew and his symbol is an angel.
Saint Mark and his symbol is a lion.
Saint Luke and his symbol is an ox.
Saint John the Evangelist and his symbol is an eagle.

3. A selection from one of the Gospels, for use in a religious service; as, the Gospel for the day.

4. Any system of religious doctrine; sometimes, any system of political doctrine or social philosophy; as, this political gospel. Burke.

5. Anything propounded or accepted as infallibly true; as, they took his words for gospel. [Colloq.]
If any one thinks this expression hyperbolical, I shall only ask him to read, instead of taking the traditional witticisms about Lee for gospel. Saintsbury.

Gos"pel, a.

Defn: Accordant with, or relating to, the gospel; evangelical; as, gospel righteousness. Bp. Warburton.

Gos"pel, v. t.

Defn: To instruct in the gospel. [Obs.] Shak.

In other languages, the word for "the Gospel" is:
Chamorro: bangheliu or ebangelio

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Gospel - A word of Anglo-Saxon origin, and meaning "God's spell", i.e., word of God, or rather, according to others, "good spell", i.e., good news. It is the rendering of the Greek evangelion , i.e., "good message."
It denotes
(1.) "the welcome intelligence of salvation to man as preached by our Lord and his followers.
(2.) It was afterwards transitively applied to each of the four histories of our Lord's life, published by those who are therefore called 'Evangelists', writers of the history of the gospel (the evangelion).
(3.) The term is often used to express collectively the gospel doctrines; and 'preaching the gospel' is often used to include not only the proclaiming of the good tidings, but the teaching men how to avail themselves of the offer of salvation, the declaring of all the truths, precepts, promises, and threatenings of Christianity." It is termed "the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24), "the gospel of the kingdom" (Matthew 4:23), "the gospel of Christ" (Romans 1:16), "the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15), "the glorious gospel," "the everlasting gospel," "the gospel of salvation" (Ephesians 1:13).

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Gospels - The central fact of Christian preaching was the intelligence that the Savior had come into the world (Matthew 4:23; Romans 10:15); and the first Christian preachers who called their account of the person and mission of Christ by the term evangelion (= good message) were called evangelistai (= evangelists) (Ephesians 4:11; Acts 21:8). There are four historical accounts of the person and work of Christ: "the first by Matthew, announcing the Redeemer as the promised King of the kingdom of God; the second by Mark, declaring Him a prophet, mighty in deed and word;' the third by Luke, of whom it might be said that he represents Christ in the special character of the Savior of sinners (Luke 7:36; Luke 15:18); the fourth by John, who represents Christ as the Son of God, in whom deity and humanity become one. The ancient Church gave to Matthew the symbol of an angel, to Mark that of the lion, to Luke that of the ox, and to John that of the eagle: these were the four faces of the cherubim" (Ezekiel 1:10).
Date. The Gospels were all composed during the latter part of the first century, and there is distinct historical evidence to show that they were used and accepted as authentic before the end of the second century.
Mutual relation. "If the extent of all the coincidences be represented by 100, their proportionate distribution will be:
Matthew, Mark, and Luke, 53; Matthew and Luke, 21; Matthew and Mark, 20; Mark and Luke, 6. Looking only at the general result, it may be said that of the contents of the synoptic Gospels [i.e., the first three Gospels] about two-fifths are common to the three, and that the parts peculiar to one or other of them are little more than one-third of the whole."
Origin. Did the evangelists copy from one another? The opinion is well founded that the Gospels were published by the apostles orally before they were committed to writing, and that each had an independent origin.
(See Gospel According to Saint Matthew.)


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