From: Bill Barton (
Date: Wed Jun 09 1999 - 02:08:14 EDT

Rick Strelan wrote:

>In the Greco-Roman world, were 'announcements of good news' [EUAGGELIA]

Kittel says the following:

"EUAGGELION is a technical term for 'news of victory.' The messenger
appears, raises his right hand in greeting and calls out with a loud voice:
CAIRE...NIKWMEN. By his appearance it is known already that he brings good
news. His face shines, his spear is decked with laurel, his head is
crowned, he swings a branch of palm, joy fills the city, EUANGELIA are
offered, the temples are garlanded, an agon is held, crowns are put on for
the sacrifices and the one to whom is message is owed is honoured with a
wreath. Political and private reports can also be EUAGGELIA. For them,
too, sacrificial feasts are held. But EUAGGELION is closely linked with
the thought of victory in battle. This may be seen from the
misunderstanding of which we read in Philostr. Vit. Ap. V 8. Nero had been
successful in the games and he ordered EUAGGELIA to be offered. But some
cities believed that he had been victorious in war and had taken some
Olympians captive. EUAGGELIA EPAGEIN or QUEIN is something so familar
that it can be used for comparison or illustration. There is a caricature
of Aristophanes."

(Theological Dictionary of the NT, Eerdman 1964, vol. 2, pg. 722)

>If they were read [and I don't know whether they were or not], does that
mean an EUAGGELISTHS was a 'reader' of good news? And if they were, what
did the Christian EUAGGELISTAI [Acts 21:8; Eph 4:11; 2 Tim 4:5] read?>

The Louw-Nida Lexicon says the evangelist (in the NT) announces the gospel
(para. 53.76) Louw-Nida also notes that early usage of the term pertained
to an individual who went from place to place announcing some good news.

In any of the cases above, I don't see any particular connotation of
reading rather than reciting.

Paul does encourage reading (normally aloud in public) of scripture in 1
Tim 4:13, Col 4:16, 1 Thess 5:27, Eph. 3:4, 2 Cor 1:13.

Bill Barton

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