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Is There Something You Want to Say to the World?

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Question [Oct. 19th, 2007|09:46 pm]
Is There Something You Want to Say to the World?

thelexicon

[ghoststrider]
Does the word "Gospel" strictly refer to only Christian literature, or can it be applied to anything that is a religious text (or even, perhaps, a non-religious one?) A crazy idea popped into my head and I'm kinda looking to deflate it because I have too many ideas already.
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[User Picture]From: queenlyzard
2007-10-24 05:43 am (UTC)
excellent questions. Dictionary.com offers this quote from the American Heritage Dictionary in response:

Gospel
n.

1. often Gospel The proclamation of the redemption preached by Jesus and the Apostles, which is the central content of Christian revelation.
2.
1. Gospel Bible One of the first four New Testament books, describing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and recording his teaching.
2. A similar narrative.
3. often Gospel A lection from any of the first four New Testament books included as part of a religious service.
4. A teaching or doctrine of a religious teacher.
5. Music Gospel music.
6. Something, such as an idea or principle, accepted as unquestionably true: My parents' rules were gospel.


adj.

1. often Gospel Of or in accordance with the Gospel; evangelical.
2. Of or relating to gospel music.


So... originally it was the first definition you listed, and then it became more widely applied to the second.
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[User Picture]From: mj_automatic
2007-11-26 05:32 am (UTC)
I was always taught in seminary classes that "gospel" came from a Greek phrase meaning "good news", which was used by the early christians to refer to the idea of salvation through Jesus Christ. So, the early writers of the first four New Testament books, began their proclamations of the story by saying, essentially, "good news as reported by (insert Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John...)".

So the origins of the word are indeed Christian, but since then I think the meaning has expanded somewhat. The secular usage I'm most familiar with is closest to the sixth definition - something that is held to be unquestionably true, or a belief or proclamation that someone holds very dear.
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