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I am interrested in an honest answer to this question. The Biblical texts refer to the the good news or the gospel. What is the good news?
Brad Boydston's profile photoD.S. White's profile photoDavid Bartholomew's profile photoJames Dudek's profile photo
I have heard a few teachers explain that the greek word that we translate "gospel" is a word that was used by messengers bearing good news from a battle. They would call out this word as they entered town to indicate that they were bringing a good report.

Jesus told the disciples of John to go tell him that the blind were receiving their sight, the lame were being healed, and that the good news was being preached to the poor. Jesus put the gospel best in John 3:16 &17. It may be an overused passage, but it is still where the good news is best expressed.

"Not to condemn...but that the world may be saved."
Scot McKnight has been asking the same question and I think he is moving in the right direction when he concludes, "The gospel is the saving story of Jesus that completes Israel's story." The term "good news" makes the most sense when it is understood from within the context of that bigger story. ~
Thank you +Brad Boydston for the article in Christianity today. My journey has been similar. I must admit that my concept of the good new or gospel was ... (and I will leave this blank for a while) until I decided to begin reading the Bible in large chunks. What I was reading was very different from what I thought was the good news. Thanks again and I will take time to read the article but later today when not interrupted by my my work site.
I keep coming back to the original question. What is the good news or what is the gospel? When I read the holy writings of Christianity these phrases are connected to other phrases. For example we see the good news of the _______ must be shared with ... Over the past few years I am revising my working definition of the good news and it is changing the way I look at Christianity. Without sharing right now what that definition is I am curious if anyone has discovered similar discoveries about the good news or the gospel?
Please allow me to suggest an exercise. Read through one of the first foru books of the NT. Also known as the gospels. On another sheet of paper write down every reference to good news or gospel and then add write down the phrase that follows. For example Matt 9:35 says good news of _ _____ , etc.
Something to remember is that the Bible was written more "about" God than "by" God. God acted more as an editor than an author. He did not tell the writers what words to use to write their letters, historical accounts, poetry, etc. The exception to this would be prophetic passages where God told the prophet what to write or say.

God gave inspiration to their spirits and minds to write certain things about him and let them use their own words to express those thoughts. The gospel accounts were written by four different writers. Each of them wrote from what they remembered the best, as well as focusing on what they thought it was most important for others to know about Jesus.

Matthew wrote about Jesus fulfilling prophesy. John wrote about God's love. I believe Mark especially wanted to preserve Peter's testimony. And Luke investigated Jesus' story to make a historic account of his life.

This is why they seem so different. Not because Jesus said or did something different, but because each of the writers had a different purpose for their accounts of his life.
Yes I agree that each writer resents a different perspective of the gospel. Each of these perspectives when taken as a whole gives to the reader a rich image and example of the gospel or good news. I am remidned of Timothy when he wrote by inspiration of God, "Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3.16. Which brings me back to the original question. What are we talking about when we refer to the good news of the gospel?
Reading through the New Testament I found 30 references to good news. Eighteen of these talked about the conveyance of good news. Nine times the good news was preached or proclaimed, 6 referenced the good news as coming and 3 times the good news was received.

From these references we learn that the good news is something to be shared and received by those have a heart to listen. I also learned that the good news brings great joy and and is received by faith and love.

But what is the good news?
What I am learning is the good news is about Jesus but, first and foremost the good news is about the kingdom of God or the kingdom of Heaven.

The good news is about about a very different lifestyle. It is about transfering our citizen ship from the kingdom of the Prince of the present age to the kingdom of God where Christ is our Lord, King and savior. We are willingly subjects and servants of the living King, Jesus.
Hi +D.S. White I got to thinking one day about how we define words or concepts. If Christianity defines words very different from the world then we should have an understanding of those words. I discovered that people have a wide variety of concepts of what the good news of the gospel is all about. With the realization of what the good news is began to change my ideas of what living the Christian life is all about.
Frank Viola posted part 1 of an interview he gave to Jamal Jivanjee on his blog today. In it he gave this definition of the kingdom of God: 'Kingdom of God:"the manifestation of God's ruling presence." Jesus Christ is the ruling presence of God.' Kind of ties into what you were getting at.
+David Bartholomew Thank you for your contribution yesterday about the interview between Jamal Jivanjee and and Frank Viola. This interview is a recommend for those who want to have a greater understanding of the kingdom of God. See This is I believe to be the central message of the good news or gospel.