The most important message from God to Man is known as the Gospel. The term Gospel comes from the old english word god-spell which is “good news”. It is a literal translation from the greek word εὐαγγέλιον, euangelion. Which is a “good message”. It is indeed good news for all of mankind.
Incidentally euangelion is the same base word we get the word evangelical from.
So what is the gospel? Paul wrote to the church in Corinth a summary.
Now I’m making known to you, brothers, the gospel that I proclaimed to you, which you accepted, on which you have taken your stand, 2 and by which you are also being saved if you hold firmly to the message I proclaimed to you—unless, of course, your faith was worthless.
3 For I passed on to you the most important points that[a] I received: The Messiah[b] died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 he was buried, he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures—and is still alive! (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, ISV)
EDIT: I changed the text from the more wordy Roman description to the better and more succinct Corinthian text. The Roman text is still valid, however.
The Gospel in the Old Testament
Here is something to consider. It speaks to the authorship of the Bible and fits into this discussion of the good news.
The gospel is summarized in the old testament. In the book of Genesis, in fact.
Consider that names in Hebrew carry meaning. The words are translated for us into english but the names were transliterated. It is a standard practice. Examine the geneology in Chapter 5. It is there to show a line of descent from Adam to Noah, but it carries hidden in it something more. Below is a table with the names, in their order of appearance, and their meanings.
|Mahalalel||Praised God; Blessed God|
|Jared||descending; shall come down|
|Methuselah||from muth shalach meaning “his death shall bring”|
|Noah||rest; settle down; comfort|
All put together we can form:
Man appointed mortal sorrow. Blessed God shall come down teaching his death (God’s death) shall bring the despairing comfort and rest.
Something to consider. I am not the one to find this. I did, however, look up the name meanings myself the best I could. Kenan came back with a couple of meanings besides sorrow and Methuselah had only a guess as well as the meaning above.
It is quite compelling.