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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Hundred-Nineteenth (Gospel)

Updated: Dec 17, 2022

We're going to take a step back for a minute this week. As you can see when you look around, this world it's not looking too good. Yes, there are pockets of good, and examples of truth and justice working out, but for the vast majority of the world, the agenda of evil is ruling out. People are losing their livelihoods because of the propaganda of the few. People are being silenced, attacked physically and verbally, and even murdered at higher and higher rates.

It's not going to get better, either. YHWH is being progressively and systematically removed from every aspect of public life. Where there is no God, there is no consistent standard by which to live, and with no consistent standard, the standard degenerates over time. A perfect example, if you haven't been following along, is the recent movement to categorize pedophilia as a sexual orientation. Clearly, pedophilia is evil, but in the name of education, this evil is being peddled as just another sexual orientation, just like homosexuality was not too long ago. Society has put educators on pedestals historically, and as a result the vast majority of people just accept what they say simply because they must be "smarter" than us common folks based on their status.

How does this happen, though? How does this standard degenerate? By not having an external influence, like our Father, there is no basis for the standards, or laws, that society holds at any given time. Let's take the most basic one that is at the root of the topic just mentioned: natural law. Even the most educated individual in the world cannot deny that a biological man and a biological woman are required in order to procreate. Since procreation is required in order for a species, like mankind, to exist longer than a generation, the natural law states that a man and a woman are required for the continuation of a species and as a result that law is inherently existent in nature. In other words, this is not a man-made law, it exists outside of man.

This natural law is therefore clear that anything other than a heterosexual orientation is wrong. However, if you try to argue this with someone that promotes homosexuality as natural and acceptable, you will likely be met with various reasons why they consider it ok. Perhaps one of those is that man has "evolved" to the point where heterosexuality is not necessary for those that don't have that orientation to procreate. There's other methods at this point in time that allow homosexuals to...acquire children.

This is only one example, but as you can see even the natural law degenerates because there's nothing to hold people accountable to it. Yes, if literally every human being went against this natural law, eventually mankind would cease to exist. But you wouldn't see that result in your lifetime even if that occurred, and that's likely one of the reasons man has designated homosexuality acceptable. If consequences are not tangible, there's no motivation to follow the law.

What are we really talking about here? Lawlessness, of course. "But Rob, we have so many laws. What do you mean, lawlessness? It's more like law-overabundance-ness!" Laws that change in the wind, or according to what society considers acceptable at any given time, are no laws at all. If one day something is against the law, and the next that law is repealed and that thing is no longer against the law, how was it ever considered a law? Right and wrong are not dependent on time, but in that case if one day something was wrong and the next it was not, how could it ever have been wrong to begin with?

That may seem like a completely off-topic rabbit hole considering our title for this week, but as this lawlessness increases chaos will increase. And when chaos increases, more and more people will begin to search for meaning and for answers to their questions of "why is this happening?" and "what is the purpose of all this?" or "if I can't even count on what's right or wrong from day to day, what can I count on?" Nobody will have adequate answers to these questions except believers.

Have you ever looked at the word "gospel" and how it's used in scripture? There are three Greek words translated to gospel, and they all are based, in one way or another, off of the words eu and angelos. Eu means good, and angelos means messenger (many times translated to angel). This is where the word "evangelize" comes from, and Strong's tells us it means to announce good news.

This word does not occur in the Old Testament, and it also does not occur in the Hebrew versions of Matthew, Mark and John. The word itself actually comes from the old English godspel, which literally means "good message." But out of curiosity, let's see where the term "good news" occurs.

Good news is found in one verse of the Old Testament, and it says good news from a far country is like cold waters to a thirsty soul (Proverbs 25:25). I find that interesting, because the gospel we believers talk about today is actually good news from a far country! What's more interesting though, is that "good news" occurs only six times in the Hebrew Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. And out of those six times, only three line up with the use of the word "gospel" in the King James Version.

The first is when Jesus is talking about the tribulation. He states that the good news will be preached in all the world... (Matthew 24:14). The next is when Mark starts his writing by calling it "the good news of Yeshua Mashiach, the Son of Eloah" (Mark 1:1). The last one is when Yeshua scolded a group for speaking against the woman that anointed Him with expensive ointment (Mark 14:9).

For the rest of the 15 occurrences of "gospel" in the KJV gospels, the Hebrew versions have different words in the text. For example, for the very first occurrence it calls it the "report" of the heavenly kingdom (Matthew 4:23). And for the next one, it simply says "preaching the heavenly kingdom" (Matthew 9:35). An interesting couple is Mark 1:14-15, where it talks about Yeshua preaching in Galilee after John the baptizer was imprisoned.

"14-And after Yochanon was imprisoned, Yeshua came into Gelilah and preached the word of El, -15- and said, "The time of the kingdom of heavens is come, perform repentance and believe the word of El."

So the Greek version changed preaching the "word of God" to preaching the "gospel of God." For verse 15, it changes the "word of God" to the "good news."

Now, assuming the Hebrew was the original version of these writings, are the changes in the Greek malicious? I personally can't say for sure, but I do find it suspicious that terms like "word of God" were changed. But I do think we can learn from the few instances that the Hebrew and Greek line up for this particular concept.

For the instance in Matthew (Matthew 24:14), we don't really get a good idea of the definition of good news. There's nothing in the context that helps us identify what that news is. The other two provide some amplifying information, though. In reference to the anointing of Jesus, He said where this good news is reported people will tell you she did it in remembrance of Him. So, here we see the good news is directly related to Yeshua.

For the final reference, at the beginning of Mark, the writing says it is the good news of Yeshua Mashiach (Mark 1:1), and because of that we can confirm that the good news is specifically the news of Jesus. His life, death and resurrection.

To close, we need to remember the true meaning of the gospel. It's not the entire Bible and Strong's might have you believe. The term good news, or gospel, was thrown in many places that are not specifically about Jesus. Now, don't get me wrong, I think the entire Bible has good news throughout! I just think it's important to keep specificity and commonality across the usage of a certain word or term to provide clarity. The adding of this term across many other places in the New Testament obscures what the good news really is.

Shabbat shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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