As It Is Written . . .
The Monotheism of the Gospel
by Patrick Henry Reardon
The very notion of the “gospel,” the evangelion, lies so deep in Christian memory that it takes on a tautological quality, as it were: the gospel is the gospel. The “idea” of it is so integral to what we mean by “Christian” that the two concepts can hardly be dissected. We know that the evangelion has component parts, but these are so structurally intertwined that isolating them for analysis is nearly impossible and never convincing.
So how do we go about defining the evangelion? Probably we should identify the source of the word, the literary place where the early Christians found the idea. That source was the Greek version of Isaiah 40:9: “Ascend a high mountain, you evangelizer (evangelizomenos) of Zion. Raise your voice in strength, you evangelizer (evangelizomenos) of Jerusalem.”
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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).
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