|The angels visited the shepherds and announced|
'glad tidings.' But what would a 1st century
audience have taken those words to mean?
We often use the phrase “the Gospel” as short-hand for the message of personal salvation, and also a formula for how a person gets saved.
In his book What Saint Paul Really Said, Tom Wright suggests that this may be too small an understanding of the Gospel. In its original context, the “Gospel” included the message of personal salvation, but it also involved a lot more.
Tom Wright shows that the New Testament use of the phrase 'the gospel' (which essentially means 'good news' or 'glad tidings') is rooted both in Isaiah's prophecies as well as the political context of the 1st century Roman empire. Understanding this historical background is key to being able to correctly interpret the references to 'the gospel' that we find throughout the New Testament.
At least, that is what I suggested in an article I published this morning at the Colson Center. My article shows how the New Testament references to 'gospel' were drawing upon a background that may not be in place for us, leading us to misunderstand what the gospel even is. To read my article on this, click on the following link: