The Olympics will begin this Friday but not without reminder to a deeply respected Christian word: Euangelion.
One of the most long-running (pun intended) competitions in the Olympic games is the marathon race, which is based on the legend of messenger Pheidippides who ran 25 miles from Marathon to Athens and died immediately after proclaiming the word Nike, or victory.
In actuality, Pheidippides was sent from Athens to Sparta by the Athenian army to solicit help from the Spartan army in executing a strategy to defeat a Persian army, which had invaded Greece. He never reached Sparta in time and later died during a following run.
Where does Christianity come into the picture?
What the Athenian messenger ran to give glad tidings, or good news translated into the Greek word euangelion, which appears 76 tines in the New Testament. The verb euangelizo occus 54 times in the New Testament and means to bring or to announce good news.
The word Gospel which has been used to describe the four books written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is a translation of the Greek word Euangelion.
Christians have adopted the word euangelion to describe the good news of salvation and victory over evil brought to the world through the words, life, and sacrifice of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.