The term gospel comes from the Old English for “good news” or “glad tidings.” It’s the direct translation of the Greek word euangelion, which literally means “good message.” Although it has come to refer to the story of Jesus’ life, its meaning during the first century was much broader. The gospel represented good news for a kingdom or empire in a variety of ways: a new king had been crowned, the king had defeated his enemies, or a new heir to the throne had been born. In any of these occurrences, messengers would be dispatched throughout the kingdom to proclaim the gospel, that is, the good news. It was also common practice for messengers to be dispatched following a battle to relay news of victory to an expectant king and country back home. In keeping with Christian tradition, the Gospel (capital “G”) refers to Jesus’ story, as recorded in the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, saying in Zion, “Your God reigns!”
– Isaiah 52:7