How is good news of military victory for the Romans a message that would have emanated from the Jews?
closed as unclear what you're asking by Monica Cellio, Jas 3.1, Dan♦, swasheck, Soldarnal Jul 24 '13 at 14:56
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Evangelion means simply "good news." The Greek comes from aggelion which simply means "message or news." (Note that two gammas together in Greek are pronounced as "ng.") The word in question has an "eu-" prefix which simple means "good." Thus, it is "good news."
Always start with the simple meaning. If it is good news of a military victory, that will be apparent from the context. In the NT, the word appears 77 times in 74 verses. According to Strongs, it is translated as
Now, let's look at the Tanak verses you give for the Septuagint ("1 Samuel 31:9 ; 2 Samuel 18:31 ; 1 Kings 1:42 ; but cf. 1 Samuel 4:17").
In all three of these verses, words from evangellion are used to translate the Hebrew verb basar, which simply means "bring a message, tell news, or give tidings." A noun form of the Hebrew word appears in 1 Samuel 4:17 (which you list as "compare for contrasting") and the messenger brings bad tidings.
Forms of basar appear 24 times in the Tanak. It is often used of a military victory, but that is not required. For example, in Psalm 40:9, the poet "preached righteousness" (see also Psalm 96:2, Isaiah 40:9, Isaiah 60:6, Nahum 1:15, and others). A very important verse is Isaiah 61:1.
This is important for two reasons. 1) basar is translated by euaggelion. 2) Jesus reads this verse at the commencement of his public ministry in Luke 4:18, 19.
What makes this significant and detrimental to Atwill's argument is that if Jesus had read on from Isaiah, the context does become something of a military victory, the day of the Lord's vengeance. Jesus stops in mid verse because He is not there for a military victory at this time (that comes later).
In short, if the message is about a military victory, then euangellion is referring to a military victory. However, the same word could be used to say that I got a raise or my son got out of the hospital. It's all context.