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Mark 1:15

"...The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel". ESV. My emphasis.

In Mark 1:15 Jesus was near, or at, the beginning of His ministry. In the next verse, Mark 1:16, He is calling His first disciples. So towards the beginning of His ministry Jesus says "the gospel".

From 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

"Now I would remind you, of the gospel I preached to you...3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,".

For Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 "the gospel" is to do with Christ dying, being buried and raised. But in Mark 1:15 before Christ dies, is buried and raised, Jesus says "believe in the gospel".

What does "the gospel" mean in Mark 1:15?

Edit: This question is about how Jesus used the particular word here translated as "gospel" in a particular verse, Mark 1:15. Luke 18:31-34 does not contain this word.

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    I suggest that any answer has to incorporate the key text of Galatians 3:8 in which the gospel is preached to Abraham (in the light of the foreseen justifying of the heaven through faith) saying 'In thee shall all nations be blessed'. The blessing of the gospel is related to justification by faith which is more than 'forgiveness' : it is a matter of the righteousness of God.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 6, 2023 at 19:05
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    @Nigel Following your comment re:Abraham. Are you saying that in Mark 1:15 Jesus is challenging His hearers to believe what they have already been told in the O.T.? e.g.If they had believed Isaiah 52 ["he has redeemed Jerusalem"] they would have already believed the good news/gospel?
    – C. Stroud
    Feb 7, 2023 at 10:15
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    I would prefer to focus on Abraham, myself. And the further revelation in Paul's gospel of the righteousness of God being revealed. The gospel is the power of God . . . . . because therein is the righteousness of God revealed. And that points us back to Abraham. I would say. (As @Anne has answered ).
    – Nigel J
    Feb 8, 2023 at 1:05

13 Answers 13

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He says "good news", and right before this statement, he explains what it is: "The time is complete (it is time) and the kingdom of God is at hand." That is the good news that he is commanding to believe/trust.

Both "good news" and "gospel" are translations of the same underlying Greek word: evangelium (eu- "good", angelium "proclamation, announcement, news").

Gospel is such a funny word for a fairly simple idea.

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    @Daniel Ridings Thanks. Would it be relevant to your answer to expand on "good news"? e.g. Is there more than one "good news" or only one, THE gospel?
    – C. Stroud
    Feb 6, 2023 at 18:52
  • "Good news" is just a literal translation of the Greek. The news is good, depending on the context, so yes, there is more than one, though it might all add up to one large message. Jesus could not speak of things that had not yet happened, but the good news he was bringing. Paul had other good news. Though in the larger scheme of things, they might be the same. But then you get in to what is "the kingdom of God." Feb 6, 2023 at 21:24
  • I cannot find academic confirmation of this idea, but I have heard in sermons that newly crowned kings of powerful kingdoms would go on war campaigns the following spring, and send back "good news" from the war front of all the conquests. And that this is the intended sense here. Mark 1:1, but not 1:15, uses the Greek loanword evangelion even in the Aramaic New Testament possibly for this reason.
    – wberry
    Feb 7, 2023 at 16:53
  • Can you make it clearer why "good news" is relevant to "gospel"? (i.e.: that "gospel" is just "good news" in greek, the language the text was originally written in?) Many contributors will know this, but some readers may not.
    – MGOwen
    Feb 8, 2023 at 8:27
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    @DanielRidings sorry, I didn't mean explain it to me in a comment. I meant explain it in your answer. That crucial piece of info is missing from your answer. You sort of imply it, but it's unclear to anyone who doesn't already know it. Just trying to make your answer clearer and more comprehensible to a wider audience.
    – MGOwen
    Feb 9, 2023 at 9:25
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The verse properly interpreted says:

"...The time is fulfilled, and the rule of God is at hand; repent and believe in the good news of the victory of king Jesus"

The concept of gospel/good news (G2098. euaggelion / H1319. basar) is a simple one. Good news (euaggelion in LXX) is usually used in the OT in a connection with a military victory. Like in 2 Samuel 18.

Then Zadok’s son Ahimaaz said, “Let me run to the king with the good news that the LORD has rescued him from his enemies.”

Our king has defeated the enemy and is on his way back to Zion. That particular story is a contrast to the story of Jesus. The death of a rebellious son that hanged on a tree and was pierced brings peace to the whole Israel, and David is re-established as the king of the whole nation. The death of the obedient Son that was hanged on the tree of a cross and was pierced brings peace to the whole Israel of God and God is re-established as the king of not only heavens but also the earth.

It is that picture of the good news Isaiah had in mind when he wrote those famous scriptures:

You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”
See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. (Isaiah 40:9-11)

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.
Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God. (Isaiah 52:7-10)

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. (Isaiah 61:1)

The moment of Jesus' crucifixion was His enthronement, and the resurrection His victory over the devil. Paul and other apostles are the watchmen that spread the good news.

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    A brilliant case for evangelion viewed through a military lens. Thank you
    – wberry
    Feb 7, 2023 at 16:57
  • Excellent. I've long noted that the Gospels are not all good news. A lot of it is dedicated to the destruction of the Judeans in 70 AD/CE, reproofs, warnings, etc.
    – Ruminator
    Feb 8, 2023 at 21:35
  • What a pity the power of your last sentence seems to have been wasted on the above two commentators. "My Kingdom is no part of this word, otherwise..." as Jesus said. That truth was wasted on most of those who heard it back then.
    – Anne
    Feb 11, 2023 at 18:39
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Not to detract from the main point of the question (what the gospel means in this verse), I feel a need to start with the point about "believe" (this gospel). If there is clarity at the outset as to the role of belief, then the individual may gain vital insight into the actual gospel message. Whereas if it is the other way around - knowledge of what the message is, followed by believing it - something crucial could be missed.

Take the epitome of believing faith - Abraham. God told him to do something that could have undermined his belief (faith) in God's promise that through the miracle child of promise, Abraham would become father to many nations. Yet such was Abraham's trust in God's promise, he reckoned God would resurrect the lad back to life if he kept faith with God's command, doing it - Hebrews 11:17-19. Abraham was not told this. In faith, he reckoned that God's command would not negate his promise, so without knowing exactly how God would deal with a sacrificed child of promise, he took the step of obedient faith. He did not know God was testing his faith until he was told to stop, and to use the ram caught in the thicket instead.

Take the way God's people were to be prepared to receive the Messiah in faith; John the Baptist told them to repent, and to be water baptised, in readiness for the promised One. They did not know what the Messiah's gospel message to them would be, for his ministry had not yet started. All they knew was that the messenger had come before Messiah, to prepare his way, and they were to repent and be baptised. Those who took that step of obedient faith were then prepared to receive the Messiah, and they did.

Time and again in the Bible, believing faith has to be exercised, then understanding comes. Clarity begins to shine through the confusing mists when there's a repentant heart and a desire to be obedient, irrespective of not understanding what's really going on.

Now consider how human nature resists this way of God - the way of the gospel. People want to have knowledge of what's entailed, what the details are of the plan, and then they will decide whether they are prepared to go along with it.

This means that the answer to your question is that when the person is prepared (by a humble, obedient desire to please God), then they will take the step of faith first, and understanding of what, exactly, the gospel is, will break through. All they have to know is that Jesus, in his person, IS the good news and he is to be followed, no matter what. All they have to know is that Jesus is the Son of God (in the way Peter did in Matthew 16:13-17) and believe that, then the magnitude of the gospel will break into their lives.

Yes, there is a basic minimum of what is to be believed, as stated in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, and that minimum is based on believing Jesus to be the Son of God who died and was raised back to life, that sinners trusting in what he did will be pardoned and live eternally, in Christ. However, just knowing the facts will never result in salvation. After all, the demons believe there is one God - and shudder. The demons had to obey Christ's commands when he walked on earth, knowing he could send them to eternal punishment with a word, instantly. It's not enough to know who Jesus is if you are not longing to follow him obediently. The heart has to be moved so that the step of faith (trust) in Jesus causes that repentance and following which is proof that the gospel has been believed.

The gospel in Mark 1:15 was Jesus telling those ones prepared by John the Baptist to follow him, for the kingdom of God was at hand, the time having been fulfilled. Once they believed that simple command, they would enter into the kingdom of God and discover Christ to be its king.

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  • Up-voted +1. Edifying and perceptive. Thank you.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 8, 2023 at 1:02
  • Probably it’s fair to state the opposite: Jews baptizing to achieve metanoia knew what they were doing it for. They knew the scripture and the prophecy. It is the ones that didn’t (want to) get baptized that Jesus had to convince.
    – grammaplow
    Feb 9, 2023 at 2:55
  • @grammaplow Metanoia is the changing of the mind; a new understanding comes in. J the B never mentioned forgiveness of sins but confession of them. His baptism was unto remission of sins. In itself it did not actually remit them. Under his ministry sins are exposed, confessed, after which Messiah of the Covenant will be recognized and followed. Jesus did not strive to convince anybody of anything. He came preaching the gospel with full authority and power. Those prepared by Jn to receive him had their minds changed with a fresh understanding wherein the seed of the kingdom of heaven took root.
    – Anne
    Feb 9, 2023 at 14:13
  • Thanks for your comment! In order to add to the conversation I'd need to see how your comment opposes my statement. I see just one sentence I can reflect on: "Jesus did not strive to convince anybody of anything." Convince: cause (someone) to believe firmly in the truth of something. bing.com/search?q=define+convince&form=DCTRQR Obviously this was exactly what he was doing. Whether he strove or did so without effort is not something I wanted to argue. Maybe you could clarify which other statements of mine you explicitly oppose so I can react too?
    – grammaplow
    Feb 9, 2023 at 20:19
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    @grammaplow Comments are not for instigating 'conversations' but you could, ideally, post a question on this yourself, if you wish to pursue the matter of whether Jesus strove to convince people of the gospel. Just let me know if you do that, then I could look at your question and seek to provide a detailed answer. We may disagree on some points, but I am not opposed to you. I respect your right to hold to different views.
    – Anne
    Feb 10, 2023 at 14:07
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I agree that Paul defines the "Gospel", εὐαγγέλιον, very clearly in 1 Cor 15:3-7 as:

  • that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures
  • that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
  • and that He appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once ...

However, the word εὐαγγέλιον has several shades of meaning as listed by BDAG, namely:

  1. God's good news to humans, similar to Paul's definition above, eg, Mark 1:15, 8:35, 10:29, Rom 1:16, etc
  2. details relating to the life and ministry of Jesus, eg, Mark 1:1

Note that Mark uses this noun in these two senses within 15 verses, namely"

  • V1 - Mark's book about the life of Jesus
  • V14 - preaching of the gospel = good news of God's salvation in Jesus Christ
  • V15 - the good news of God's salvation in Jesus Christ

Note that for Mark, there is a distinction between the two types of preaching:

  • John's preaching of repentance from sins, Mark 1:4-8
  • Jesus preaching of the gospel of good news about God's salvation in Christ, Mark 14, 15.

It is later in Mark's gospel account that his gospel tells of Jesus death for our sins (Mark 14, 15), and resurrection on the third day (Mark 16). Thus, there is no conflict between Mark's gospel and Paul's gospel.

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As others have pointed out, the Greek word used in Mark (and elsewhere) is εὐαγγέλιον (euangelion). The root of the Greek word is related to the verb ἀγγέλλω (angellō), meaning "to tell". Other related words are ἀγγελία (angelia) - message or news - and ἄγγελος (angelos) - messenger, also translated as "angel".

The prefix εὐ (eu) in Greek conveys "good", so that εὐαγγέλιον is rightly translated as "Good News".

The English word "Gospel" comes from a contraction of the Old English words gōd - meaning "good" - with spell - meaning story (see, e.g. Mark 1:15 in the Wessex Gospels). Some might be familiar with the Jewish-American expression "a good spiel". The expression comes from Yiddish' Germanic roots and means and sounds almost the same as the Old English gōdspell - a "good story".

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I propose that the answer is to be found in the next chapter; "My son, your sins are forgiven" (Mark ch1v5)

Is this not the basic message of the post-Easter church? ""Through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you" (Acts ch13 v38)

It is not mentioned in the 1 Corinthians quotation, but it is the implied end-result of the 1 Corinthians quotation. Christ died for us and was raised from the dead, and therefore our sins are forgiven.

The only difference between the two messages is that Jesus does not cite his own coming death as the key factor. The people who hear Jesus directly are to believe their sins are forgiven "because I say so" (in effect). That is surely the good newsthat the penitent woman has believed (Luke ch7 vv36-50), "Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much" (v47). That is, she loved much because she knew already she was forgiven, and her forgiven sins were so many. The declaration "Your sins are forgiven" in the next verse only confirms the grateful conviction that brought her to his feet. That would be the reason why Jesus says in another version (Mark ch14 v9) that the story of this action would be told "wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world".

The "good news" taught by Jesus is the same "good news" as in the rest of the New Testament. That is, forgiveness of sin.

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    You make a good point that, initially, individuals were to receive the forgiveness of their sins upon Jesus' word that they were forgiven. Just as Abraham believed God. And there was evaluated to Abraham unto righteousness as saith the scripture. Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 6, 2023 at 19:13
  • What is the "post-Easter church"?
    – user33515
    Feb 12, 2023 at 16:34
  • Just the church, which came into existence afer the events of that first Easter when Jesus died and rose from the dead. I was anticipating the point being made in the last paragraph., that Jesus did not, apparently, mention his own death when he was offering forgiveness. So the pre-Easter teaching of forgiveness did not incorporate that connection, and the post-Easter teaching could. Feb 12, 2023 at 17:11
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The quandary that C. Stroud was faced with could easily have been solved by not skipping over the very first verse of this chapter in Mark. Mark wrote:

The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God

Mark started with the beginning of the Gospel and Paul filled in the subsequent details in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Mark presented foresight and Paul gave hindsight. There is no contradiction, at all.

Notice that Mark ties the Gospel in with the imminent arrival of the Kingdom of God. All the benefits of the Gospel could not be realized without the Authority to implement them. The coronation of Jesus with all the royal accouterments and authority accomplished this! There is no doubt that Jesus had in mind the prophecy in Daniel 7:13,14, where the Son of Man was to be endowed with authority, glory, and sovereign power. Jesus referred to Himself repeatedly as this Son of Man over 80 times, to emphasize this reality.

Just before His ascension, Jesus reaffirmed His royal power, and gave full endorsement of the Gospel for all nations to receive. (Matthew 28:18) It is this Full Gospel, which included now the redemptive death and empowering resurrection of Jesus, that Paul was wont to evangelize to the cities of Greece and Asia Minor. (1 Cor. 15:1-4, Romans 1:16)

GOOD NEWS

Far beyond the ancient meaning of "good news of a military victory" the N.T. conjoins the Gospel to a plethora of amazing Christian graces:

  • Gospel of Jesus Christ - 2Th.1:8
  • Gospel of grace - Acts 20:24
  • Gospel of His Son - Rom. 1:9
  • Gospel of salvation - Eph. 1:13
  • Gospel of peace - Eph. 6:15
  • Gospel of Blessed God - 1Tim. 1:11
  • Gospel everlasting - Rev. 14:6
  • Gospel of Kingdom - Mt. 4:23

Moreover, this good news is emphasized more in the original Greek than is apparent in modern English translations. The "euanggelion" (evangel) is used 77 times in the N.T. The verb form (evangelize) is used 55 times. This fact is obscured by being placed under the blanket of "preaching." Paul did as much evangelizing as he did preaching! (Check the Greek Interlinear Bible, then put an "E" next to each verse in your personal Study Bible where evangelism is mentioned. It will add a new dimension to your N.T. exposition!)

In summary, the Gospel of the Kingdom began with the ministry of Jesus (who was then soon to be coronated King), and this Good News is now evangelized worldwide by His disciples who are ambassadors in His Kingdom. This is Good News indeed!

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Though Paul and Barnabas were the apostles appointed for the Gentiles, it was Peter who introduced the entry of the Gentiles. It is described in detail in Acts chapter 10.

Gospel Identified

In his inaugural speech beginning in verse 34, Peter gives clear hints to identify the real Gospel:

  1. God sent the Gospel through Jesus Christ (verse 36).
  2. It was sent to the children of Israel originally (verse 36).
  3. It began after the time of John the Baptist (verse 37).
  4. It started out in Galilee and spread throughout Judea (verse 37).

This is exactly how Mark describes the beginning of the Gospel!!

  1. John the Baptist is arrested (Mark 1:14).
  2. “Jesus came into Galilee” (verse 14).
  3. Proclaimed the true Gospel God sent through Him (verse 14).
  4. We know from the gospels that Jesus proclaimed this Gospel to the children of Israel only (Matthew 15:24) which culminated in His death in Jerusalem, the capital of Judea.

Mark identifies the true Gospel of God as “the gospel of the kingdom of God” (verse 14) that “draws near” (verse 15).

A World Government

The kingdom of God is nothing but a coming one “World Government” under the leadership of Jesus Christ with the capital in Jerusalem, “the city of the great King” (Matthew 5:35) ruling over the entire planet Earth! This is in clear reference to Daniel 2:44-45. This is a political (as real as the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman empires yet will “destroy all these kingdoms” – verse 44) yet spiritual empire that will subdue all the political countries of the then world!

The holy patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and saints will rule the world under Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords (1 Corinthians 6:2; Matthew 8:11; Matthew 19:28).

Not of the World

Yes, the Kingdom of God is not of this world, Jesus said. This is exactly what Daniel also wrote: “the stone” – the Kingdom of God – “was cut out of the mountain without human hands” – not of this world (Daniel 2:45; ISV). It means this world government will not be originated with any human initiative (i.e., of the world) but it will be originated and controlled entirely by God (i.e., of Heaven)!

However, any kingdom is worthless without a king. The king and the kingdom are interchangeable. So also the Kingdom of God, its King is Jesus. So the Kingdom of God involves the King also. This is clearly expressed by Peter in Acts 10 when he talks to the people in Cornelius’s house.

Two Parts

Thus the Gospel has 2 parts:

  1. “the things concerning the kingdom of God” and (Acts 8:12)
  2. “the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12)

Even towards the end of his life, Apostle Paul, who declared “there is no other gospel”, still speaks the same Gospel: “And having appointed him a day, more came to him in the lodging, to whom he expounded, earnestly testifying (1) the kingdom of God and persuading them (2) the things concerning Jesus” (Acts 28:23).

Again, “And Paul remained two whole years in his own rented place, and he welcomed all those coming in to him, (1)proclaiming the kingdom of God, and (2)teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 28:30-31).

P.S. Unfortunately, after the Catastrophe of Jerusalem in 70 AD, when people in vain expected the establishment of the Kingdom, the fervor for the Kingdom waned and ultimately the first part of the Gospel – the literal Kingdom of God – was swept under the rug and only the second half of the Gospel – the things concerning Jesus – is proclaimed today in the world!!

However, Jesus prophesied that the particular Gospel of the Kingdom of God (i.e., the first part of the gospel) will be revived in a large way all over the world just before the End of the Age begins (Matthew 24:14).

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Op asked;

"What does "the gospel" mean in Mark 1:15

"The word gospel is from Eu-Anggelion. The prefix Eu is translated by the words well and good. Second part of the word is Anggelia denotes a message. This word Is usually translated "gospel," Which means simply and only, a message of good news.
◄ 2095. eu ►
eu: well
Original Word: ε
Strong's Greek: 2095. εὖ (eu) — 6 Occurrences
See Englishman is concordance for the six times this word is used.

The second part of the word, Anggelia, denotes a message by means of a language.

And this is the message (Anggelia) which we have heard from Him... For this is the message (Anggelia) Which you hear from the beginning (1 John 1:5 and 3:11).

These two Greek words. Eu and Anggelia combined form the compound word, EUANGGELIA or EUANNGELION, Which means in a literal English, Well- message or Good message. In our Bible the word is usually translated "gospel" which simply and only a message of good news.

It has been inconsistently and confusedly translated in our King James Bible by the following words and phrases:

"Gospel" (Mk.1:15; Acts 20:24; Rom. 1:16; Eph; 1:13
"Glad tidings" Luke 1:19)
"Good tidings" Luke 2:10; 1 Thes. 3:6
"Preached" Acts 17:18; 1 Cor. 15:1),
"Preacheth" Gal. 1:23
"Preaching" (Luke 8:1; Acts 8:12; 10:36).
"Declared" (Rev. 10:7)

The word EU ANGGELION, WELL-MESSAGE in the scriptures to announce, Communicate, Or make no difference messages of good news," Some of which are not concerned with salvation."
From the book The Gospel of Our Salvation by Adlai Loudy

Now to answer the question what is the meaning of the gospel, The good news or good message In Mark 1:15.

The first verse in Mark 1 gives us context. We see that this good news or gospel Goes back to a prophecy in Isaiah 40:1-3

1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, 3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” 4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Comfort for the people who have suffered is now at hand.

Comfort for God’s People
1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:1-3)

God's people, Israel had 400 years of silence from God and now this incredibly good news for them has come.

"The 400 Years of Silence" is the name given to the period of time between the last of the Old Testament prophets and the arrival of Jesus in the New Testament. It began with Malachi's prediction of Elijah's return (Malachi 4:5-6) circa 430 BC and ended with its metaphorical fulfillment: the coming of John the Baptist circa 6—4 BC.
"What were Israel's 400 years of silence?"

It starts with John the Baptist and the baptism of Israel to repent from their sins and then to reveal Jesus to them. The kingdom of heaven is now very close at hand… This is what they have been longing for.

World English Bible Now after John was taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Good News of God’s Kingdom,

Young's Literal Translation And after the delivering up of John, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of the reign of God, Mark 1:14

So they were to believe the good news that the reign of God or the kingdom of heaven was at hand and it was Jesus who they were to listen to… Believe him! John the Baptist had prepared the way for Him and now Jesus is who they are to listen to.

So remember it had been 400 years where they had suffered quite a bit. Their time of suffering has been fulfilled and it's over! This was incredibly good news for them to hear.

The time between the last writings of the Old Testament and the appearance of Christ is known as the “intertestamental” (or “between the testaments”) period. It lasted from the prophet Malachi’s time (about 400 BC) to the preaching of John the Baptist (about AD 25). Because there was no prophetic word from God during the period from Malachi to John, some refer to it as the “400 silent years.” The political, religious, and social atmosphere of Israel changed significantly during this period. Much of what happened was predicted by the prophet Daniel. (See Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8, and 11 and compare to historical events.) Got questions

a. the glad tidings of the kingdom of God soon to be set up, and subsequently also of Jesus, the Messiah, the founder of this kingdom: Mark 1:15. Bible Hub

As a side note; There are eight different Messages of good news and one perverted gospel, which is not another.

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    @agarza Thanks for the edit!
    – Sherrie
    Feb 10, 2023 at 14:46
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Regarding the phrase και πιστευετε εν τω ευαγγελιω ("and believe the gospel") at Mark 1:15 (KJV, et al.):

  1. I found no ante-Nicene patristic comments on Mark 1:15.

  2. The phrase is seen in four (4) early Bibles; spec., Sinaiticus, Alexandrianus, Vaticanus, and Bezae Cantabrigiensis, c. 325-499 CE, and Washingtonianus, AKA the Freer Gospels, c. 375-499 CE).

  3. The phrase is absent in MT 4:17, 10:7.

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"The gospel" in Mark 1:15 is in the context of Christ's words, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." It's necessary to understand what time the Lord is talking about, in order to see what "the gospel" here means. So, What time is He talking about?

In Daniel 9:24-27, the angel Gabriel told Daniel:

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: ... 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; ... 27 And he (that is, the Messiah) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease ...

The link between the 70 weeks of Daniel and the time Jesus spoke of is this: Christ was crucified, "cut off," at the end of the 69th week of years. After his resurrection, he "confirm(ed) the covenant with many for one week" (of years), during which week Saul of Tarsus was saved and became the apostle Paul, Christ's apostle to us Gentiles. So, when Jesus said "the time is fulfilled," that was at the beginning of his 2-year ministry (see references to the 3 Passovers leading up to his crucifixion, John 2:13, 6:4, and 11:55) and was the end of the 5th year of the 69th week of years, according to Daniel's prophecy.

The gospel, (or, the good news Jesus preached,) as shown in Romans 1:1-7 and I Corinthians 1:17-2:16, for example, was Christ crucified, whom God raised from the dead the third day: Christ being the Son of David, as Mary his mother was of the house and lineage of David (Luke 3:23-32), and being the Son of God, as the Lord Jesus was conceived in her womb by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18).

That therefore is the gospel of the kingdom of God, the gospel that Jesus preached, the gospel which he called us to believe, and the gospel he commanded us to obey, as it is written, "Repent ye, and believe the gospel."

Why does the call to repent and believe the gospel of the kingdom of God continue to go forth? Seeing that the Lord Jesus' 2-year ministry was about showing infallible proofs that he was the Messiah, according to the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures that preached of him (Luke 24:44-48); and that his 40-day ministry after his resurrection was likewise showing many infallible proofs that he, the Messiah, the Anointed, the Christ, had fulfilled all that the prophets and the law of Moses prophesied of him before he ascended to the right hand of God our Father in heaven, and began his reign in his everlasting kingdom (Luke 24:49-53, Acts 1:1-3, Revelation 1:5, Psalm 2); and that, one day, Christ shall return in the clouds of heaven, the same way he ascended up into heaven, to judge the living and the dead (Acts 1:9-11, 17:22-31); the call continues to go forth, to repent of our sins, to turn from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come. (I Thessalonians 1:9-10)

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“Gospel” or “good news” in the context of Mark 1 is that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, baptism by the Holy Spirit, John the Baptist was the prophet foretold by the prophet Isaiah, that the Kingdom of God has come, the time is near, repent and believe. The biblical meaning of the gospel will develop as the stories continue. The authors of the Gospels combined their knowledge of Judaism, the Roman Imperial Cult, and Greek religion into Jesus to create the “gospel” of salvation that replaced the religions of Judaism, Greece, and Romans.

Gospel was also a word used in the Greek and Roman religions. Combining how the Greek and Roman religions understood the word creates the Biblical character of Jesus being both man and god and a sacrifice,

Wikipedia: The gospel

In Ancient Greek religion the word εὐαγγέλια means a sacrifice offered for good tidings or good news.
. . .
The Roman Imperial cult celebrated the gospel of the August One or Divus Augustus, a mythologized version of the first Roman emperor Octavian, also known as Augustus Caesar. Augustus was both a man and a god, "a savior who has made war to cease and who shall put everything in peaceful order."

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In a theological context, it is possible to propose a connection between the words of John the Baptist, recorded in John 1:15-37, and the initial proclamation of Jesus as recorded in Mark 1:15. This proposition suggests that John the Baptist's testimony served as a proto-gospel, an anticipation of the complete message that Jesus would later proclaim during his ministry.

The basis for this thesis finds support in a passage from the letters of Ignatius, notably in his Epistle to the Philadelphians. IGNATIUS, Letters. To the Philadelphians, LCL 24: 286-287,

5.2. καὶ τοὺς προφήτας δὲ ἀγαπῶμεν, διὰ τὸ καὶ αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον κατηγγελκέναι καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν ἐλπίζειν καὶ αὐτὸν ἀναμένειν, ἐν ᾧ καὶ πιστεύσαντες ἐσώθησαν, ἐν

5.2 2. And we should also love the prophets, because their proclamation anticipated the gospel and they hoped in him and awaited him. And they were saved by believing in him, because they stood in

Ignatius argues that the prophets should be loved not only because of their own messages but also because, through their proclamations, they anticipated the gospel. These prophets placed their hope in Jesus and awaited his coming. Most significantly, Ignatius asserts that the prophets were saved by faith in Jesus, establishing a vital connection between their messages and the salvation provided through belief in the Messiah.

By applying this perspective to John the Baptist's testimony, it becomes plausible to consider that his words were not only immediate preparation for the arrival of Jesus but also a preview of the broader message he would bring. John the Baptist, as a precursor, played the crucial role of presenting the essential elements of the gospel, including the call to repentance and belief in the Kingdom of God, as expressed in Mark 1:15.

Thus, the line of continuity between the prophets, John the Baptist, and Jesus establishes a cohesive foundation for understanding the gospel. The prophets, by anticipating the coming of Jesus and placing their hope in him, were indeed implicitly proclaiming the message that would be fully revealed in the teachings and work of Jesus. In this context, John the Baptist's testimony can be seen as a concrete manifestation of this proto-gospel, paving the way for the transformative words of Jesus recorded in Mark 1:15.

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