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To underscore the unique anointed ministry of Evangelists as one of the legitimate 5-fold ministries in Christianity alongside pastors, (Eph. 4:11) should the verb, "euangelidzo," be translated as evangelize," instead of the common translation, "preach" or "proclaim" as it is in Acts 5:42?

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    What is/are the five-fold ministry of Christianity? There more than 20 spiritual gifts listed in the NT. What verse are you considering? Further, the verb is "euangelizo". I think you have mis-spelled it above.
    – Dottard
    Feb 8, 2023 at 22:51
  • (Dottard) Reference is to the five "leadership" gifts listed in Eph. 4:11, while still recognizing the important diversity of other giftings listed in Rom. 12:4-8 and 1 Cor. 12:27-30. The spelling is a transliteration phonetically: the double Gamma" has n preceding the g, and the zeta has a d sound before the z. (See the Greek-English Concordance by J.B. Smith, 1855.
    – ray grant
    Feb 10, 2023 at 20:38
  • Thank you for editing this so that it asks about the one verse, that's exactly what we want to see! While upholding the ministries of Ephesians 4:11 is important, most translators would say that accurately translating each text in its own right is the goal of translation. Acts 5:42 doesn't exist to remind us of Eph 4:11, and Eph 4:11 (written by a different person to a different audience) isn't immediately relevant to how Acts 5:42 should be translated. So that just leaves us with the question of what's the best way to translates Acts 5:42.
    – curiousdannii
    Feb 16, 2023 at 12:41
  • where is this word euangelidzo in the Greek or English NT?
    – Michael16
    Feb 16, 2023 at 14:25
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    (Michael) There are over a hundred times in the Greek N.T. some of which are Mt 11:4-5, Lu 2:10, 9:6, Acts 5:42, 8:36. Check a Greek Lexicon for a complete listing. This Greek word is obscured by modern translations which substitute "preach" in English instead of transliterating it.
    – ray grant
    Feb 16, 2023 at 21:17

2 Answers 2

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Most readers of the N.T. are unaware that the word, evangelize (euanggelidzo) is in common usage throughout. It is obscured by the translator committees' use of "preach" instead. To the modern mind "preach" conjures up the image of a man in robes (or three-piece suit) standing behind a pulpit, with a choir behind him, and a row of deacons on the front benches, in an air-conditioned church with flowers along the altar!

This was not the reality in the N.T. when it came to Evangelists. They were the "gumshoe" ministers who walked the streets and meandered through the marketplaces in search of lost sheep, discouraged minds, and wayward men and women. If the scriptures were differently translated, it would reflect this.

Note that the verb for evangelize occurs 135 times in the Bible, while the Greek word for pastoring only occurs 15 times (and only 4 times does it refer to pastoring (shepherding) a church! Also note that at the same time, the KJV ignores the word "evangelize, and uses the word "preach" 55 times to express it. As well, the ESV used the word "evangelize "0" (zero) times, and mentioned "preach" 84 times!

To show this discrepancy read a sampling of the N.T. scriptures using the word "evangelize":

Go show John again these things which you see and hear: the blind receive their sight...and the poor are evangelized. (Mt. 11:4-5)

And the angel said to them, "Fear not for behold I evangelize you with great joy... (Luke 2:10)

And they (the Twelve) went through the towns evangelizing and healing everywhere. (Luke 9:6)

And daily in the Temple, and in every house, they (Apostles) ceased not to teach and evangelize concerning Jesus Christ. (Acts 5:42)

Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and evangelized him (eunuch) concerning Jesus. (Acts 8:36)

So, as much as is in me, I am ready to evangelize you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the evangel of Christ (Romans 1:15-16)

For though I evangelize I have nothing to boast about, for necessity is laid upon me, yea, woe is me if I did not evangelize. (1 Cor. 9:16)

If we, or an angel from heaven, should evangelize contrary to what we evangelized you, let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:8)

There are so many more verses, which when translated from the evangelist's point of view, would shed a whole new light on the Christian ministry, wouldn't one say? In fact, would it be appropriate to aver that if Evangelists were deemed more valuable to the Church, pastors would gain vital help in serving their communities? But it can only come from an understanding gleaned from a correct translation of Greek words.

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    The problem with you suggestion is that "evangelize" has a unique English and Christian meaning that is not present in the original Greek which mean to "preach" or "proclaim", or "bring good news". It can be used for proclaiming other things than the gospel.
    – Dottard
    Feb 8, 2023 at 22:56
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    Lastly, "evangelize" in English often includes the idea of conversion which is also absent in the Greek meaning. The Greek simply means to bring good news, or preach.
    – Dottard
    Feb 8, 2023 at 22:57
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    I have up-voted both question and answer. I can see worth in the work you have done and I am edified (which is worth more than points). I trust you will not be put off and that you will further grace us with your labours, gently learning how the site operates and how it has to accommodate to the parameters of internet and open use.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 9, 2023 at 13:42
  • (Dottard) Tn interpreting the N.T. Greek, to the usage of Plato, Socrates, et al. , must be added the usage and implications of Jesus and His apostles when they co-opted a word. While it can be used for other decrees and proclamations, it was definitely used by the Lord to specifically announce the Gospel (euangelion) of the Kingdom. (Luke 3:18, 4:43). And that Jesus did expect a "conversion" associated with it is evidenced by His command: "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is near." (Mt. 4:17, Mk.1:15) Conversion of one's worldview is not a modern church invention.
    – ray grant
    Feb 10, 2023 at 20:55
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    What does it mean to "preach"? What does it mean to "evangelize"? Are they synonyms, or does each word have a separate meaning? In English, "preach" means to preach a sermon, and "evangelize" means to preach the Gospels and produce converts. NTL, and in early Christian bibles, c. 325-499 CE, the word recorded is ευαγγελιζομενοι (preaching the gospel); i.e., preaching the written teachings of a religious group which are generally accepted by that group. I conclude the apostles, daily, did preach sermons "in the temple," and did evangelize "in every house" (Acts 5:42 KJV). Feb 14, 2023 at 18:00
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The Greek word is from a root with two components.

From εὖ (G2095) and ἄγγελος (G32)

That first component can mean:

to be well off, fare well, prosper

acting well

Or, in the Strong's definition:

 εὖ eû, yoo; neuter of a primary εὖς eûs (good); 
 (adverbially) well:—good, well (done)

This is the word used in Jesus' depiction of the praise given to the faithful servant: "Well done" -- good and faithful servant.

That second component, ἄγγελος (ä'n-ge-los), means "angel" or "messenger."

Essentially, εὐαγγελίζονται/euangelizontai, which is a verb in the middle or passive voice in Greek, means one has been "well messaged", i.e. well taught.

Because one can teach in most any context, whether from the pulpit or on the street, whether in a classroom or beside one's sickbed, this word would apply to any context where the gospel is given or is taught. One interlinear supplies the expression are gospelized for the literal translation of the passive-voice form of this Greek word in Matthew 11:5.

While it is an older word which is less used in the same context today, publish comes close to the active-voice equivalent of this word. Nowadays, the word broadcast might be similar. But this is passive voice in Matthew 11:5, unlike in the other passages specified in the question, so in that verse a translation like "are taught (the gospel)" is more grammatically appropriate.

Where possible, consistency in the translation of a word should be maintained. Translations that use a variety of terms in the target language for the same word in the source language can be problematic in the sense that parallelism and continuity in the text are destroyed. The target language may sound more natural, but it conveys less of the original sense of meaning. This is one reason why the KJV so consistently uses a word like "preaching," even when the context may seem odd in English.

I would suggest that "the false impression that preaching from a pulpit was more important" is only an artifact of the English-language translation, and would not be applicable to the Greek context where the word has broad application.

Conclusion

Given today's understanding of the terms, "evangelize/evangelized" is a possible translation, provided that it conveys the essence of teaching or of sharing God's truth and love in any context, not merely from an "evangelistic campaign." The Greek word has broad application to any form of causing others to know (the truth).

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