I am trying to break apart the word evangelist, but I can't get past "angelos" no matter how I twist it or turn it. I found the word "evangel" and looked it up on myetymology.com, but it just gave me angelos. So how does evangel break apart? And what is the greek word for the message the angelus carries? Or is that the key (-os vs -us)?


2 Answers 2


In the sense proclaimer of the gospel, the OED derives it from the Greek εὐάγγελος (bringing good news), which in turn comes from the two elements εὖ (well) and ἀγγέλλειν (to announce).

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    Indeed, the usage dates at least as far back as the Greek New Testament. Consider, e.g., Mark 1:14-15: "Καὶ μετὰ τὸ παραδοθῆναι τὸν Ἰωάνην ἦλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεοῦ / καὶ λέγων ὅτι Πεπλήρωται ὁ καιρὸς καὶ ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ: μετανοεῖτε καὶ πιστεύετε ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ." ("Now after John was taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent, and believe in the gospel.'")
    – Phil N.
    Jan 31, 2012 at 20:55

As per Wiktionary: From Old French evangeliste, from ecclesiastical Latin evangelista, from ecclesiastical Ancient Greek εὐαγγελιστής (euangelistes, “bringer of good news”), from εὐαγγελίζεσθαι (“to evangelize”), from εὐάγγελος (euangelos, “bringing good news”), from εὖ (eu, “well”) + ἀγγέλλειν (angelein, “to announce”).


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