English blog

Good News-izing

10-09-2013 - Posted by Andre Piet

images7 The word “evangel” comes from the Greek (eu angelion) and means well-message, “good news”. In a little more than half of the cases in which this word occurs in the NT, it is used as a verb: evangelize. It is a noteworthy word, although its full meaning is not very well-known. The extension “ize” or “izing” is originally from the Greek conjugation (-izein) which is adopted (in one form or another) in many languages. Evangelizing is not necessarily the same as good-messaging, i.e., passing on a good message. It is much stronger. In English, we know many words ending with “ize” or “izing”.

  • psychologize = change by means of psychology
  • hypnotize = change in hypnosis
  • dramatize = change into drama
  • fossilize = change into fossil
  • traumatize = change into trauma
  • radicalize = change radically
  • mythologizing = change into a myth
  • etc.

The extension “ize” or “izing” indicates the effect that something brings about; indicating what it does. With this in mind, it is not difficult to understand also the verb evangelize or evangelizing. Evangelizing = change into evangel. The verb evangelize refers not only to an activity (passing on the evangel), but also to the effect that this has. If I tell my neighbour a message of very good news, then it has an effect on him. The first effect of a very good-news message is that it makes him happy! But the effect is even stronger: the neighbour himself becomes a good news message, or rather, a good news messenger. For example, whoever is told by the doctor to have been cured of a deadly disease, would want to shout this from the rooftops. Everyone needs to know this! Such a patient is by the doctor good-news-ized (with excuses for this strange word). That is an integral part of the meaning of evangelizing. One does not have to take a course to learn this. Neither does one have to be encouraged to do this. On the contrary, sometimes one needs to be held back a bit. The message that Paul preached among the nations was: the living God is the Savior of all mankind (1Tim.4:9-11)! This message good-news-izes us. Consequently, every believer of this good news would want to shout it from the rooftops!