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Evangelization is that process in the Christian religion which seeks to spread the Gospel and the knowledge of the Gospel throughout the world. It can be defined as so:

the announcement of the Good News of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit with the goal of inviting all listeners to trust Him [1]
Dr. Alvin A. Low, Touching Lives for Eternity (Effective Evangelism), published by Lulu.com, p. 10.
In its precise sense, evangelization is the missio ad gentes directed to those who do not know Christ. In a wider sense, it is used to describe ordinary pastoral work, while the phrase “new evangelization” designates pastoral outreach to those who no longer practice the Christian faith.
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Doctrinal Note on some aspects of Evangelization, 12, 2007 [1]

The history of evangelization

The birth of Christian evangelization

At the beginning of his public ministry, it is recounted in the Gospel of St. Luke that Jesus

came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord." Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, "Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."
Gospel according to St. Luke, chapter 4, verses 16-21 (NAB)

The original Greek text, in the quotation from the prophet Isaiah, uses the verb εὐαγγελίσασθαι (euangelisasthai), which is a compound of εὐ (good) and αγγέλω (announce; from this same root the word angel is formed, an angel in fact is a messenger). Literally therefore Jesus proclaims to the assembly that the Spirit of the Lord anointed (and therefore appointed) me to evangelize the poor. Similarly the Latin vulgate uses the verb evangelizare, announce a good news. Jesus Christ is the first "evangelizer" as he defined himself, this is the mission for which the Father sent Him into the world.

At his birth, the angel that appeared to the shepherds in the field said to them,

Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news [A.N. lit., I evangelize you] of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord
Gospel according to Luke, chapter 2 verses 10-11 NAB

Similarly when the angel of the Lord announced to Zechariah that he would become the father of John the Baptist, he said:

I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news [A.N. lit., to evangelize you].
Gospel according to Luke, chapter 1 verse 19

See also

References

  • POPE PAUL VI, APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION EVANGELII NUNTIANDI, Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1975 [2]
  • CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, DOCTRINAL NOTE ON SOME ASPECTS OF EVANGELIZATION, 2007 [3]
cs:Evangelizaceia:Evangelisationja:福音伝道

no:Evangeliseringpt:Evangelização simple:Evangelization sk:Evanjelizácia fi:Evankeliointi tr:Evanjelizm zh:傳福音

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