13 Top Verses Using “Evangelize” in 7 Languages

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The following lists the top New Testament verses where the translators have determined to use the word “evangelize.” The totals are derived from the following 28 versions in five modern and two ancient languages that use “evangelize” at least once (for a combined total of 312/1540 fifty-five NT uses, or about 20%).

  • 10 French Versions: LeFebvre, Olivétan, Louvain, Genève, Martin, Ostervald, Darby, Segond, Nouvelle Segond Revisée, and La Colombe;
  • 7 English Versions: Wycliffe 1st and 2nd editions, Etheridge, Darby, Douai-Rheims, Holman Christian Standard, and MacDonald Idiomatic;
  • 5 Portuguese Versions: J Ferreira (1969 and 1993), Sagrada, Corrigida Fiel, Modern;
  • 3 Italian Versions: Buona Novella, Geneva Nuova Riveduta, San Paolo;
  • 1 Spanish Version: Castelian;
  • + 2 Ancient Versions: Latin Vulgate and Occitan (13th Century).

[I have used an existing English translation below when available]

15 total combined uses:

Acts 8:40 (Holman), “Philip appeared in Azotus, and he was traveling and evangelizing all the towns until he came to Caesarea.”

14 total combined uses:

1 Cor 1:17 (Holman), “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to evangelize—not with clever words, so that the cross of Christ will not be emptied of its effect.”

13 combined total uses:

Luke 4:18 (Etheridge), “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he hath anointed me to evangelize to the poor, And hath sent me to heal the contrite in heart, To proclaim to the captives release, And to the blind, vision, And to assure the contrite by remission.”

12 combined total uses:

Acts 8:25 (Holman), “Then, after they had testified and spoken the message of the Lord, they traveled back to Jerusalem, evangelizing many villages of the Samaritans.”

11 combined total uses:

Acts 14:21 (Holman), “After they had evangelized that town and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, to Iconium, and to Antioch.”

Acts 16:10 (Holman), “After he had seen the vision, we immediately made efforts to set out for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to evangelize them.”

2 Cor 10:16 (Etheridge), “and be progressive also beyond you to evangelize. Not as within the measure of others in the things that are prepared will we glory.”

10 combined uses:

Luke 9:6 (Wycliffe 1st), “Sothli thei gon out, cumpassiden bi castels, euangelisinge and heelinge euerewhere.”

Luke 20:1 (Etheridge), “And it was on one of the days, while he taught the people in the temple and evangelized, the chief priests and scribes with the elders rose up against him.”

1 Cor 9:16 (Wycliffe 1st, second use), “Forwhi if I schal preche the gospel, glorie is not to me, forsoth nede lith to me; forsoth wo to me, if I schal not euangelise.”

Gal 4:13 (McDonald), “You know that in the beginning of our relationship when I evangelized you, I did so while being physically debilitated.”

Eph 2:17 (Johnston), “And He came and evangelized peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near”

1 Pet 4:6 (Etheridge), “For on this account the dead also have been evangelized; that they might be judged as men in the flesh, and live with Aloha in the Spirit.”

The reader will note the impact of the Geneva presses of Estienne and Crespin during the Protestant Reformation. Geneva published and still publishes Bibles in a variety of Southern European languages impacting Bible translation in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, as well as in French.

This author was not able to find any German Bibles that used the verb evangelize.

*Data gleaned from a revision of two available charts: “A Translation History of Translating Evangelize as Evangelize” and “A Study of the Translation of Evangelize in Other Modern Romance Lanugages”; available at: http://www.evangelismunlimited.com/documents/evangelizology/evangelizology-2014-chapter-07.pdf; pages 354-362.

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Ode to a Street Preacher

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Keep Pressing On!

“For you have need of endurance,

So that when you have done the will of God,

You may receive what was promised.”

Hebrews 10:37

Standing on the sidewalk

Sharing Jesus Christ

With passers by

Tears running down his face—

Few seemed to care,

He wondered why.

Angry looks of hatred,

Eyes of steel hiding

Hearts of stone.

Anxious look of longing

Shows a searching heart,

Open to the Lord!

Samuel, my friend,

Don’t you get yourself discouraged,

He never said that there would be no pain.

Keep pressing on,

Don’t you stop your persevering,

The love of Christ is everybody’s gain.

Three Amazing Uses of the Verb “Evangelize” in the HCSB

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The editors, translators, and publisher of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) are to be congratulated for their pioneering spirit as concerns the translation of the verb “evangelize” in the HCSB.

The HCSB is the only English language translation to use the English verb “evangelize” more than twice since John Wycliffe’s first edition of 1382. It is truly a phenomenal breakthrough worthy to be celebrated.

In Wycliffe’s first edition, Wycliffe translated 36 of the 43 Latin uses of evangelizo as “evangelize” in English. In actuality, the Greek New Testament (NT) used at that time had 55 uses of the verb evangelize—an exact transliteration of evangelizo.

After Wycliffe died in 1384, another version was given his name, the “Wycliffe” second edition of 1388. In this second edition uses of the verb “evangelize” were reduced to only 3 uses. After the Protestant Reformation, when William Tyndale translated the NT from the Greek as the original (Wycliffe translated from the Latin), Tyndale used a variety of verbs to translate “evangelize” from the Greek. He primarily used “preach,” but he also used “preach the gospel”, “show”, “bring tidings”, “bring glad tidings”, and “declare”. Tyndale did not ever use the verb “evangelize.” Other Reformation era translations continued in this practice: the Bishops, the English Geneva, and then the King James Version.

Tyndale’s decision, not to use the verb evangelize, has continued to influence all English translations up until the HCSB. The HCSB includes the verb seven times in its 2009 edition. When I first held the HCSB NT in my hands at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary I was elated to see the verb “evangelize”! The following are three of my favorite uses of this verb to give a small taste of its importance in translation work.

“After he had seen the vision, we immediately made efforts to set out for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to evangelize them.” (Acts 16:10)

One of the classic uses of the verb “evangelize” in the NT has to be Paul’s Macedonian call. In Acts 16:6-8 Paul and his team were seeking God’s will for their mission trip—with closed doors, road blocks, and no permission to preach the word. Then came a vision in the night, a man from Macedonia asking for help. And, in a classic statement off the pen of Luke, Paul concluded from this vision that “God has called us to evangelize them!” The HCSB provides Christians a powerful statement of Paul’s view of mission by translating this verb as “evangelize.”

“My aim is to evangelize where Christ has not been named, so that I will not build on someone else’s foundation.” (Rom 15:20)

Here at the close of the Book of Romans, Paul continued to describe his sense of mission. His aim was literally to “Go where no man had ever gone before” with the gospel. He did not want only to go with the gospel, but to verbally proclaim it. His aim was “to evangelize” where the Christ’s name had never been uttered or heard. That evangelizing should be at the heart of Christian world missions is infused in this text by the excellent translation work of the HCSB.

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to evangelize—not with clever words, so that the cross of Christ will not be emptied of its effect.” (1 Cor 1:17)

A third amazing use of “evangelize” in the HCSB is found in 1 Corinthians 1:17. In this verse Paul places evangelism above the first ordinance of Christ, which is Baptism. Paul makes a statement of priority. In his mind, evangelizing was more of a priority than Baptism. This statement then begs for definition. What is evangelizing in relation to Baptism? Evangelizing is the proclamation of the gospel leading to the first hearing of faith of the person being evangelized. Or, in the order of Matthew’s Great Commission, evangelizing is found between the “going” and the “making of a disciple.” After a disciple is made, then the decision is made public through Baptism.

Three amazing uses of “evangelize” in the HCSB. This translation has pioneered a new era in English language translation by unearthing a term that was effectively buried since the 1388. 619 years of English Bible translation history were altered when the HCSB used the English verb “evangelize” seven times*—Amen!

*The seven uses are: Acts 8:25, 40; 14:21; 16:10; Rom 15:20; and 1 Cor 1:17.

An Awakening of Good Christian Music

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Yesterday I was staining our back deck and listening to the music on my iPhone. As I listened, several things happened: (1) my mind was set at ease; (2) my heart was lifted to the throne room of God; and (3) I became very grateful to the wide range of Christian music that the Lord has allowed our generation to hear and enjoy.

Several years ago John MacArthur came and spoke at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for the Spurgeon Lectures. In one of his sermons he expressed that in his estimation we are in the midst of a Christian revival or Awakening and may not be aware of it. He cited the numbers of people listening to his sermon podcasts from all over the world, then referencing that he is not the only Evangelical pastor whose sermons are being downloaded and listened to all across the globe.

While the spoken Word is definitely the primary agency through which is communicated the things of God, I want to give a shout out today for the Word in song!

One of the more impactful songs that I heard yesterday was Jeremy Camp’s “Revive Me.” It sounded like a song taken right out of the Book of Psalms. I also enjoyed Blue Highway’s “Wondrous Love,” which I had newly added to my collection.

During my listening session while staining, I also heard Kings Kaleidoscope’s “One Righteous Man,” Lecrae’s “Real Talk,” several portions from Handel’s Messiah, Sebastien Demrey’s and Jimmy Lahaie’s “Cherchez D’Abord,” and John Swaim’s “Brethren We Have Met to Worship.”

Yes, we live in a blessed generation. Not only is good preaching available to us at the touch of a screen, but we also have God-glorifying music available to us as well. I agree with John MacArthur. We are living in the midst of an Awakening of Christianity, facilitated by the availability of good preaching and good singing!