Share this entry

gospel Line breaks: gos¦pel
Pronunciation: /ˈɡɒsp(ə)l/

Definition of gospel in English:


1 [in singular] The teaching or revelation of Christ: it is the Church’s mission to preach the gospel
More example sentences
  • As Paul preached the gospel of Jesus Christ, the words sank into Lydia's mind and heart.
  • Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring both temporal reconciliation and the hope of an eternal and heavenly inheritance to the Israeli and the Palestinian.
  • The gospel of God's love has come to us not simply as a written message or an oral announcement, but first of all as a person, a living word.
Christian teaching, Christ's teaching, the life of Christ, the word of God, the good news, Christian doctrine, the New Testament, the writings of the evangelists
1.1 (also gospel truth) [mass noun] A thing that is absolutely true: they say it’s sold out, but don’t take that as gospel
More example sentences
  • The problem with this situation is exactly what I just so cleverly alluded to - people who really don't have much to offer as far as opinions go attempt to pass off their ill-informed extended blurbs as gospel truth.
  • Besides, although I'm not a father I am a lawyer and I can assure you that you can take his submission as gospel truth, so to speak.
  • It seems trite now, but I hated the fact that everyone took the boys' stories as the gospel truth.
the truth, the whole truth, the naked truth, gospel truth, God's truth, the honest truth;
fact, actual fact, what actually/really happened, reality, actuality, factuality, the case, so, verity, a certainty
1.2A set of principles or beliefs: the gospel of market economics
More example sentences
  • Today, the enterprise of spreading the gospel of free markets is predicated on the iron fist of overwhelming American military power.
  • The Marxist Big Idea was a rigid gospel of economic rules, a one-solution-fits-all kitbag which every communist state used in very similar ways.
  • For the neoliberal gospel of free markets is something to be imposed on others.
doctrine, dogma, teaching, principle, ethic, creed, credo, theory, thesis, ideology, idea, ideal, position;
belief, tenet, canon, conviction, persuasion, opinion
2 (Gospel) The record of Christ’s life and teaching in the first four books of the New Testament.
Example sentences
  • We have Mary of Magdala to thank for having this part of The Gospel record in The Bible.
  • In this sense we can understand the Gospel record of the Temptation of Jesus.
  • His vision for these people was the pursuit of literacy and the teachings of the Gospel.
2.1Each of the first four books of the New Testament.
Example sentences
  • View him as we see him in the gospels and in the book of Revelation.
  • But by analysing the changes made in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, we can see what Jesus did not say.
  • The New Testament begins with the four Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
2.2A portion from one of the Gospels read at a church service.
Example sentences
  • Brother Hugh McKinney read the first scripture reading and the gospel was read by Canon Mark Diamond.
  • I describe it because it has something to do with our gospel reading from the sixth chapter of John.
  • After that sweeping overview, the gospel reading homes in on the harrowing story of the Passion.

The four Gospels ascribed to St Matthew, St Mark, St Luke, and St John all give an account of the ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ, though the Gospel of John differs greatly from the other three. There are also several apocryphal gospels of later date

3 (also gospel music) [mass noun] A fervent style of black American evangelical religious singing, developed from spirituals sung in Southern Baptist and Pentecostal Churches.
Example sentences
  • Exposed to gospel music while attending Pentecostal churches; Elvis also listened to blues and country-western.
  • The lyrics include formulaic gospel cries and they are often delivered in the fervent style of gospel music.
  • The church's ambiguous response to gospel music is problematic for this very reason.


Old English gōdspel, from gōd 'good' + spel 'news, a story' (see spell2), translating ecclesiastical Latin bona annuntiatio or bonus nuntius, used to gloss ecclesiastical Latin evangelium, from Greek euangelion 'good news' (see evangel); after the vowel was shortened in Old English, the first syllable was mistaken for god 'God'.

  • The Good News Bible is an English translation of the Bible, published in 1976, whose name refers to the root meaning of gospel itself. The word is not related to God, but was formed from Old English gōd ‘good’ and spel ‘news, a story’, and was a translation of Greek euangelion ‘good news’, the source of our words evangelism (early 17th century) and evangelist (Middle English). The rock musical Godspell, based on the Gospel of St Matthew and first produced in 1971, took its title from the original spelling of the word.



(also gospelise) verb
Example sentences
  • Paul is ready to gospelize those who are in Rome.
  • In the process of gospelising others, we forget the respect that our gospel inherently stands for towards human dignity and the sanctity of human relationships in themselves.
  • On the other hand, the discourse creates the image of Paul as one who fully embodies the gospel, or perhaps whose complete body has been gospelized.

Definition of gospel in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: iˈnäkyo͞oəs
not harmful or offensive