PRIMARY ELEMENT OF THE GOSPEL: REVERSAL OF DEATH
A. Cosmogeny/Eschatology without Death
1. The original intent of God in creating the earth was perpetual well-being (i.e. “good”) in the context of existential perfection (i.e. no death).
God saw that the light was good… 10 And God saw that it (land and seas) was good… 12 And God saw that it (plants and trees) was good… 18 And God saw that it (sun, moon and stars) was good… 21 And God saw that it (fish and birds) was good… 25 And God saw that it (land animals) was good… 31 God saw all that he had made (including man), and it was very good. (NIV Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31)
2. This perfection was disrupted by sin, and death entered.
And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (NIV Genesis 2:16-17)
To Adam he said… 19 “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (NIV Genesis 3:17-19)
3. Thus, death is the central problem of existence and the ultimate enemy to be destroyed. Just as an event of sin brought death into the world, so will an event promised by God drive death out of the world.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. (NIV Genesis 3:15)
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (NIV 1 Corinthians 15:20-26)
4. This “crushing” event which purges death from the earth is the central hope of mankind. It is not even the “crushing” event that is really the hope, but rather it is what the crushing event produces—the reversal of death—that is the deepest longing of every human heart. As death is the central problem of existence, so is its removal the central hope.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them (as in the beginning). They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (as in the beginning), for the old order of things (post-Fall) has passed away.” (NIV Revelation 21:3-4)
5. Human beings were not created to die. They were created to live forever—to perpetually regenerate. This potential is becoming increasingly recognized in the scientific community. This potential was originally in context to the Tree of Life, which was designed by God to perpetually heal and sustain the human body and which will be restored to redeemed man at the end of the age.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life… On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse (i.e. death). The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. (NIV Revelation 22:1-3)
6. God expelled humanity from the Garden so that He could deal with the governmental issues created by man’s sin—i.e. He did not want perpetual alienation with humanity. However, this reveals the reality of the design of the human body for perpetual existence and its relationship to the Tree of Life.
And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” (NIV Genesis 3:22)
B. Gospel without Death
1. To understand eschatology and the essential nature of the gospel, it is critical that one’s cosmogeny be completely free from death. This is the most devastating effect that evolutionism and its philosophical predecessors have had on the gospel: the desensitization of people to the perversion and hideousness of death. Concessions with death throughout the ages have been the primary factor in the Church’s loss of the apostolic gospel.
2. The gospel will be purged of all ideologies of death at the end of the age to prepare the way of the Lord, who will eradicate it from the earth. Until the gospel message is purified of all its compromises with death, it will only be a retarded message that gives the human heart a retarded hope, which thus produces a retarded response in lifestyle.
And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I die every day– I mean that, brothers– just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your senses as you ought (“Wake up from your drunken stupor” ESV), and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God– I say this to your shame. (NIV 1 Corinthians 15:30-34)
3. If people concede to the product (death), they will concede to the cause (sin). People’s war against sin is in direct proportion to their belief in the reversal of death (i.e. the resurrection of the dead).
C. “The gospel” is generally accompanied by signs, wonders and miracles, which testify to the age to come.
1. Signs, wonders, and miracles testify to the age to come—and thus the reversal of death and the regeneration of creation.
…how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. 5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking… 8 In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him (implying a future “seeing” of universal subjection, of which the sings, wonders and miracles testify). (NIV Hebrews 2:3-8)
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened (concerning messianic restoration), who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared (“been made partakers” KJV/NKJV/NASB) in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance… (NIV Hebrews 6:4-6)
2. “Signs” are self-explanatory, testifying to the age to come—the reversal of death and the regeneration of creation.
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel (of the messianic restoration) to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved (inclusion in the messianic restoration), but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs (of the messianic restoration) will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs. (ESV Mark 16:15-20)
3. Jesus’ declaration of “the gospel” is generally accompanied with signs of healing that testify to the resurrection of the dead.
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”… 23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. (ESV Matthew 4:17-23)
As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near (“at hand” KJV/NKJV/NASB/ESV; i.e. the Messianic Kingdom is soon to be established).’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons (as signs or tokens of the coming Messianic Kingdom). (NIV Matthew 10:7-8; cf. Lk. 10:9)
Now when John in prison heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples, 3 and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One (i.e. Messiah), or shall we look for someone else?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (NASB Matthew 11:2-6)
4. The Apostolic declaration of “the gospel” is generally accompanied with signs that testify to the resurrection of the dead.
Peter said (to the lame man), “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength… 12 So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel… 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus (as Messiah)… 19 Repent therefore… that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began… 4:1 Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. (NKJV Acts 3:6-4:2)
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God… 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power (i.e. signs, wonders and miracles), 5 so that your faith (in the regeneration of creation) might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power (testifying to the age to come). (NIV 1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
D. Other miracles that testify to the restoration of creation to its original glory.
1. Casting out of Demons
He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness… 7 “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near (when all demons will be driven from the earth).'” (NIV Matthew 10:1-7)
Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” (NIV Matthew 12:22-23)
When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him… 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time (i.e. the messianic age)?” (NIV Matthew 8:28-29)
When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!”… 31 And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss (cf. Rev. 20:3). (NIV Luke 8:28-31; Mk. 5:1-17)
About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, 31 appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus… 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him (cf. 2 Pe. 1:16-19).” (NIV Luke 9:28-35)
There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun (cf. Dan. 12:3; Mt. 13:43), and his clothes became as white as the light. (NIV Matthew 17:1-2; cf. Mk 9:2-3)
We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (Messiah), but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty (foreshadowing the majesty/glory in the Messianic Kingdom). 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory (to be established on the earth; cf. “glorious throne”–Mt. 19:28; 25:31), saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 19 And we have the word of the prophets (i.e. OT messianic prophecies) made more certain (because of the sign/token/deposit of the coming Kingdom), and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns (i.e. messianic age)… (NIV 2 Peter 1:16-19)
3. Regeneration of Creation
A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher (“Lord” Mt. 8:25; “Master” Lk. 8:24), don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith (in me as Messiah)?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (ESV Mark 4:37-41)
And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea… 32 And when they (Peter and Jesus) got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God (i.e. Messiah).” (ESV Matthew 14:25-33)
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people (the crowd of 4,000); they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat (cf. famine). I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” (NIV Matthew 15:32)
So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done (of the eradication of famine in the Messianic Kingdom), they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” 15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him (messianic) king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. (ESV John 6:13-15)
4. Infilling of the Holy Spirit
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him (“in bodily form” Lk. 3:22). (ESV Matthew 3:16)
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (reversing the curse of Babel) as the Spirit enabled them. (NIV Acts 2:1-4; cf. Joel 2:28-3:3)
- In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation (the bringing of all things in heaven and on earth under the headship of Messiah, cf. v. 10), and believed in him (as Messiah), were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance (in the Messianic Kingdom) until we acquire possession of it (after the amnestic age), to the praise of his glory. (ESV Ephesians 1:11-14)
- For we know that if our earthly house (mortal body), this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God (immortal body), a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens… 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee (of what is to come). (NKJV 2 Corinthians 5:1-5)
- For no matter how many promises God has made (of messianic restoration), they are “Yes” in Christ (i.e. Messiah will yet do them). And so through him the “Amen” (lit. “so be it”) is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come (in the Messianic Kingdom). (NIV 2 Corinthians 1:20-22)
- We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies (the result of the fullness of the Spirit). 24 For in this hope we were saved. (NIV Romans 8:18-24)
E. Resurrection of the body: the primary thrust of the apostolic gospel and ministry.
1. Multiple expectations of the Jews concerning salvation vs. singular expectation of the church fathers concerning salvation.
a) Annihilationism (Pagans/Sadducees)
b) Eternal Existence of the Soul (Hellenists/Philo)
c) Resurrection of the Body (Orthodox/Pharisees)
I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15 and I have the same hope in God as these men (i.e. Pharisees), that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. (NIV Acts 24:14-15)
“The early Christians hold firmly to a two-step belief about the future: first, death and whatever lies immediately beyond; second, a new bodily existence in a newly remade world… within early Christianity there is virtually no spectrum of belief about life beyond death… whereas the early Christians were drawn from many strands of Judaism and from widely differing backgrounds within paganism, and hence from circles that must have held very different beliefs about life beyond death, they all modified that belief to focus on one point on the spectrum. Christianity looks, to this extent, like a variety of Pharisaic Judaism. There is no trace of Sadducean view or of that of Philo… We have plenty of evidence of debates about all sorts of things, and the virtual unanimity on resurrection stands out. Only in the late second century, a good 150 years after the time of Jesus, do we find people using the word resurrection to mean something quite different from what is meant in Judaism and early Christianity, namely, a spiritual experience in the present leading to a disembodied hope in the future. For almost all of the first two centuries, resurrection in the traditional sense holds not just center stage but the whole stage.”
2. 1 Corinthians 15: “the gospel” explicitly defined.
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you… 2 By this gospel you are saved (i.e. resurrected), if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures… 12 how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? … 17 if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins…
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death…
30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I die every day– I mean that, brothers– just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” … 35 But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?”… 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. 42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead…
51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV 1 Corinthians 15:1-57)
“In early Christianity resurrection moved from the circumference to the center. You can’t imagine Paul’s thought without it. You shouldn’t imagine John’s thought without it, though some have tried. It is enormously important in Clement and Ignatius, in Justin and Irenaeus. It is one of the key beliefs that infuriated the pagans in Lyons in A.D. 177 and drove them to butcher several Christians, including the bishop who preceded the great Irenaeus. Belief in the bodily resurrection was one of the two central things that the pagan doctor Glen noted about the Christians (the other being their remarkable sexual restraint). Take away the stories of Jesus’s birth, and you lose only two chapters of Matthew and two of Luke. Take away the resurrection, and you lose the entire New Testament and most of the second-century fathers as well.”
 Part of a larger field called “technological immortality,” current scientific thinking about physical immortality involves three primary areas of study: human cloning, cryonics and nanotechnology. The purest form is found in the area of nanotechnology, which believes that in the years to come microscopic “nanorobots” will be injected into the human body to perpetually repair it—“we may be able to create tiny medical nanorobots that could go through our bloodstreams, find dangerous things like cancer cells and bacteria, and destroy them… gene-therapies and nanotechnology will eventually make the human body effectively self-sustainable and capable of living indefinitely, short of severe trauma.” (Robert Freitas, quoted in Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia, “Immortality,” available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immortality)
When nanotechnology overlaps with life-extension, you enter into the field of “transhumanism,” which is classically defined as “a class of philosophies that seek to guide us towards a posthuman condition. Transhumanism shares many elements of humanism, including a respect for reason and science, a commitment to progress, and a valuing of human (or transhuman) existence in this life… Transhumanism differs from humanism in recognizing and anticipating the radical alterations in the nature and possibilities of our lives resulting from various sciences and technologies.” [Max More (founder of the Extropy Institute), as quoted in Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia, “Transhumanism,” available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism]
A 2002 report, Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, commissioned by the National Science Foundation and US Department of Commerce, laid the groundwork for the convergence of nano-, bio-, info- and cogno-technologies (NBIC) and their possible use in the area of enhanced human performance and health. Some theorists have pushed this line of reason to its logical end: “technological singularity” (artificial intelligence reaching equivalence to human intelligence) [see Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough To Live Forever (Rodale Press, 2004); and Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (Viking Penguin, 2005)] Kurzweil, as well as Richard P. Feynman, K. Eric Drexler, and Robert A. Freitas, are leaders in the field of nanotechnology. Major organizations involved include the World Transhumanist Association (www.transhumanism.org), Extropy Institute (www.extropy.org), and Immortality Institute (www.imminst.org).
Julian Huxley, grandson of Thomas Huxley (“Darwin’s Bulldog”) and founder of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), was the first to actually use the word “transhumanism.” A prominent pre-WWII eugenicist, Huxley became an ardent humanist in the aftermath of WWII, presiding over the founding Congress of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) in 1952. Thus, there are many similarities between Nietzsche’s Übermensch (super-man) vs. Nazi Germany’s Üntermensch (sub-human) and the proposed “transhumanity” [for example see Robert C. W. Ettinger, Man into Superman: the startling potential of human evolution—and how to be part of it (St. Martin’s, 1979)].
 A full list of miracles in rough chronological order (all testifying to the regeneration) would include: the converting of water into wine (Jn. 2:1-11); the healing of the nobleman’s son (Jn. 4:46-54); the miraculous catch of fish (Lk. 5:1-11); the healing of the demoniac (Mk. 1:23-26; Lk. 4:33-36); the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (Mt. 8:14-17; Mk. 1:29-31; Lk. 4:38-39); the cleansing of the leper (Mt. 8:1-4; Mk. 1:40-45; Lk. 5:12-16); the healing of the paralyzed man (Mt. 9:1-8; Mk. 2:1-12; Lk. 5:17-26); the healing of the immobile man (Jn. 5:1-16); the restoring of the withered hand (Mt. 12:9-13; Mk. 3:1-5; Lk. 6:6-11); the restoring of the centurion’s servant (Mt. 8:5-13; Lk. 7:1-10); the raising of the widow’s son to life in Nain (Lk. 7:11-16); the healing of a demoniac (Mt. 12:22-37; Mk. 3:11; Lk. 11:14-15); the stilling of the storm (Mt. 8:23-27; 14:32; Mk. 4:35-41; Lk. 8:22-25); the casting out of demons out of two men of the Gadarenes (Mt. 8:28-34; Mk. 5:1-20; Lk. 8:26-39); the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Mt. 9:18, 19, 23-26; Mk. 5:22-24, 35-43; Lk. 8:41, 42, 49-56); the curing of the woman with the issue of blood (Mt. 9:20-22; Mk. 5:25-34; Lk. 8:43-48); the restoring of sight to the two blind men (Mt. 9:27-31); the healing of a demoniac (Mt. 9:32,33); walking upon Lake Galilee (Mt. 14:22-33; Mk. 6:45-52; Jn. 6:16-21); the healing of the Syro-Phoenician woman’s daughter (Mt. 15:21-28; Mk. 7:24-30); the feeding of four-thousand people (Mt. 15:32-39; Mk. 8:1-9); the healing of the deaf-mute man (Mk. 7:31-37); the healing of a blind man (Mk. 8:22-26); the healing of the epileptic boy (Mt. 17:14-21; Mk. 9:14-29; Lk. 9:37-43); the obtaining of temple tax money from a fish’s mouth (Mt. 17:24-27); the restoring of the ten lepers to wholeness (Lk. 17:11-19); the opening of the eyes of a man born blind (Jn. 9:1ff); the raising of Lazarus from the dead (Jn. 11:1-46); the healing of the woman with the spirit of infirmity (Lk. 3:10-17); the curing of a man with dropsy (Lk. 14:1-6); the restoring of sight to two blind men near Jericho (Mt. 20:29-34; Mk. 10:46-52; Lk. 18:35-43); the condemning of the fig tree (Mt. 21:17-22; Mk. 11:12-14, 20-24); the healing of the ear of Malchus (Lk. 22:49-51); the second miraculous catching of fish (Jn. 21:6).
 N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (New York: HarperOne, 2008), 41-42.
 The term “gospel” comes from one of two sources: 1) the noun euvagge,lion (used 77 times in the NT) meaning “good tidings, good news” (USB); or 2) the verb euvaggeli,zw (used 55 times in the NT) meaning “to bring the good news, preach the good news” (USB). Depending on the translation, these two words are generally rendered “gospel or good news” and “preach the gospel or good news.” Formal equivalence translations favor “gospel,” while dynamic equivalence translations often use “good news.”
Many times New Testament writers talk about the gospel, but very rarely does anyone actually detail the gospel itself. For example, the KJV/NKJV uses the word “gospel” more than any other translation (103 times) in the New Testament: Matt. 4:23; 9:35; 11:5; 24:14; 26:13; Mk. 1:1, 14f; 8:35; 10:29; 13:10; 14:9; 16:15; Lk. 4:18; 7:22; 9:6; 20:1; Acts 8:25; 14:7, 21; 15:7; 16:10; 20:24; Rom. 1:1, 9, 15f; 2:16; 10:15f; 11:28; 15:16, 19f, 29; 16:25; 1 Co. 1:17; 4:15; 9:12, 14, 16, 18, 23; 15:1; 2 Co. 2:12; 4:3f; 8:18; 9:13; 10:14, 16; 11:4, 7; Gal. 1:6ff, 11; 2:2, 5, 7, 14; 3:8; 4:13; Eph. 1:13; 3:6; 6:15, 19; Phil. 1:5, 7, 12, 17, 27; 2:22; 4:3, 15; Col. 1:5, 23; 1 Thess. 1:5; 2:2, 4, 8f; 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; 2:14; 1 Tim. 1:11; 2 Tim. 1:8, 10; 2:8; Phlm. 1:13; Heb. 4:2; 1 Pet. 1:12, 25; 4:6, 17; Rev. 14:6. Of these instances, only a handful give any commentary on the nature of the gospel itself beyond the genitives “of God,” “of the kingdom,” “of Christ,” etc.: Rom. 1:1fff; 2:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-57; Gal. 3:8; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; 2 Tim. 1:8fff; 2:8ff; 1 Pet. 1:23ff; Rev. 14:6f. Only 1 Corinthians 15 directly addresses the gospel and attempts to explain its content beyond one or two sentences.
 Wright, Surprised by Hope, 42-43.