In a thread at the blog of Crossless gospel apologist Antonio da Rosa (aka- Sock Puppet: fg me) Jim Johnson referenced the series by Greg Schliesmann titled, The Technical Meaning of the Term, “THE GOSPEL”
Following is Greg Schliesmann’s response to Johnson’s criticism.
I would like to respond to Jim Johnson’s criticism of my post regarding the technical sense of the term “the gospel.” He argues it is flawed because it did not include what he calls a “synchronic word study.” His criticism is flawed, first of all, because I did address the etymology of the word and its relationship to the question, “Does the NT ever use the term ‘the gospel’ in a technical sense for what the lost must believe to be saved?”
I can explain this issue with a simple analogy. Imagine a thousand years from now, someone argued “20th century English never used the term ‘the bible’ in a specific sense that referred to the Holy Book of Christianity.”
Researchers could easily dismiss this claim by the simple citation of examples from 20th century English that clearly used the word in this specific sense. These examples would show that English speakers often used the term “the Bible” in reference to this specific holy book. The force of such actual examples would hardly be helped or hurt by someone’s explanation of the etymology of the word. In fact, the word “bible” does have an etymology from a much more general meaning of “book” or “books.”
So, in respect to the question, what would be proved by demonstrating the basic etymology of the word means “book?” Nothing! One may even cite examples in 20th century English that use “bible” to refer to some other book. Yet, none of this changes the fact that 20th century English does in fact have a technical usage for the term “the Bible.”
This example demonstrates the same principle I explained in my post in regards to “the gospel.” I stated the basic etymology of the word means “good news” and that this sense is sometimes employed in Scripture without reference to the gospel of our salvation. Yet, when one considers the usages of the word after Christ’s resurrection, he would have to shut his spiritual eyes and defy all intellectual honesty to argue that the New Testament does not employ a technical usage of “the gospel” for the message that must be preached unto and believed by the lost for salvation. I examined or at least referenced dozens of clear examples in my article. Mr. Johnson does not even attempt to interact with them. That is the second fatal flaw of his criticism. We could ask Mr. Johnson to explain each of these examples without acknowledging a technical sense of the term, but let’s make it easier for Johnson and consider just one example:2 Thessalonians 1:6-8 “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”This passage, like several others, teaches the condemnation of those who do not believe “the gospel.” If there is a message called “the gospel” the lost must believe in order to be saved, then we better be able to identify the content of this thing called “the gospel.” If we are able to identify a particular message that corresponds with the term “the gospel,” we have, by definition, proven that there is a technical usage for the term “the gospel” in the New Testament. If we cannot identify such a message, we are the most pitiable men on earth. Simply put, we would be bound to the uncertainty of whether we ourselves have escaped the condemnation of 2 Thessalonians 1:8.
Such a technical usage corresponds with scores of other passages that link “the gospel” to salvation from Hell (e.g. 1 Cor. 1:17-21; 4:15; 2 Cor. 4:4-5; Rom. 1:16; 10:16; Eph. 1:13, ect).
I would like to ask Mr. Johnson exactly what message is referenced by “the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” in 2 Thessalonians 1:8.
I have sent word to Jim Johnson that his flawed criticisms have been identified and promptly dismissed. He has also been informed that Greg has requested that he respond to his (Greg’s) closing question.
This thread is open to Johnson’s reply, if he is willing to engage what the Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 1:8.
Continue reading on this theme in the next article, Jim Johnson and the GES Dismiss, “THE GOSPEL”
UPDATE by Greg Schliesmann from the attached thread:
“Mr. Johnson made an angry post on Antonio’s forum. Apparently, he felt that my post made no legitimate point that deserved a response but that it only amounted to ‘talebearing.’ Hmm. If he thought he might be able to disprove the points I made, do you think he would avoid responding? I don’t.”