“Evangelism” is a transliteration of a Greek word.
It is not a translation, where they took a word in the Greek and they said “oh this word means this in English…”
Like, for an example: “Au Revoir” is French for “Goodbye” in English. Those are two very different sounding words with different phonetic construction. They’re the same word in meaning but not in form.
But, on the other hand, “fiancé” is a French word used to describe the person you intend to marry. In the English language the word is…“fiancé.” We just took a French word and said “that’s the English word too.” That’s transliteration.
trans = to move
liter = word
ation = to do it
Thus, transliteration = to move a word from one language to another.
The word “evangelism” is a Greek word that we made an English word out of. It is actually a compound word (multiple words together to make one new one). In the English it starts with the letters E-V, but there is no V in the Greek…they use a U. So in the Greek it’s EUU (“E” “U”).
EUU, is a Greek word which means “good.”
In English, evangelism has a bunch of words in the middle: “angel.” The Greek word is the same (EUUANGEL…”). The word ANGEL in the Greek is a form of the word “ANGELOS” which means “message.”
So we have EUU-ANGELOS, or, in the English, “EV-ANGEL,” meaning “good” “message.”
This word is evangel-ISM. “ISM” is an English suffix (which we stole from the Latin). We put it on the end of words to mean “a belief” or “a practice” or, in this case “A LIFESTYLE.”
So put it all together and what do you have? You have
You have “the good message lifestyle.” What is “Evangelism?” It is the Good-Message Lifestyle.
We tend to think of evangelism as “taking the Gospel to people.” And that’s part of it, certainly, but that makes it sound like a job. It’s not. A job is 9-to-5. A job has days off. A job you can quit and get a better one, etc. Evangelism isn’t a job…it’s a lifestyle.
What is evangelism? It’s my life.
Is it yours?