Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
Old English godspel "gospel, glad tidings announced by Jesus; one of the four gospels," from god "good" (see good) + spel "story, message" (see spell (n.)); translation of Latin bona adnuntiatio, itself a translation of Greek euangelion "reward for bringing good news."
The first element of the Old English word had a long "o," but it shifted under mistaken association with God. The word passed early from English to continental Germanic languages in forms that clearly indicate the first element had shifted to "God," e.g. Old Saxon godspell, Old High German gotspell, Old Norse goðspiall. Used of anything as true as the Gospel from mid-13c. Gospel-gossip was Addison's word ("Spectator," 1711) for "one who is always talking of sermons, texts, etc."
The absolute truth: His book's the gospel
a word of Anglo-Saxon origin, and meaning "God's spell", i.e., word of God, or rather, according to others, "good spell", i.e., good news. It is the rendering of the Greek _evangelion_, i.e., "good message." It denotes (1) "the welcome intelligence of salvation to man as preached by our Lord and his followers. (2.) It was afterwards transitively applied to each of the four histories of our Lord's life, published by those who are therefore called 'Evangelists', writers of the history of the gospel (the evangelion). (3.) The term is often used to express collectively the gospel doctrines; and 'preaching the gospel' is often used to include not only the proclaiming of the good tidings, but the teaching men how to avail themselves of the offer of salvation, the declaring of all the truths, precepts, promises, and threatenings of Christianity." It is termed "the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24), "the gospel of the kingdom" (Matt. 4:23), "the gospel of Christ" (Rom. 1:16), "the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15), "the glorious gospel," "the everlasting gospel," "the gospel of salvation" (Eph. 1:13).