Mar 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

Mar 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

Alternative: And among all people, first the reward for bringing good news must be announced.

Wordplay: This statement is highly self-referential in the Greek because the two key words both refer to the task of bringing messages. The announcement of the reward for bringing good new (the gospel) is itself good news. The announcement of news is the news. The knowing the news is the reward for the news.

Hidden meaning: In English translation, the close connection between the two key words is lost completely both in translation and in history.  In Christ's world, the "media" was the physical transportation of information and its communication in spoken words.  While written messages were passed, this was not the normal means of communication. Private message were delivered verbally to the intended recipient. Public message were announced publicly in the town center.

The word translated as "the gospel" is not simply the Greek word meaning "good news," as it is usually represented. It is a longer word describing the reward one gets for bringing good news.  It conflates the two ideas: that of good news and the reward the messenger gets.

Christ's use of it says that the news he brings and especially passing it on, is rewarding in and of itself. Knowledge is its own reward, and beyond that, communicating knowledge is rewarding as well.

Here, that word describing a reward is combined with another Greek word about bringing news and making announcements. This word brings in the idea of a public declaration. The declaration has the sense of a government announcement.  Heralds were usually sent out to communication official news, new regulations, and laws. Private people did not usually sent out heralds to make public announcements.

So there is a sense in this statement that all different types of people and nation will incorporate Christ's message into their laws and announcements.  However, in the larger context of this section, there is a sense that though they incorporate Christ's message, they use it. We see this, for example, religious law of the Middle ages an in Communism and other forms of statism in more modern times. This philosophies all base their appeal on idea of universal charity and justice that was unknown before Christ, but by making them compulsory under the treat of coercion by the state, make them meaningless in terms of personal virtue and highly destructive in term of social progress.

Thematically and Linguistically Related Verse(s): Mat 24:14 is the parallel verse in Matthew.


"Gospel" is from euangelion (euaggelion) a "reward of good tidings," a "thank offering for good tidings, ""good news," and "good tidings." Originally, this terms described a reward, like a tip, given to a messenger who brought good news.

"First" is from prôtos (protos). In place, this means "the foremost." Of time, it means "the initial." In order, it means "the first." In math, it means the prime numbers. Of rank or degree, it means "the highest" or "the best."

"Must" is from, dei (dei), which means "needful," and "there is need."

"Be published" is from kêrussô (kerysso), which means "to be a herald", "to summon by a herald", "proclaim", "call upon", "announce", "declare," and "command publicly."  Only in the NT is it translated as "preach" or "teach pubicly."

"All" is from pas (pas), which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything."

"Nation" is from ethnos (ethnos), which means "a number of people living together", "company", "body of men,"  "tribe", "a people", "nation," and (later) "foreign, barbarous nations."