The term evangelical is a derivative of the Greek work euangelion, which literally means “good news” or “gospel.” It is used to identify the four books of the New Testament that narrates the good news of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The earliest usage of the term “evangelical” seems to be from Tertullian’s writings (c. 155–222), where he referred to the “evangelical and apostolic writings” as authoritative for the life and practice of the church.
Historically, the term evangelical was first used to refer to those who were part of the reforming parties in Europe before 1529. In the 1520s, it became popular in the polemical writings of early Reformers. During the Reformation period, an evangelical is one who believes that the Catholic Church should return to the beliefs and practices supported by New Testament Christianity. An evangelical emphasizes piety and righteous living, expressed in strict ethical codes, instead of adherence to external legal rules enforced...
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