evangelist; apostle

evangelist

someone who has great enthusiasm about an idea or product

apostle

a leader of or passionate advocate for a movement or idea

—One of my brothers is an evangelist for import cars. He’s always arguing with my sister, because she’s an apostle for buying only products made in America .

Evangelist originally referred to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, authors of the first four books of the New Testament. It comes from a Greek word meaning “someone who brings good news.” Now, in the church, it can be used fora person who is devoted to spreading the gospel, especially someone who makes it a vocation. Paul writes that Christ gives Christians the ability to serve in a variety of ways, including the following:

It was he who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, that is, to build up the body of Christ. . . .  (Ephesians 4:11,12)

A person with the enthusiasm of an evangelist can be called “evangelical.” Both of these words are related to the Greek word angelos—meaning “messenger”—which is also the origin of angel.

Apostle originally meant “a messenger” or “one who is sent out” and was first used in the church for Jesus’ 12 disciples.

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