EVANGELIST: A word which occurs three times in the New Testament (Acts xxi. 8; Eph. iv. 11; II Tim. iv. 5), not found in the Septuagint and other Greek versions, in the Apostolic Fathers, or in the Didache, and not in classical Greek use. It is from the same root as the words translated "Gospel" (Gk. euangelion) and "to preach" (euangelizomai). In Eph. iv. 11 evangelists are enumerated along with apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers, but this does not mean that they were a distinct order of church officials. Deacons, presbyters, and apostles (Acts viii. 25; I Cor. i. 17; etc.), all might exercise evangelistic functions. Timothy, the bishop-presbyter, was exhorted to "do the work of an evangelist" (II Tim. iv. 5); and Philip, one of the seven deacons at Jerusalem, is called an evangelist (Acts viii. 5, xxi. 8). The evangelists are to be regarded as itinerants, traveling from place to place. This was the case with Philip, who preached in Samaria, expounded the word to the eunuch on his way to Gaza, and then labored in Cæsarea and the cities round about (Acts viii. 40). They acted independently (Acts viii. 4), but largely as "fellow laborers" and assistants of the apostles, accompanying them on their journeys, and laboring under their direction. Theodoret (Ad Eph. iv. 11) was the first to restrict the term to itinerant preachers, and Œcumenius applied it for the first time strictly to the authors of the Gospels. The term is used at the present time in both these senses. In later liturgical language the name was given to the reader of the Gospel for the day.