What is New Testament (Koine) Greek?
“Koine” means “common”. By the first century, Greek had spread throughout the known world (due to the influence of Alexander, The Great) and had been changed and modified as it interacted with other dialects, languages, and cultures (resulting of course, in losing some of the subtleties of Classical Greek). This “common tongue” is what was used to write the New Testament books and letters, and translate the Old Testament from Hebrew and Aramaic in what is known as the Septuagint (LXX), and pen the writings of the earliest Church Fathers.
The religious Jewish authorities and scribes, anywhere from 250-200 years before Jesus, had translated the whole Old Testament into Greek (along with the Jewish apocrypha) mainly because of the Hellenization of many Jews who didn't know Hebrew or Aramaic. We even read about Jews that spoke both Hebrew / Aramaic and Greek in the first century in the Acts of the Apostles written by Luke (Acts 6:1, 9:29, 11:20).
Key texts to benefit from in learning New Testament Koine Greek:
- Greek New Testament
- Greek Old Testament (LXX / Septuagint)
- Jewish Greek Apocrypha Writings
- Writings of the early Church Fathers
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