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Jehovah’s Witnesses

English

Glossary

Biblical Greek

Biblical Greek

Non-Biblical Term

The language of the Christian Greek Scriptures. The primary form of the language used was Koine, or common Greek, though some expressions from classical Greek were also used. Matthew’s Gospel was evidently first written in Hebrew and was later translated into Koine Greek.

Following the conquests of Alexander the Great, Koine dominated the eastern Mediterranean world from about 300 B.C.E. to about 500 C.E. Tradition holds that during the third century B.C.E., Jewish scholars began translating the Hebrew Scriptures into Koine, producing a translation known as the Septuagint. Naturally, the vocabulary and style of the Hebrew Scriptures greatly influenced the Greek used in both the Septuagint and the Christian Greek Scriptures.

Koine had a distinct advantage over other languages in that it was widely known. It was a mixture of different Greek dialects, of which Attic Greek was the most influential, but the grammar was simplified. Even so, Koine allowed for broad variety in expression and subtle intricacies of thought.