Koine Greek

Greek was one of the common languages throughout the Ancient Near East in Biblical times, and is the language that the New Testament was written in and the language that the Old Testament was translated into in the Septuagint. Scholars^[_citation\ needed_]^ generally agree that the 27 books which comprise the New Testament were originally written in Koine Greek, although some^[_citation\ needed_]^ maintain Matthew may have originally been written in Aramaic.



Classical Greek refers to the language found in Greek writers of the "Classical" period, generally viewed as being from 900 B.C. to about 300 B.C. This is the language found in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey circa 700 B.C. and in Greek philosophers such as Plato circa 400 B.C. This more formal language is the predecessor of the later New Testament Greek, but is sufficiently different that there was some early confusion among scholars^[_citation\ needed_]^ regarding the genesis and nature of the language of the New Testament writers.


Koine (?????) is the Greek word for "common." For some time the Greek language of the New Testament confused many scholars. It was sufficiently different from Classical Greek that some^[_citation\ needed_]^ hypothesized that it was a combination of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. Others^[_citation\ needed_]^ attempted to explain it as a "Holy Ghost language," assuming that perhaps God created a special language just for the Bible. But studies of Greek papyri found in Egypt over the past 120 years^[_citation\ needed_]^ have shown that the Greek of the New Testament manuscripts was the "common" (koine) language of the everyday people -- the same as that used in the writing of wills, private letters, receipts, even shopping lists, etc.


If you do not see the following Greek characters properly, please view the image of this chart. Title Lower Upper Translit. Pronunciation alpha ? ? a father beta ? ? b beta gamma ? ? g gamma delta ? ? d delta epsilon ? ? e epsilon zêta ? ? z zêta êta ? ? ê or ? obey thêta ? ? th thêta iota ? ? i free kappa ? ? k kappa lambda ? ? l or L lambda mu ? ? m mu nu ? ? n nu xi ? ? ks axiom omicron ? ? o omicron pi ? ? p pi rho ? ? r rho sigma ? / ? ? s sigma tau ? ? t tau upsilon ? ? u sometimes y oops phi ? ? ph father chi ? ? ch psi ? ? ps oops omega ? ? ô or ? obey



  • Eberhard Nestle, Kurt Aland, et al. Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece. 27th edition (NA27). American Bible Society, 2006. ISBN 159856174X


  • Kurt Aland, ed. The Greek New Testament: UBS 4th edition. American Bible Society, 1998. ISBN 3438051133
  • Barclay M. Newman, ed. The UBS Greek New Testament: A Reader's Edition. Hendrickson, 2007. ISBN 1598562851
  • Albert L. Lukaszewski, ed. A Reader's Greek New Testament. 2nd edition. Zondervan, 2007. ISBN 0310273781


  • C. John Collins and John Schwandt, eds. The English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament: English Standard Version. Crossway, 2006. ISBN 158134628X
  • Alfred Marshall, The Interlinear NASB-NIV Parallel New Testament in Greek and English. Zondervan, 1993. ISBN 0310401704
  • Bruce Metzger, ed. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. United Bible Society, 2005. ISBN 1598561642

See also


Study aids