The New Testament was first written in Biblical Greek (a variety of Koine Greek). If you have a favorite Bible quote you’d like on a t-shirt, we can print it…in the language it was initially written in.
Our shirts are made from combed and ring-spun cotton, ensuring they are soft and durable.
Why Was The New Testament Written In Biblical Greek?
During the Classical era, Greece was divided into areas speaking five different dialects of Ancient Greek (ie: Arcado-Cyprian, Aeolic, Attic-Ionic, Doric, and North-Western).
Map Of Ancient Greece According To Dialect
However, with the conquests of Alexander the Great, political centralization and trade homogenized these local versions of the language into Koine (“Common”) Greek.
Extent of Koine in the Greek-Inhabited World of Alexander the Great
Once the Middle East fell under Greek control, the inhabitants began using Koine Greek as a common language (lingua franca) alongside Aramaic. This form of Greek continued to be widely-used in the region even after the Roman conquest (as well as within Rome herself), which is why Koine Greek was the preferred language for writing the New Testament and disseminating the gospels.
Is Biblical Greek The Same As Koine Greek?
For the most part, yes. The grammar is the same, and the vocabulary is mostly the same.
The main difference is that Biblical Greek will occasionally give uniquely Christian meanings to words from Koine. For example, the New Testament may use the Koine word for “old men”. Now, depending on the context, this may indeed simply mean “old men”…or it may mean “old men governing within the hierarchy of the early Christian Church”.
Koine Greek was used between 400 B.C. and 600 A.D., and Biblical Greek was used by the Christian Church after the death of Christ. So, it would be more accurate to say that Biblical Greek is a subset of Koine Greek.
But on this site, the terms are used interchangeably.