Koine, the Greek of the New Testament

The New Testament was written in a version of Greek, called Koine, spead across the know world by Alexandre the Great. The Greek language is thought to have emerged in the 13th century BC, developed into wonderful Classic Greek used by Homer through to Plato in 8th to 4th century BC. As the language spread across the 'known world' it simplied and assimulated other languages to for Koine or Common Greek, which was the language of the people at the time of Christ. Koine Greek would be understood by a native Greek speaker of today but modern Greek is a futher development of this long lasting language.

Translations of the New Testament are derived from two main sources of the Greek New Testament, the Textus Receptus and the Nestle. The origonal copies or "autographs" of all the New Testament books have been lost, however there are thousands of ancient fragments of copies of the origional manuscripts and there are complete copies of the Bible that date from the four century AD. The Codex Sinaticus a virtually complete copy of both Old and New Testament which can be seen in the British Museum dates from about 350 AD. The earliest fragment of John's Gospel, referred to as P52 is in Rylands Gallery of Manchester University. It was written probably 30 years after John penned his wonderful Gospel. Even though the manuscript is just a fragement of a few verses from Jesus' converstion with Pilot, it agrees precisely with my Greek New Testament. So we can be sure that the Bible has been miraculously preserved and is totally accurate in its origonal languages of Hebrew and Greek.

The problem comes in the translation into English or any language. This problem is compounded by current trend to translate meaning rather than literally what the original language says. A translation of 'meaning' includes the theological bias of the translators, many of whom are academics. An example of this can be found in John 4:24 where Jesus tells the Samaritan woman at the well that God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. King James Version. Every other modern translation e.g. NIV, ESV, NLT, BSB, NAS, miss quotes this as God is spirit...This implies that God is some vague etherial force rather than a siritual being that is exaclty like Jesus. The excuse for missing out the a is that there is no indefinite article in Koine Greek, but this does not mean the you will not read "a man", "a tree" , "a voice"

Learning to Read the Greek New Testament

The task of learning to read the Greek New Testament (GNT) is not nearly as difficult as you may image. This does not require you to be able to write or speak the language. Basic reading the GNT merely requires you to recognise about, not memorise, 600 words. To help you on the way there are "Reader's Editions" which list the meaning of words that are less common, and to start the process you can use an electronic Interlinear on-line resource like Bible Hub

Koine Greek Grammar and vocablary can be learnt self study with a books like Basic Biblical Greek by Bill Mounce, the most widely used Koine grammar tutor. A GNT called Η ΚΑΙΝΑ ΔΙΑΘΗΙΚΗ "The New Covenant" is available from the Triniterian Bible Society for about £6. There are free on-line readings of the GNT.

Papyrus P52

The story of papyrus P52, the oldest fragment of John's Gospel.

Below is a translation of the first side of papyrus P52. Letters in bold are on the papyrus. Note the Koine Greek of this age is all uppercase character and have no punctuation marks

the Jews, "For us it is not permitted to kill
anyone," so that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he sp-
oke signifying what kind of death he was going to
die. Entered therefore again into the Praeto-
rium Pilate and summoned Jesus
and said to him, "Thou art king of the

Gods Infallible Word

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