Why Study Koine Biblical Greek?

Mosaic Authorship HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS

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Edward D. Andrews
EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 120 books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

Bill Mounce writes that “There are two ways you can learn biblical Greek, and it all depends on your goal. If you want to be able to sit down and read biblical Greek, then you want the Basics of Biblical Greek resources. If you do not want the headaches of traditional language learning but rather want to understand biblical Greek on your Bible search program or with your interlinear, then Bible Study Greek is the solution.” Learning Biblical Greek for your own personal reasons is not as complicated as taking it in seminary classes because you can take your time and enjoy it. Really, if you remain consistent with a mere 15 minutes a day, in six months, you will be completely surprised at how much you will have accomplished. If you want an absolutely fun way to learn Biblical Greek, try Ted Hildebrandt’s MNTG_Mastering New Testament Greek by Ted Hildebrandt_Textbook_2017, which is an easy way of learning, and this is not to say that Mounce’s Basics to Biblical Greek is not one of the easiest ways, as it is. Also, see Hildebrandt’s Workbook as well, MNTG_Mastering New Testament Greek by Ted Hildebrandt-Workbook-Student_2016. You will learn the same information that you will in Bill Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek, so it might be best to use them together. Or you can take Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek and his Bible Study Greek first. Then follow up with Hildebrandt’s MNTG.

THE CREATION DAYS OF GENESIS gift of prophecy

Biblical Greek is the language of the Greek New Testament Scriptures. The principal form of the language used was known as Koine (common) Greek. However, some expressions from classical Greek were used as well. The Gospel of Matthew was seemingly first written in Hebrew, which he shortly thereafter translated into Koine Greek.

Daniel B. Wallace tells us, “The Koine was born out of the conquests of Alexander the Great. First, his troops, which came from Athens as well as other Greek cities and regions, had to speak to one another. This close contact produced a melting-pot Greek that inevitably softened the rough edges of some dialects and abandoned the subtleties of others. Second, the conquered cities and colonies learned Greek as a second language. By the first century ce, Greek was the lingua franca of the whole Mediterranean region and beyond. Since the majority of Greek-speakers learned it as a second language, this further increased its loss of subtleties and moved it toward greater explicitness (e.g., the repetition of a preposition with a second noun where Attic Greek was usually comfortable with a single preposition).”[1] It should be noted too that the Hebrew Old Testament was translated by Jewish scholars into Greek between 280 and 150 B.C.E., which became known as the Greek Septuagint. As would be expected, the vocabulary and style of the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures considerably had an impact on the Greek used in both the Greek Septuagint (LXX) and the Greek New Testament.

APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS

The advantage of having the Old Testament and the New Testament in Koine Greek is that it was the lingua franca of the Roman Empire until about 500 C.E. The Koine Greek was a combination of different dialects. “The main dialects were Aeolic (whose extant remains are only poetic, e.g., Sappho), Doric (also with only poetic remains, most notably of Pindar and Theocritus), Ionic (found in Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, and Hippocrates), and by far the most influential, Attic.”[2] However, the grammar of Koine was simplified. Nevertheless, Koine had a broad variety of expressions and complex, detailed, and exact intricacies of thought.

  • To get all the meaning out of every word so as to get at what the author meant by his use of those words
  • Deeper Study is a form of worship
  • To be able to determine the meaning for yourself
  • The Bible translation may be wrong
  • Christian Apologetic Evangelism
  • To contend for the faith (Jude 1:3)
  • New Testament Textual Studies – Ascertaining the original words of the original text
  • It opens up a whole new level of study tools
  • The starting point for biblical exegesis is Greek grammar

My most important reason for studying Greek is Christian Apologetic Evangelism. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8) Every Christian is responsible to take part in the Great Commission to make disciples.

AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01

PETER SAID to “always being prepared to make a defense [ἀπολογία apologia] to anyone who asks you for a reason”
(1 Peter 3:15)

Almost all of the articles on 1 Peter 3:15 focuses on the phrase “being prepared to make a defense” and there is a great need for such an exhortation. However, what gets lost in the shuffle is that it is to be done with gentleness and respect. This article is going to focus on the how-to defend part of Peter’s words. “Our response should be characterized not by smugness or vindictiveness but by gentleness and respect. These words suggest that the believer should approach others carefully and kindly. A Christian should not attempt to cram the truth down someone’s throat or to speak patronizingly or critically to them. According to Grudem, “Such witness must be given with gentleness and (respect), not attempting to overpower the person with the force of human personality or aggressiveness, but trusting the Holy Spirit himself to quietly persuade the listener” (Grudem, 153).”[3]

After we have become spiritually strong from deeper studies, we are to help three groups of people:

JUDE SAID to (1) “have mercy [ἐλεᾶτε] on THOSE who doubt,” [διακρινομένους (διακρίνω diakrinō)], that is fellow Christians

(2) ‘OTHERS non-Christians by snatching [ἁρπάζοντες (ἁρπάζω harpazō)] from the fire.’

(3) “to OTHERS show mercy with fear [φόβῳ (φόβος phobos)]” These are godless people. Yes, ungodly men had slipped into the church and now some had fallen under their influence of these false teachers. They are NOT beyond hope. They need to be shown mercy with fear or caution that you too are not somehow misled. Christian apologetic evangelism can save some.
(Jude 22-23)

Jesus Paul THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK

PAUL SAID, “6 Brothers, even if anyone is caught in any trespass,[*] you who are spiritual, restore [καταρτίζετε (καταρτίζω katartizō)] such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)

To “restore” such a person is to readjust their thinking. It is replacing something or fixing something that is broken, make something that is insufficient, sufficient. If anyone stumbles in the faith, has become spiritually weak, has begun to live in sin, we are to make every effort to “RESTORE” that one to his or her formerly spiritually strong self but only if we have the knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual insight to do so.

[*] Trespass: (Gr. paraptōma) This is a sin that can come in the way of some desire (lusting), some thinking (entertaining wrongdoing), or some action (carrying out one’s desires or thoughts that he or she has been entertaining) that is beyond or overstepping God’s righteous standards, as set out in the Scriptures. It is falling or making a false step as opposed to standing or walking upright in harmony with the righteous requirements of God.–Matt. 6:14; Mark 11:25; Rom. 4:25; 5:15-20; 11:11; 2 Cor. 5:19; Gal. 6:1; Eph. 1:7; 2:1, 5; Col 2:13.

REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES APOLOGETICS CONVERSATION EVANGELISM

[1] Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), 15.

[2] IBID, 14–15.

[3] David Walls and Max Anders, I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude, vol. 11, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 55.

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