The Language of the New Testament

Luke 2:30-32
For my eyes have seen Thy salvation,Which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, A light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel."

Luke 24:47
and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Acts 6:1
Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews ( Greek speaking Jewish Christians ) against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.

Itís really immaterial what the language being spoken was in that day; what is material is that when God inspired the writers to write, they wrote the New Testament in the Greek language .

The New Testament and Gospels, which were written for Jews scattered all over the Mediterranean world were naturally written in the common language of Koine Greek so that all could understand and benefit. Koine Greek was much more expressive and more easily translated.

There is no Aramaic manuscript evidence for the New Testament books. All the manuscript evidence is in Greek.

Greek was the language of scholarship during the years of the composition of the New Testament from 50 to 100 AD. The fact is that many Jews could not even read Hebrew anymore, and this disturbed the Jewish leaders a lot! So, around 300 BC a translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek was undertaken, and it was completed around 200 BC. Gradually this Greek translation of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint ( LXX ), was widely accepted and was even used in many synagogues. It also became a wonderful missionary tool for the early Christians, for now the Greeks ( Gentiles ) could read God's Word in their own tongue. The Septuagint is most accurate only in the first 5 books of the Old Testament.

So the New Testament authors wrote in Greek. They did not, however, use really high-class or classical Greek, but a very common and everyday type of Greek.

The Old Testament is written in Hebrew, with the exception of Daniel 2: 4 to 7: 28 ( This is the Gentile section of Daniel ); Ezra 4: 8 to 6: 18, and 7: 12-26, which are written in Aramaic, called also Chaldee. One verse of Jeremiah (10: 11) is also written in Aramaic.

by Dave Smith, D.Min.
Spring, TX