The common, spoken form of Hellenistic Greek (300 B.C.-A.D. 330) used by the New Testament authors.
The Nature of New Testament Greek
Some time after Koine Greek faded in use, many scholars were very perplexed as to where it came from. It was not the Modern Greek spoken today and it was not the Classical Greek of Plato and Homer. Some even thought it was a "Semitic Greek" (Jewish Greek) or a special "Holy Ghost" language.
Koiné Greek is actually a nonliterary Greek. Through the conquests of Alexander the Great, Greek became the language of the Greco-Roman Empire. As nations were assimilated into the Roman Empire, people often learned Greek as a second language and many of Classical Greek's subtleties were lost. The language was simplified and many words took on new or different meanings. At the time the New Testament was written, there were two forms of Greek; Literary Greek for formal writings and Koiné Greek for everyday, spoken communication. Although there are some similiarties with Modern Greek, comparing it and Koiné Greek is similar to comparing Modern English and Old English.
The Timing of the Son
Jesus Christ came into this world at a very interesting time. God had not spoken to Israel in almost 400 years. But what happened during that time was very significant. Through the formation of the Roman Empire, two very important things became common; roads and words. The Roman Empire had the first established road system allowing, for the first time in human history, relatively fast travel over land. It also brought an established language that almost anyone could listen to and understand.
After Christ's resurrection, the Gospel was able to spread very quickly due to the language and roads. The New Testament was not written in formal literary Greek, but in Koiné Greek, the language of the common man!
Greek Language Tools
The following sentence is John 1:1 in fully accented Greek. It uses TekniaGreek an excellent and free Greek font.
| jEn ajrch/: hjn oJ lovgoV, kai; oJ lovgoV h pro;V to;n qeovn, kaiv qeoV hjn oJ lovgoV|