Influence of Black English on NT Greek

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Fri Sep 20 1996 - 13:06:20 EDT

Carl Conrad recently mentioned that many Greek idioms translate literally into
corresponding English idioms. I've started wondering about the influence of
English in general, and particularly Black English, on NT Greek. For instance,
in Acts 18:3 we see the phrase ENAI EMENEN, "he be staying":

Acts 18:3 (GNT) kai dia to omotecnon einai emenen par autois kai hrgazeto hsan
gar skhnopoioi th tecnh

EINAI is the infinitive "to be", and EMENEN has imperfect aspect, calling
attention to the period of time during which he was staying with them on a
regular basis, as does the Black English idiom.

Similarly, in John 1:14, the ESKHNWSEN means literally to pitch a tent, so we
could translate this "camped out", as in "camped out with us":

John 1:14 (GNT) Kai o logos sarx egeneto kai eskhnwsen en hmin kai eqeasameqa
thn doxan autou doxan ws monogenous para patros plhrhs caritos kai alhqeias

John 1:14 (BEV) And the Word became flesh, and camped out with us, and we beheld
His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and

Does anybody else have evidence of anglicisms in NT Greek?

And now let me get to the serious point: I imagine that idiomatic or grammatical
similarities could be shown between any two languages, even if the one language
had no influence on the other. How does one document that NT Greek was
influenced by Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin, etc., and not just that it has
similarities to these languages?


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