Greek Bible

From: John Oaklands (
Date: Thu Feb 27 1997 - 06:38:29 EST


I think Micheal Palmer has a case when he points out the difficulty
experienced by modern Greeks in reading the koine text of the Bible. My
evidence for this is the fact that a Bible has been published in modern
Greek. If the koine Greek is so readily understood by modern Greeks why
publish a modern text? Why not read the lxx and the koine Greek NT? I have
had a similar experience to Micheal Palmer. I remember visiting a family in
New York where a Greek lady was also visiting at the same time. I showed
her my koine Greek NT and she took it from me and tried to read it. She
said she found it very hard to understand. She could read the Greek but
many things were different and she stumbled over them. And she was a
christian, accustomed to reading the Bible in modern Greek.

What is more, even the modern Greek translation is revised from time to
time, for language is always in flux. Culture changes and so does language,
and especially after some 2,000 years. The study of archaeology shows that
this is clearly so.

If Greeks can understand the koine Bible then the reverse should also be
true, that those of us who read the koine fluently should also be able to
read the modern Greek Bible fluently. I read Greek newspapers and the Greek
is different. I have the same experience when I read the Bible in modern
Greek. I fequently have a hard time understanding it.

If today's Greeks think they understand the koine text then they must be
reading modern Greek language and culture back into it. There is a case for
studying koine Greek in the setting of the world, its culture and mindset,
of the first century of our christian era.

John Oaklands

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