|GREEK LANGUAGE, THE |
Is the original language of all the books of the New Testament, except perhaps the gospel by Matthew; but the sacred authors have followed that style of writing which was used by the Hellenists, or Grecizing Hebrews, adopting many idioms and turns of speech from the Syriac and Hebrew languages, very different from the classical style of the Greek writers. They were also obliged to make use of some new words, and new applications of old words, to express religious ideas before unknown to the Greeks, and for which they had no proper expression. After Alexander the great, Greek became the language best known throughout the East, and was generally used in commerce. As the sacred authors had in view the conversion not only of the Jews, then scattered throughout the East, but of the Gentiles also, it was natural for them to write to them in Greek, that being a language to which all were of necessity accustomed.