"Greek, contrary to many, is not a dead language"
The Greek language of the New Testament is called Koine, or common Greek, for the simple reason that it was the common language in the Greek-speaking world from the time of Alexander the Great to roughly 500 A.D. It is without question the most expressive language known to mankind.
It is also one of the most important languages in all the world, having preserved not only classical literature, or, the ‘world of letters’ including Homer’s Iliad, Odyssey and others, but also the New Testament of the Bible. Yet its importance goes much further, contributing enormously, along with Latin, to our English vocabulary. Learning the Greek language, or even a cursory study of Greek derivatives helps us to know the basic meanings of English words – even those we’ve never seen or heard of before. In fact, Greek is incredibly helpful if you are considering entering the medical or legal professions as a career. Learning the Greek language will increase your understanding and use of the English language. As Christians, even if you are not in ‘the ministry’, it will lend valuable insight into your understanding of the New Testament and the precise meanings of the text you might otherwise have missed. In short, it will benefit you spiritually in ways unimaginable.
Greek, contrary to many, is not a dead language. It is very much alive and in use by men today. To call it dead is to disregard the fact that it can be heard in the modern language of Greece; that it has preserved literature for ions – classical, scientific, and biblical; that our English language is derived from it and it continues to this day to influence the creativity of new words, identification of old and unknown ones, and influences the way that we both think and write. Most importantly, to call Greek a dead language reflects poorly on the choice of language chosen and used by the Spirit of God to convey to us His concise, specific eternal Word! And the Greek language is just that: concise, specific, and helpful in our daily lives, both intellectually and spiritually.
For those of you ready to take the leap into the exciting world of the Greek language, here are two of my favorite Greek primers to start!