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In Print:
The Original Greek New Testament


by George Valsamis



Page 12

Doric is the dialect of the south and western regions of Greece (Peloponnesos excepting Arcadia, Crete, Sicelia, Kyrenaice and the islands of Melos, Thera, Rhode, Kos, Karpathos, Kalymnos).

Doric maintains α instead of η (e.g. ἁμέρα instead of the Ionic ἡμέρη). It keeps verb endings in -τι or -ντι (e.g. τίθητι, ἴσαντι, etc.), it forms verb endings in -μες instead of -μεν (e.g. φέρομες instead of φέρομεν), future tense accented in the ultima instead of the penultima (e.g. δειξῶ instead of δείξω, παιξοῦμαι instead of παίξομαι) and in passive voice θησῶ instead of θήσομαι (e.g. συναχθησῶ instead of συναχθήσομαι).

Pure Doric did not produce important literary works.


With Alexander the Great and the expansion of Greek culture, Attic produced the koine (common) dialect of the Hellenistic period, which came to be spoken or understood by people from Spain to India. This dialect, the dialect of the New Testament, is very close to the Attic, but easier. Some of its features are the formation of comparative adjectives in -τερος instead of -ίων, a decrease of use of the optative mood, the abolishment of the dual number.

Modern Greek is in general more simplified than the Koine in its syntax and grammar, but it has the same pronunciation, while being a little more difficult because of a wide vocabulary and the use of grammatical and syntactical forms of all the previous periods and dialects. However, anyone who knows some ancient Greek dialect, can learn modern Greek just like learning another Greek dialect.

RITTEN in one Greek dialect or another there exists a massive collection of important works, from the poems of Homer and the philosophical works of Plato, to the New Testament books, the Byzantine works of the Christian Church, and the works of modern Greek literature.

Although a great part of these has been and is continuously being translated to many languages, people all over the world keep studying Greek in order to approach and enjoy the genuine meaning of the texts. Cicero said of Plato's Dialogues, that if Zeus were to speak, he would use their language. "When one returns to the Greek", Oscar Wilde writes about New Testament Greek, "it is like going into a garden of lilies out of some, narrow and dark house." 


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Cf. The Complete Iliad * The Complete Odyssey
Greek Grammar * Basic New Testament Words * Greek - English Interlinear Iliad
Greek accentuation * Greek pronunciation

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