Words In New Testament Greek Borrowed From The Latin -- By: Lemuel S. Potwin

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 032:128 (Oct 1875)
Article: Words In New Testament Greek Borrowed From The Latin
Author: Lemuel S. Potwin


Words In New Testament Greek Borrowed From The Latin

Prof. Lemuel S. Potwin

Instruction in New Testament Greek, presupposes knowledge of classical Greek. How grievously contrary to fact this supposition is, some Professors in Theological Seminaries would state, I fear, with hearty emphasis. Yet there seems to be no other way. The little that we know, when we leave college, of the Greek of Plato and Demosthenes, must, somehow, be made the basis of learning a little about the Greek of John and Paul. Hence there must be New Testament Lexicons, which all good theological students use; and there must be New Testament Grammars, which only the extraordinarily good students use. The lexicons must show us the new words and the old words with new meanings. The grammars must show us the new inflections and new syntax. Yet the lexicons have the new so inextricably interwoven with the old, and the grammars not only do likewise, but contain so much that is of use merely to finished scholars, that practical learners sometimes despair of knowing anything definitely about New Testament Greek. They lay up their manuals “for reference “only; that is, they seldom refer to them. The commentator is the main dependence.

The present Article does not aspire to the dignity of either lexicon or grammar. Retiring to a small corner of the wide field, it aims at gathering up and using what can be there gleaned.

The following alphabetical list, the result of notes taken during a reading of the entire text, is believed to contain the whole number of Latin words found in the New Testament, as also every passage (or its parallel) in which they are used.

᾿Ασσάριον — Latin as, with the Greek diminutive ending - άριον. So that it may more strictly be said to be derived than borrowed. The as, in New Testament times, was worth about eight mills of our money. “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?Matt. 10:29. “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings?Luke 12:6.

Δηνάριον— Latin denarius, from the distributive deni, ten (decem), equal, originally, to ten asses, or sixteen cents, before the as was reduced to its lowest value. In New Testament times it was equal to sixteen asses, or about thirteen cents. Thus, to American readers, the translation “shilling” would be more nearly correct than “penny.” The denarius (from which comes the “d,” for pence, of English sterling currency) was a silver coin...

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