[B-Greek] LXX and perspective

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Wed Jun 7 08:40:30 EDT 2006

> I've noticed on Wikipedia that there's some debate about whether or
> not the LXX is Strictly Koine Greek

Answer: The LXX is part of the KOINH. No debate.

But this question and answer needs rephrasing and a perspective in
order to be more helpful.

Greek is a language.

Depending on the intention of the questioner, I am not sure that such
a thing as
"Strictly Koine Greek" ever existed.

Ancient Greek covers the old language,
which includes a FUTURE, SUBJUNCTIVE, and OPTATIVE morphology; DATIVE
case; and INFINITIVES, and was in use from before Homer's day to
Byzantium, to Nonnus and into the middle Ages with the likes of Anna

Out of//parallel to the IONIC, the Attic dialect became the prestige
dialect in the fifth-four centuries BCE. This Attic dialect was the
basis for Greek following Alexander the Greek, and is referred to as
KOINH (common) Greek. In that sense, Attic and KOINH were the same.
But they weren't exactly exactly the same. The rest of the world
tended to tweak the Attic a tad.

In general, the natural Greek of the post-300BCE can be called KOINH.
Josephus writes in KOINH Greek. this can be seen in some of his verb
forms. But he writes in a high literary style. The NT is written in
KOINH, but a clearer, unpretentious style. Yes, the LXX is certainly
KOINH, with some special morphological forms reflecting its particular
period and place of origin.

>From the time of Dio Chrysostom c100CE and onwards there was a
phenomenon of the Second Sophistic//ATTIKISMOS movement, where authors
tried to write with vocab and structures attested in the "classical
So they are not generally considered part of the natural development
of Greek of the KOINH period. But so-called KOINH and so-called
Atticistic Greek were one and the same language.
They called it ELLHNIKH GLWSSA.
We call it ancient Greek.
When you find GLOTTA, QALATTA and other double TT spellings, then you
have an Atticistic spelling/dialect, but they show up in KOINH
writings, even the NT, so they shouldn't be used artificially divide
the language and put a barrier within itself.
Bascially, KOINH means ancient Greek, post-Alexander. The LXX is included.

Randall Buth
Randall Buth, PhD
ybitan at mscc.huji.ac.il
randallbuth at gmail.com

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