THE FOUR GOSPELS
Why was the New Testament written in Greek
The Greek language was at that time extended over the whole civilized world. It prevailed even in several cities of Palestine, and was to the Jews of Egypt, and of all other foreign lands, the language of the Bible and of literature.
As soon, therefore, as Christianity passed the bounds of Palestine, it was necessarily propagated in this language, although at the outset it was preached first to the Jews.
At an early period, however, there were found among the Christ[adelphians] native Greeks or Greek Jews, who preached the Gospel to the Greeks. At Antioch, the point whence proceeded the missions to the Greeks and the Greek Jews, the Greek language and culture prevailed.
Barnabas and Paul, who led these missions, were Greek Jews; and the latter was probably the father of the New Testament literature.
Ancient tradition claims for but one of the New Testament books a non-Greek original. The supposition of other such originals is inadmissible. And wisely was this so, for from the earliest rise of Christianity to the present time, the spread of the Gospel has waited on extension of commerce.
Alexandria was the grand emporium of trade, the resort of the great Jewish merchants, and the seat of their celebrated philosophical school, where the common language was the so-called popular dialect of Greek, or the Macedonio-Alexandrian.
Into that dialect the Old Testament had been translated, centuries before the advent of the Saviour, by the Seventy, and but upon especial occasions it is to that translation that Our Lord himself, as well as the Apostles, always refers.
The Gospel had been rejected by the unbelieving Jews. It was to be preached to the Gentiles, and Greek was, at that period, preëminently the language of the Gentile world-even that Macedonio-Alexandrian Greek, which had become the vernacular language of commerce throughout all the ports of the Mediterranean.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Jan 1859