Why Didn't St Basil Write in New Testament Greek?, John A. L. Lee

Abstract: St Basil's Greek is noticeably different from that of the New Testament, though both fall within the Koine period of ancient Greek. This paper sets out to explain the reason. St Basil's Greek and the Greek of the New Testament are briefly characterised, then the discussion surveys the rise of Atticism, the ancient education system and St Basil's education. The Conclusion is reached that Basil's choice of the higher language and style of the pagan Classics was the natural one for him, though paradoxical in that he, as a Christian, rated the content of the Biblical books as superior.

Bio: John A. L. Lee, FAHA, retired from the University of Sydney after teaching Greek for 27 years. He is affiliated with Macquarie University and St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College, and continues to engage in research and publication. His research interest is Greek philology of all period. His major works are A Lexical Study of the Septuagint Version of the Pentateuch (1983) and A History of New Testament Lexicography (2003). An edition and study of the first lexicon of the New Testament (1514) is his current main project, and his most recent publication is a chapter 'Auxiliary thelo' in The Language of the Papyri (ed. Evans and Obbink, OUP, 2009).