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How Greek Language Helped Spread The Gospel Theology Religion Essay

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A difficult task was given to the disciples when Jesus walked the earth roughly 2000 years ago. The task given to them was one they could not complete on their own. The completion of the task would have to be completed with their full trust and faith in God. Many would say what they completed was impossible and it would have been to anyone not fully and solely relying on the strength and wisdom of God. Jesus tells his disciples in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” [1] This was the task given to the disciples for them to fulfill. But how was this rather small group of people supposed to tell the entire world the good news of Jesus Christ? We should well know that without God they would never have been able to do. But God had a means and had a plan to help them just as He has a means and plan for us today. This paper will discuss one of those means for spreading the Gospel: the Greek language.

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Michael Green wrote a book called, “Evangelism in the Early Church.” In his book he describes three main ways to help spread the Gospel and these ways are referred to as the “Pathways for Evangelism” [2] The three ways discussed in the book are Roman Peace, Greek Culture, and Jewish, Religion, but our focus will solely be on the part about Greek culture. This article mentions that the Greek language was already an established language; it was pretty much a universal language. It was said that Latin was confined to certain regions. In his book, Green states that, “Horace complained that captive Greece captured her conquerors. [3] It had become standard long before the first century AD for Roman education to be conducted in the Greek language. Cicero observed that Greek was read by practically the whole world, while Latin was confined to its own territory.” [4] While people like Alexander the Great were trying to push Hellenism or Greek culture on people, this actually ended up being used for God’s glory to help spread His Word.

With Greek being the predominant language in most of the world, some people used this as an advantage to spread the gospel. One the people that we can look to is Paul. Paul wrote most of the New Testament and he used the Greek language to be able to reach the churches he sent letters to and to reach out to the Gentiles who were being shunned by most Jews. Paul had a message that Jesus is the God of Jews and Gentiles thought not just the Jews. Another article says this: “Greek culture had influenced the church growth a lot. Even if is not a spiritual factor, greek culture contributed a lot on spreading the gospel. The gospel in order to become a world-evangel was translated into Greek. The early Christian missionaries did not learn the languages or patois of the Roman empire, but confined themselves to centers of Greek culture. Paul wrote in Greek to the church in Rome itself, of which Greek was the language.” [5]

There were many factors that helped in spreading the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire. There is a list of factors in an online article and the Greek langugage is put as third on the list for the spread of the Gospel. It specifically says, “The universal use of Greek as a result of former conquests aided communication.” [6]

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The task at hand for the disciples to tell the whole world about Jesus Christ and what he had done for them was a rather large one. A very challenging goal was set, but it was a goal in whichcould be done with God by their side. Using the Greek language also as a tool to help spread the Word of God was a tremendous asset. This task is still open for his believers today. It did not just stop with the death of the disciples in the first century. With that being said, we need to think about our lives and see if we are helping to spread the gospel as he has commanded us. If we are not then we need to start doing what Jesus has told us in the Great Commission. Will you continue the task?

 



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