A language belonging to the Indo-European family and the parent of the Romance languages, namely, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish. The word “Latin” itself occurs only once in the Bible, at Joh 19:20, where it is mentioned that the inscription placed above Jesus on the torture stake was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
When Jesus Christ was on earth, Latin was the language of the Roman authorities in Israel. It appeared on official inscriptions, although it was not the common language of the people. So it is not surprising to find various forms of Latinisms in the Christian Greek Scriptures. These contain over 40 Latin proper names of people and places, such as Aquila, Luke (Lucas), Mark (Marcus), Paul (Paulus), Caesarea, and Tiberias. In this part of the Bible are found Greek equivalents of some 30 Latin words of military, judicial, monetary, and domestic nature, such as centurio (Mr 15:39, army officer), denarius (Mt 20:2), and speculator (Mr 6:27, bodyguard). Certain Latin expressions or idioms also occur, such as “wishing to satisfy the crowd” (Mr 15:15) and “taking sufficient security” (Ac 17:9). Latinisms are found mostly in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. In fact, Mark used more of them than any other Bible writer. This lends credence to the belief that he wrote his Gospel in Rome and mainly for Gentiles, particularly the Romans. Paul made little use of Latinisms, and none are found in the Greek Septuagint. The appearance of Latinisms in the Scriptures is of more than academic interest to Bible readers. It shows that Bible writers accurately depicted the Roman occupation of ancient Israel when Jesus was on earth. Further, the use of these and similar Latinisms by secular Greek writers of the same period argues that the Christian Scriptures were indeed produced during the times referred to. This testifies to the authenticity of the Christian Greek Scriptures.