official religion of the empire. This made Greece a part of Christendom.
Today Greece controls a land area of 50,944 square miles (131,945 sq. kilometers) and has a population of 8,612,000 (1966 estimate).
Inordinate or rapacious desire; covetousness. Greed can manifest itself in love of money, desire for power or gain, voraciousness for food and drink, sex, or other material things. The Scriptures warn Christians against this degrading trait, and command that they should avoid association with anyone calling himself a Christian “brother” who practices greediness. (1 Cor. 5:9-11) Greedy persons are classed with fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, men kept for unnatural purposes, thieves, drunkards, revilers and extortioners, and, indeed, greedy persons generally practice some of these things. If an individual does not turn away from his greediness, he will not inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9, 10) In condemnation of foolish talking and obscene jesting, the apostle Paul commands that fornication and uncleanness or greediness “not even be mentioned among you.” This may mean that, not only should such practices not exist among Christians, but also they should not even be a topic of their conversation, as for the purpose of gratifying the flesh.—Eph. 5:3; compare Philippians 4:8.
BECOMES MANIFEST IN ACTIONS
Greediness will manifest itself in some overt act that will reveal the individual’s wrong and inordinate desire. The Bible writer James tells us that wrong desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin. (Jas. 1:14, 15) The greedy person can therefore be detected by his actions. The apostle Paul states that being a greedy person means being an idolater. (Eph. 5:5) In his greedy desire such a one makes the thing desired his god, putting it above the service and worship of the Creator.—Rom. 1:24, 25.
ALIENATES FROM GOD
Christians have come out from a world filled with all forms of bad conduct. Paul points out that, not only are such things carried on, but they are pursued with greediness, greedily sought after. Persons practicing these things are “alienated from the life that belongs to God.” Those becoming Christians find that Christ their Exemplar was free of such things and hence they must make their minds over, putting on the new Christian personality. (Eph. 4:17-24; Rom 12:2) At the same time they are living among greedy persons of the world and must be careful to maintain cleanness as illuminators in the world.—1 Cor. 5:9, 10; Phil. 2:14, 15.
Greediness for dishonest gain would disqualify a man from being a ministerial servant in the Christian congregation. (1 Tim. 3:8) Since such men are to stand before the congregation as examples, it follows that the principle would apply to all members of the congregation. (1 Pet. 5:2, 3) Especially is this seen to be true in the light of Paul’s statement that greedy persons will not inherit the Kingdom.—Eph. 5:5.
RELATED TO COVETOUSNESS
In the Christian Greek Scriptures the Greek words used for “greediness” and “covetousness” are closely related. Jesus Christ stated that covetousness defiles a man (Mark 7:20-23), and warned against it. He followed this warning with the illustration of the covetous rich man who, at death, no longer had benefit from or control of his wealth and was also in the lamentable state of not being “rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-21) Christians are told that their life is “hidden with the Christ” and that they must therefore deaden their body members as respects covetousness, hurtful desire and all uncleannesses.—Col. 3:3, 5.
A language belonging to the Indo-European family of languages, the tongue of those believed to have inhabited east-central Asia or west-central Europe. (Hebrew is from the Semitic, another family of languages.) Greek is the language in which the Christian Scriptures were originally written (aside from Matthew’s Gospel, which may have been written first in Hebrew) and in which also appeared the first complete translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, namely, the Septuagint Version.
There are three main types of language: (1) isolating, without inflection of its words, and using such devices as word-order for variety of expression, as does Chinese; (2) agglutinative, making use of separable prefixes, infixes and suffixes, as does Turkish; (3) inflectional, achieving variety in expression by means of stems, prefixes and endings. Greek is an inflectional language.
Little is known of the history of the Greek language prior to 1500 B.C.E. In fact, its history is quite obscure prior to the time of about 1000 B.C.E. Due to isolation caused by geographical divisions, a number of different dialects were forming from what appear to have been the original three dialects, Aeolic, Doric and Ionic. The Attic dialect, of Athens, was a development from these, based chiefly, some authorities say, on the Ionic. Attic was the classical Greek. From 330 B.C.E. to 330 C.E. was the age of koi·neʹ Greek, a mixture of differing Greek dialects of which Attic was the most influential. The synthesis of Koi·neʹ was brought about by the military campaigns of Alexander the Great, in whose army were representatives from all the Greek tribes, and whose conquests caused Koi·neʹ to become an international language. From 330 C.E., when the seat of Roman government was moved from Rome to Constantinople, until 1453, when the Turks captured that city, Byzantine Greek was spoken. Since then, modern Greek has held sway. Some scholars have a different outline of the history of Greek, but it is generally agreed that these were the general epochs.
Koi·neʹ had a very distinct advantage over the other languages of the day, in that it was almost universally known. Koi·neʹ means common language or dialect common to all. How widespread the use of koi·neʹ Greek was can be seen from the fact that the decrees of the imperial governors and of the Roman senate were translated into Koi·neʹ to be distributed over the Roman Empire. Accordingly, the charge posted above Jesus Christ’s head at the time of his impalement was written, not only in official Latin and in Hebrew, but also in (koi·neʹ) Greek.—Matt. 27:37; John 19:19, 20.
Regarding the use of Greek in the land of Israel, one scholar comments: “Although the main body of the Jewish people rejected Hellenism and its ways, intercourse with the Greek peoples and the use of the Greek language was by no means eschewed. . . . The Palestinian teachers regarded the Greek translation of the Scriptures with favor, as an instrument for carrying the truth to the Gentiles.” (Hellenism, Bentwich, 1919, pp. 115-117) Of course, the primary reason for the Septuagint Version was for the benefit of the Jews, especially those of the Dispersion, who no longer spoke the pure Hebrew, but were familiar with Greek. Old Hebrew terms involving Jewish worship came to be replaced by terms Greek in origin. The word sy·na·go·geʹ, meaning “a meeting together,” is an example of the adoption of Greek words by the Jews.
Koi·neʹ used by inspired Christian writers
Since the writers of the inspired Christian Scriptures were concerned with getting their message across with understanding to all the people, it was not the classical, but the koi·neʹ Greek that they used. All these writers themselves were Jews. Though