Difference Between Koine Greek and Modern Greek

What binds us together as one? Well, nonetheless, it’s the language. Language plays an integral role in binding people and their thoughts together. Fortunately, we all are blessed with different languages. Like Indians with Hindi, China with Chinese and Spanish in Spain. Similarly, koine Greek and modern Greek are some languages spoken predominately in Greece and Cyprus. However, there lies a difference.

Koine Greek vs Modern Greek

The main difference between koine Greek and Modern Greek is that koine Greek is an older language spoken in Greece and Cyprus while modern greek is a newer language. Also, If we talk on a practical basis, koine Greek was much more practical than the modern Greek language. Koine Greek was considered as the language of life and modern Greek as the language of books.

Koine Greek vs Modern Greek

Koine Greek, one of the most valuable and practical languages of Greece, was also known as Alexander dialect, common attic, Hellenistic, and biblical dialect. This language was believed to exist in the period 300 BC to 300 AD. It’s believed to be developed from the Alexander army and considered as the supra-regional dialect in Greece.

Modern Greek is an improvised version of koine greek that was spoken centuries ago. It’s a collective of dialects of the Greek language that is being in use in this modern era. If we talk about the statistics of how many speak Greek as of 2012, the figures were around 13.4 million. The countries where modern Greek is being spoken are Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Italy.

Comparison Table Between Koine Greek and Modern Greek

Parameters of ComparisonKoine GreekModern Greek
DefinitionKoine Greek is one of the finest languages spoken centuries ago.Modern Greek, as the term suggests, is the language that is in use as of today.
SimplicityKoine Greek is a way easier language to read and understand.Modern Greek is a little bit tough to read and understand.
Practical BasisKoine Greek is considered to be a more practical language.Modern Greek is less practical.
ConsiderationKoine Greek was considered to be the language of life.Modern Greek is considered the language of books.
Spoken EraKoine Greek was spoken between 300 BC to 300 AD.Modern Greek started from 300 AD till now.

What is Koine Greek?

Things kept evolving when there were certain drawbacks in the existing system, like flaws, limitations, no extension, etc. However, Koine Greek has nothing in any of that. Koine Greek, one of the major and popular languages of his time, was drawn from various dialects. It was considered to be the best version of greek languages and a more practical language at those times.

Alexander the great and their army played an important role in giving Koine Greek a good base and fruitful contribution towards the development of the language. It’s also based on the attic, a Hellenistic dialect that gives Koine Greek a new face and value. As soon as it was considered as an attic dialect, other ancient Greek dialects were suspended in the 2nd century AD.

Talking about koine, it’s a language of the Greek translation of the old testament, of the new testament, and its writings of Polybius, historian and Epictetus, a philosopher. Since it gives the Greek language a strong base, it’s considered as the basis of Greek languages.

It was used in scholarly books and post-classical Greek literature. It was found to be well while reading and learning since the concepts and understanding was way simple. Several countries used to speak koine Greek to communicate and establish relations.

What is Modern Greek?

Like you have something as of today, tomorrow it could get either replaced or transformed but doesn’t remain the same. Evolution is inevitable, and as soon as you accept the change and amendments, the better it will be for you. Modern Greek, a language predominantly spoken in Greece, has evolved from its parent language, koine Greek.

Talking about modern greek, it’s collectively made by putting several dialects together that are active in the modern era. This also includes the official standard Greek or Standard modern Greek. Ever since the Byzantine Empire fell, the period started to change. So the languages and usages fell of giving birth to new things and new languages.

It was in 1453 when this happened. Then it was considered as the end of the medieval period and the beginning of the modern period. Yes, the dates aren’t quite accurate, but it’s a belief, and many books say 1453. During the modern Greek era, it’s believed that language existed in a situation knows as diglossia, with existing regionals dialects hand in hand.

Since modern Greek was spoken in the modern era, it’s believed that many alphabets and number had changed with time. Also, according to the survey, the number of the speaker as of 2012 were around 13 million. Some countries like Greece, Turkey, Albania, Italy, Cyprus use modern Greek to communicate and build communities.

Main Differences Between Koine Greek and Modern Greek

  1. Koine Greek is a simpler language to read and understand, while modern Greek is Lil bit tough and hard to understand.
  2. Koine Greek included Alexander dialect, while modern Greek included dialects that existed when the Empire fell.
  3. Koine Greek is a more practical language than modern Greek, according to the artists.
  4. Koine Greek was predominantly used from 300 BC to 300 AD, while modern Greek is spoken in the modern era.
  5. Koine Greek has simplified sentences with easy grammar, while modern Greek is not that easy.


Either it’s modern Greek or koine greek, languages play a vital role in communication. Without communication, we all are speechless and expressionless. These two languages played an important role in countries like Greece and Cyprus giving them a basis to build lives and relationships.

Modern Greek is derived from koine Greek. Hence Koine Greek is a superior and supreme language. Yes, there was a scope of improvements that had to be made to maintain a good balance between the speakers and the language.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=KApnCgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT15&dq=koine+greek&ots=S5PSNufOg8&sig=eT-k_mpmY7zR7_kpJNa4YvoZ34s
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=L-Z5DwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR3&dq=koine+greek&ots=bukpuTvi5M&sig=hksa8q8BdhjgBVjgo2EmwjKuGxU
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