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Soldier of Macedon 10-31-2008 11:10 PM

Macedonians, Greeks and the New Testament
The New Testament Bible supports the fact that Macedonia and the Macedonians are not Greek in an ethno-linguistic or national sense. Where written in the Bible ‘Macedonians’ is in the national sense, as the people of Macedonia, whereas the term ‘Greek’ usually refers to a non-Christian and non-Jew of a Pagan belief, or a higher cultural distinction when ranged against a ‘barbarian’. During the time of Jesus Christ the Koine Greek language was common and widely understood due to its past tradition of being a language of trade, education and class in Europe and Asia. Although the people from Jesus' era (or at least some of them) are likely to have had a good knowledge of the language, in the Bible they are clearly spoken of as Jews due to their religious origin. Through the comparisons with the term ‘Jew’ in the Bible, it is demonstrated that the term ‘Greek’ is broad and does not represent an exclusive ‘ethno-linguistic’ community.
[QUOTE][COLOR="Blue"]Romans Chapter 10
For there is [U]no distinction between Jew and Greek[/U]; for the [U]same Lord is Lord of all[/U], and is rich to all who call on him.[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

[QUOTE][COLOR="blue"]Galatians Chapter 3
You are [U]all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus[/U]. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is [U]neither Jew nor Greek[/U], slave nor free, male nor female, for [U]you are all one in Christ Jesus[/U].[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

Clearly the term ‘Macedonian’ and even the term ‘Roman’ cannot properly fit in the above passages as they are not considered religious designations. The ‘Greeks’ in Macedonia, Rome or Greece therefore, who are compared to ‘Jews’ or ‘barbarians’, are people of a higher status, well educated, and/or believers of a Pagan faith such as the 12 Gods, who by descent could be of Macedonian, Roman or Greek origins. At no stage does the Bible make reference to the Macedonians themselves as ‘Greeks’, instead it makes reference to the ‘Greeks’ and ‘Jews’ in the Macedonian cities of Berea and Salonika.
[QUOTE][COLOR="blue"]Acts Chapter 17
When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to [U]Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue[/U]. As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ" he said……………………… [/COLOR][/QUOTE]

[QUOTE][COLOR="blue"]Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. [U]Many of the Jews believed[/U], as did also a number of prominent [U]Greek women and many Greek men[/U]. When the [U]Jews in Thessalonica[/U] learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, they went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up.[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

Despite these references, in Saint Paul’s letter to Rome, the language of communication is Koine Greek, and the terminology used refers to religion or class, such as ‘Jew or Greek’, ‘Greek or barbarian’, etc. The Romans, who unlike the ‘Greeks’ do not even get a mention in Rome itself during this important incident, are a Latin people who were influenced by Koine Greek much in the same way the Macedonians, Jews and others were.
I am debtor to [U]both Greeks and barbarians[/U], both to wise and unwise. So as much as in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to [U]you who are in Rome[/U] also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for [U]the Jew first and also for the Greek[/U].[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

The term ‘Greek’, eventuating as a synonym for a Christian of the East in western terminology (Paralleled with the use of the term ‘Roman’ in the actual East) had lasted well into the 19th century, although since the creation of the modern Greek state its meaning came to be more narrow, tailored to fit a newly created identity claiming a fanciful ancient heritage based on ethno-linguistic purity. Of course, the notion that there existed only one people, ‘Greeks’, within the greater part of Europe during that era is completely unrealistic for several reasons, not least that all the people within the vicinity of the ancient Greeks endured the same hardships and invasions together, and the clear fact that many and various peoples had existed during the Roman civilization.

Macedonia and the Macedonians, a former country and nation reputed by a glorious history in the world, are clearly and distinctly distinguished from Greece and Achaia (a tradition had developed by Roman writers in which reference to Achaia, being the main region of Greece, was in fact reference to the latter.) In the Bible, Macedonia and Achaia are the two most commonly referred to regions in South East Europe, and while what is considered ‘Greece’ is mostly referred to as Achaia in the Bible, Macedonia is only Macedonia, albeit representing a much larger region in the Roman Empire.
[QUOTE][COLOR="blue"]Corinthians II Chapter 9
For I know your forward mind: for which I boast of you to [U]the [B]Macedonians[/B][/U], that Achaia also is ready from the year past. And your emulation hath provoked very many. Now I have sent the brethren, that the thing which we boast of concerning you be not made void in this behalf, that, as I have said, you may be ready: Lest, when [U]the [B]Macedonians[/B][/U] shall come with me and find you unprepared, we, not to say ye, should be ashamed in this matter[/COLOR].[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE][COLOR="blue"]Romans Chapter 15
For [U]Macedonia [B]and[/B] Achaia[/U] were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

[QUOTE][COLOR="blue"]Thessalonians Chapter 1
You became imitators of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all who believe in [U]Macedonia [B]and[/B] in Achaia[/U]. For from you the word of the Lord has been declared, not only in [U]Macedonia [B]and[/B] Achaia[/U], but also in every place your faith toward God has gone out; so that we need not to say anything[/COLOR].[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE][COLOR="blue"]Acts Chapter 20
When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and [U]set out for [B]Macedonia[/B]. He [B]travelled through that area[/B], speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and [B]finally arrived in[/B] Greece[/U], where he stayed three months. Because the Jews made a plot against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, [U][B]he decided to go back through Macedonia.[/COLOR][/B][/U][/QUOTE]

Macedonia is the first place of mainland Europe which Saint Paul sets foot on to continue his mission and the first Christian convert of Europe was a girl from the Macedonian town of Phillipi, her name being Lydia. Ever since the days of Macedonian expansion under the leadership of Phillip II the city of Phillipi, by then a Roman colony, had been a part of the Macedonian realm and the region was a constant source of men for the Macedonian Army during the Macedonian-Roman wars.
[QUOTE][COLOR="blue"]Acts Chapter 16
Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. [U][B]During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia[/B][/U], concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis[/COLOR].[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE][COLOR="blue"]From there [U]we travelled to [B]Philippi[/B], a Roman colony and the leading city of that [B]district of Macedonia[/B][/U]. And we stayed there several days. On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

Although along with the people of Macedonia, the people of Rome are at some stage referred to as ‘Greeks’ and ‘Jews’, the Macedonians and Romans are not Semitic Israelites or ethnic Greeks, and they are certainly not Semitic Israelite or ethnic Greek in a native linguistic or national sense, and nothing in the Bible indicates as such. The Macedonians are distinctly cited in the Bible and are key figures in Saint Paul’s holy travels throughout Europe. To deny the existence of Macedonia and the Macedonian people is to deny the truth of the Bible.
[QUOTE][COLOR="blue"]Acts, 19
So the whole city was filed with the confusion, and rushed into theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, [U][B]Macedonians[/B][/U], Paul’s travel companions[/COLOR].[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE][COLOR="blue"]Acts Chapter 27
We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, [U]a [B]Macedonian[/B] from Thessalonica[/U], was with us[/COLOR].[/QUOTE]

Macedonians, you must stay united!
[QUOTE]Thessalonians Chapter 4
[SIZE="4"][COLOR="blue"]But concerning brotherly love, you have no need that one write to you. For you yourselves are taught by God to love one another, for indeed you do it toward all the brothers who are in all Macedonia[/COLOR][/SIZE].[/QUOTE]

makedonin 11-01-2008 12:06 PM

Good one SOM,

even that I ain't fan of Wikipedia, here is the quote from it related to the topic:

[QUOTE]Saint Paul in his Epistles uses Hellene, almost always in association with Hebrew, possibly with the aim of representing the sum of those two religious communities.[34] Hellene is used in a religious meaning for the first time in the New Testament. In the Gospel of Mark 7:26, a woman arrives before Jesus kneeling before him:[B] "[COLOR="Red"]The woman was a Hellene[/COLOR], a [COLOR="Blue"]Syrophenician by nation[/COLOR];[/B] and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter."[35] Since the nationality or ethnicity of the woman was Syrophenician, "Greek" (translated as such into the English of the King James Version, but as haižno "heathen" in Ulfilas' Gothic; Wycliffe and Coverdale likewise have heathen) must therefore signify her religion.

El Bre 11-01-2008 08:55 PM

Lovely stuff.

Philosopher 11-05-2008 12:19 PM

Nail on the head, SoM.

I made a similar post on Maknews many months ago--content and intepretation wise, identical.

There is neither "Hellene nor Jew" in Christ. Simple and yet, so true.

What I think is important also to point out is the prophecy of Daniel in the Old Testament. For many years, Greeks and non-Greeks have pointed out that the prophecy of the "king of javan" or "Greece" as some translate it into English, is not "Greek" at all.

All Europeans claim descent from Japeth--the fair race. And Javan was a son of Japeth. Naturally, Javan had many sons--two of which were Macedonians and Greeks; hence, the close genetic connection and Hesiod's myth of kinship. In most simplistic terms, Javan and his descendants were scattered in the Eastern Mediterranean and the isles thereabout. Naturally, not all these peoples were Hellenes; however, they are all of close kinship.

And although to the Jews Javan might have symbolized "Hellene," if this is true at all, then it clearly was a title of a pagan, a non-Jew, as St. Paul uses it in his epistles and as does St. Luke in Acts. And since as Orbini witnesses that all people east of Rome were considered Hellenic, it makes perfect good sense. Moreover, the strong connection Alexander and the Macedonian aristocracy had with Hellenic culture, gave the Macedonians a "Greekness" over time, which translated them as "northern Greeks" in name but clearly not in reality.

makedonin 11-05-2008 01:18 PM

For more on Javan look up [URL=""]here[/URL]

Javan has nothing with Greek but rather with the whole Tract behind Hellespont, till Slovenia.

Pelister 11-07-2008 12:23 AM

[QUOTE=makedonin;4782]Good one SOM,

even that I ain't fan of Wikipedia, here is the quote from it related to the topic:[/QUOTE]

Wow. Isn't that an eye opener.


Hellenes as pagans, as Jews, as non-Jews.

So many perspectives on just what a Hellene is.

Daskalot 11-07-2008 03:14 PM

The Neohellenes fear the truth, we are the truth sayers thus we inflict serious pain in their brain...

Soldier of Macedon 12-21-2009 09:41 PM


I was reading some of the older threads in this section and I came across this, and as it was posted well over a year ago, I thought it timely to bring it up again.

Macedonia and the Macedonians are a historic people, recorded in the bible.

TrueMacedonian 12-22-2009 01:51 AM

This is sentence is legendary;

[QUOTE]During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."[/QUOTE]

Nice topic SoM.

Bill77 12-27-2009 10:06 AM

[B]I would like to add to what SOM breifly discussed regarding ROMANS 1 in the New Testament. My main focus is the word "BARBARIAN" which We know for a fact that the ancient Greeks stereotyped and called Macedonians Barbarians. Greeks claim the word Barbarian is a Greek word, Yet Modern Greeks seem to not understand the meaning of this word "Barbarian". Below i will like to show in the days of the Gospel, A) what Barbarian is refered to, and B) what Greek means.

Let me start with the Romans 1:14 verse. There are a few versions or translations to this verse, but all meaning the same. such as,[/B]

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.

New International Version (©1984)
I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish

Bible in Basic English
I have a debt to Greeks and to the nations outside; to the wise and to those who have no learning.

Weymouth New Testament
I am already under obligations alike to Greek-speaking races and to others, to cultured and to uncultured people

World English Bible
I am debtor both to Greeks and to foreigners, both to the wise and to the foolish.

Young's Literal Translation
Both to Greeks and to foreigners, both to wise and to thoughtless, I am a debtor,

[B]Clear distinction Between Greeks and Non Greeks. Here are Bible Commentary of this verse,[/B]

People's New Testament

1:14 I am a debtor. He owed it, or was under obligation to preach the gospel

both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians. The Greeks called other people but themselves barbarians, but in the apostolic age the Romans were excepted. The cultured Greeks and the proud Romans looked with contempt on all other races. Paul is a debtor to both, and must give them the gospel. Hence he is so anxious to labor at Rome.

Both to the wise, and to the and unwise. Here the division into two classes turns on knowledge, instead of race. His meaning is that the gospel must be offered to every class.

[B]Here is the Lexicon for that verse. Inparticulor, Take note of the Defenition of the word "Greek",[/B]

NASB Greek Transliteration Definition Origin
to Greeks Ἕλλησιν ellēsin a Greek, usually from Hellas
a name for a

barbarians βαρβάροις barbarois barbarous,barbarian of uncertain
origin, but
onomatop for

KJV Lexicon
ελλησιν noun - dative plural masculine
Hellen hel'-lane: a Hellen (Grecian) or inhabitant of Hellas; by extension a Greek-speaking person, especially a non-Jew -- Gentile, Greek.
τε particle
te teh: also, and, both, even, then, whether. Often used in composition, usually as the latter participle.
και conjunction
kai kahee: and, also, even, so then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words
βαρβαροις adjective - dative plural masculine
barbaros bar'-bar-os: a foreigner (i.e. non-Greek) -- barbarian(-rous).
σοφοις adjective - dative plural masculine
sophos sof-os': wise (in a most general application) -- wise.
τε particle
te teh: also, and, both, even, then, whether. Often used in composition, usually as the latter participle.
και conjunction
kai kahee: and, also, even, so then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words
ανοητοις adjective - dative plural masculine
anoetos an-o'-ay-tos: unintelligent; by implication, sensual -- fool(-ish), unwise.
οφειλετης noun - nominative singular masculine
opheiletes of-i-let'-ace: an ower, i.e. person indebted; figuratively, a delinquent; morally, a transgressor (against God) -- debtor, which owed, sinner.
ειμι verb - present indicative - first person singular
eimi i-mee': a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist (used only when emphatic) -- am, have been, it is I, was.


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