Latinisms This word, which properly signifies idioms or phraseology peculiar to the Latin tongute, is extended by Biblical critics so as to include also the Latin words occurring in the Greel Testament. It is but reasonable to expect the existence of Latinisms in the language of every country subdued by the Romans. SEE ROME. The introduction of their civil and military officers, of settlers, and merchants, would naturally be followed by an infusion of Roman terms, etc., into the language of their new subjects. There would be many new things made known to some of them for which they could find no corresponding word in their own tongues. The circumstance that the proceedings in courts of law were, in every part of the Roman empire, conducted in the Latin language, would necessarily cause the introduction of many Roman words into the department of law, as might be amply illustrated from the present state of the juridical language in every country once subject to the Romans, and even in our own. Valerius Maximus (2:2, 2), indeed, records the tenacity of the ancient Romans for their language in their intercourse with the Greeks and their strenuous endeavors to propagate it through all their dominions. 'The Latinisms in the New Testament are of four kinds.
1. Latin Words in Greek Characters. — The following are instances (see Tregelles in Horne's Introd. 4:15): Α᾿σσάριον, "farthing," from the Latin assarius (Mt 10:29). This word is used likewise by Plutarch, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and Athenaeus, as may be seen in Wetstein, ad loc. SEE ASSARIUM. Κῆνσος, census (Mt 17:25); κεντυρίον, cenlturio (Mr 15:39), etc.; λεγεών, legio, "legion" (Mt 26:53). Polybius (B.C. 150) has also adopted the Roman military terms (6:17) 1616. Σπεκουλάτωρ, speculator, "a spy," from speculor, to look about," or, as Wahl and Schleusner think, from spiculum, the weapon carried by the speculator. The word describes the emperor's life-guards, who, among other duties, punished the condemned; hence "an executioner" (Mr 6:27), margin, "one of his guard" (comp. Tacitus, Hist. 1:25; Josephus, War, 1:33, 7; Seneca, De Irâ, 1:16). Μάκελλον, from macellum, "a market-place for flesh" (1Co 10:25). As Corinth was now a Roman colony, it is only consistent to find that the inhabitants had adopted this name for their public market, and that Paul, writing to them, should employ it. Μίλιον, "a mile" (Mt 5:41). This word is also used by Polybius (34:11, 8) and Strabo (5:332).
2. Latin Senses of Greek Words: as καρπός (Ro 15:28), "fruit," where it seems to be used in the sense of emolumentum, "gain upon money lent," etc.; Tratvoe, "praise," in the juridical sense of elogium, a testimonial either of honor or reproach (1Co 4:5).
3. Those forms of speech which are properly called Latinisms: as βουλόμενος τῷ ὄχλῳ τὸ ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι "willing to content the people" (Mr 15:15), which corresponds to the phrase satisfacere alicui; λαβεῖν τὸ ἱκανὸν παρά, "to take security of," satis accipere ab (Ac 17:9); δὸς ἐργασίαν, "give diligence," da operam (Lu 12:58) — the phrase remittere ad aliuom judicem is retained in Luke 23, σὺ ὔψει, "see thou to that," tu videris (Mt 27:4) (Aricler, Hermeneut. Biblica, Viennae, 1813, page 99; Michaelis, Introd. to the New Test. by Marsh, Camb. 1793, volume 1, part 1, page 163 sq.).
4. Latin Terminations in Greek, Gentile, and patronymic nouns: e.g. Ηερωδιανός (Mt 22:16) alnd Χριστιανός (Ac 11:26, etc.) (Winer, New Test. (Gram. ed. Andlover, 1869, page 95).
The importance of the Latinisms in the Greek Testament consists in this, that, as we have partly shown (and the proof might be much extended), they are to be found in the best Greek writers of the same era. Their occurrence, therefore, in the New Testament adds one thread more to that complication of probabilities with which the Christian history is attended. HIad the Greek Testament been free from them, the objection, though recondite, would have been strong. At the same time, the subject is intricate, and admits of much discussion. Dr. Marsh disputes some of the instances adduced by Michaelis (at sup. page 431 sq.). Dresigius even contends that there are no Latinisms in the New Testament (De Latinismis, Lips. 1726; and see his Vinidiciae Dissertationis de Latinisnmis). Even Aricler allows that some instances adduced by him may have a purely Greek origin. Truth, as usual, lies in the middle, and there are, no doubt, many irrefragable instances of Latinisms, which will amply repay the attention of the student. See Georgii Hierocrit. de Latinismis Novi Test. (Wittemberg, 1733); Kypke, Observat. Sacr. 2:219 (Wratisl. 1755); Pritii Introductio in Lect. Nov. Test. page 207 sq. (Leipz. 1722); Wetterburg, De vocibus Latinis in N.T. obviis (Lund. 1792); Fougberg, De Latinismis in N.T. (Upsal. 1798); Kapp, De N.T. Latinismis (Lipsite, 1726); Wernsdorf, De Christo Latine loquente, page 19; Jahn, Archiv. II, 4; Olearius, De Stylo Nov. Test. page 368 sq.; Inchofer, Sacrae Latinifatis Historia (Prag. 1742). SEE NEW TESTAMENT.