The character of New Testament diction, although it is pretty definitely marked, was for a long mistaken, or was imperfectly and partially understood by biblical philologists. The reason for this was, the want of acquantaince with the character of the Greek language in its later periods, joined with polemical considerations, which always render men of clear understanding in respect to other things, slow to discern what is correct in respect to a controverted subject.
From the time of Henry Stephens (1576) down to the middle of the past century, two parties existed among the interpreters of the New Testament; the one of which laboured to shew, that the diction of the New Testament is in all respects conformed to the style of the Greek (Attic) writers; while the other maintained, on the contrary, and supposed themselves able to prove from every verse, that the style was altogether mixed with Hebraisms, and came very far short of the ancient classic Greek, in respect to purity. Although in latter times, the former of these assertions has been shewn to be inadmissible; yet it was not until quite lately, that the imperfect conceptions of those who maintained the latter position began to be felt, and the spirit of the New Testament diction to be more deeply investigated. It is proper to introduce a grammar of the New Testament by prefixing to it the result of such an investigation; particularly so, because the subject is still misapprehended or overlooked, by some interpreters of considerable reputation.