Roughly speaking, an interval of about two hundred years separates the New Testament from the Septuagint. In most languages a period of that duration would mean great modifications and many new developments. It is different with the two centuries we are considering. Two types of speech have become stereotyped, and have both been used in literature.

The one, indeed, is only a literary language; for this purpose it has been formed, and its aim is to keep itself as free as possible from accommodation to the popular standard. The other is originally the common speech of the people; but, after passing through the mould of Hebrew thought, it, too, has become, in a sense, literary, or at least it has become the vehicle of a large and uniquely important collection of books. That has given fixity to it, so that henceforward it may be used as a standard or norm.