Subjects: 05-04, 07-10, HCLS, 05-01, HBIB
A Study of Linguistic Variation in the Corpus Paulinum
In Pauline Language and the Pastoral Epistles Jermo van Nes questions the common assumption in New Testament scholarship that language variation is necessarily due to author variation. By using the so-called Pastoral Epistles (PE) as a test-case, Van Nes demonstrates by means of statistical linguistics that only one out of five of their major lexical and syntactic peculiarities differs significantly from other Pauline writings. Most of the PE’s linguistic peculiarities are shown to differ considerably in the Corpus Paulinum, but modern studies in classics and linguistics suggest that factors other than author variation account equally if not better for this variation. Since all of these explanatory factors are compatible with current authorship hypotheses of the PE, Van Nes suggests to no longer use language as a criterion in debates about their authenticity.