Pauline Language and the Pastoral Epistles

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.

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Biographical Note

Jermo van Nes (Ph.D., 2017) is Senior Researcher at the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven, Belgium. He has published academic articles in leading journals devoted to the study of the New Testament, including New Testament Studies, Novum Testamentum, Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, and the Journal for the Study of the New Testament.

Table of contents

Contents Acknowledgements List of Tables List of Figures List of Abbreviations Introduction

Part 1 The Linguistic Problem of the Pastoral Epistles

1 Origins of the Problem: Founding Figures  1.0 Introduction  1.1 E. Evanson  1.2 F. D. E. Schleiermacher  1.3 J. G. Eichhorn  1.4 H. J. Holtzmann  1.5 P. N. Harrison  1.6 Conclusion 2 Constituents of the Problem: Linguistic Peculiarities  2.0 Introduction  2.1 Peculiarities of Vocabulary  2.1.1 Grecisms  2.1.2 Un-Paulinisms  2.2 Peculiarities of Syntax  2.2.1 Ὡς  2.2.2 Articles  2.2.3 Prepositions  2.2.1 Univariate Statistics  2.2.2 Multivariate Statistics  2.3 Conclusion 3 Solutions to the Problem: Authorship Hypotheses  3.0 Introduction  3.1 Orthonymity Hypotheses  3.1.1 Statistical Fallacies  3.1.2 Derivative Words  3.1.3 Preformed Traditions  3.1.4 Age  3.1.5 Addressees  3.1.6 Subject Matter  3.1.7 Textuality (versus Orality)  3.1.8 Stylistic Adaptation  3.1.9 Register  3.1.1 Luke  3.1.2 Tychicus  3.2 Pseudonymity Hypotheses  3.2.1 Luke  3.2.2 Timothy  3.2.3 Polycarp  3.3 Partial Orthonymity Hypotheses  3.4 Conclusion

Part 2 The Linguistic Problem of the Pastoral Epistles Reconsidered

4 Approaching the Problem: Methodological Considerations  4.0 Introduction  4.1 Linguistic Criticism  4.2 Towards a Linguistic Analysis of the Corpus Paulinum  4.2.1 Consistency Model  4.2.2 Resemblance Model  4.2.3 Population Model  4.2.1 Quantitative Analysis  4.2.2 Qualitative Analysis  4.2.1 Post-Pauline Interpolations?  4.2.2 Co-authors and/or Secretaries?  4.3 Conclusion 5 Pauline Vocabulary: New Perspectives  5.0 Introduction  5.1 Hapax Legomena  5.1.1 Quotations  5.1.2 Proper Nouns  5.1.3 Productivity  5.1.4 Age  5.2 Lexical Richness  5.2.1 Emotionality  5.2.2 Age  5.2.3 Topicality  5.2.4 Textuality (versus Orality)  5.3 Missing Indeclinables  5.3.1 Subjectivity  5.3.2 Emotionality  5.3.3 Textuality (versus Orality)  5.4 Conclusion 6 Pauline Syntax: New Perspectives  6.0 Introduction  6.1. Interclausal Relations  6.1.1 Parataxis  6.1.2 Hypotaxis  6.1.1 Age  6.1.2 Textuality (versus Orality)  6.2 Structural Irregularities  6.2.1 Parentheses  6.2.2 Anacolutha  6.2.3 Ellipses  6.2.1 Emotionality  6.2.2 Textuality (versus Orality)  6.3 Conclusion Conclusion Appendix 1 Hapax Legomena in the Corpus Paulinum Appendix 2 Lexical Richness in the Corpus Paulinum Appendix 3 Missing Indeclinables in the Corpus Paulinum Appendix 4 Interclausal Relations in the Corpus Paulinum Appendix 5 Structural Irregularities in the Corpus Paulinum Bibliography Index of Modern Authors


All biblical, New Testament, and Pauline scholars, in particular those interested in the letters addressed to Timothy and Titus, the so-called Pastoral Epistles.