THE DEVELOPMENT OF STYLE (FIFTH CENTURY BCE TO SECOND CENTURY CE) AND THE CONSEQUENCES FOR UNDERSTANDING THE STYLE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Craig A. Smith
Sterling College, Sterling KS, USA
The introductory paragraph runs as follows.
Classics scholars have recognized that style, both in terms of theory and practice, was an important element of ancient writing. Strangely, however, very little has been written by New Testament scholars about how an understanding of ancient style affects one’s understanding of the writings of the New Testament.1 These scholars dedicate very little attention to the style of documents apart from some cursory notes in commentaries about the style of a particular Epistle or Gospel. It is often assumed that style in the first century CE was static and established. But style in the first century CE, as I will show, was anything but static and established. The purpose of this paper is threefold: to map the development of literary style, to demonstrate the consequences this development has on the way one examines the style of the New Testament and to make a brief application to 2 Tim. 4.1-8.