Levels of Style: A Bridge between the Composition and Delivery of New Testament Writings

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


Classical scholars commonly describe the ancient concept of stylistic levels with the presupposition that it merely involves literary style, how a message is expressed in a text. A study of what the rhetorical treatises say about the stylistic levels shows, however, that they affected not only composition, but also delivery and audience reactions. The delivery and reception of a text was strongly influenced by how it was written and structured. There was a close relationship between composition, delivery and reception and this relationship can be understood with the help of the levels of style.

This paper introduces a method of analyzing stylistic variation in New Testament writings. Identifying and assessing compositional features that are important in defining the stylistic level, e.g. word choices, rhetorical figures, and instances of hiatus, the paper will demonstrate how these features work together to build up the text’s stylistic intensity. That level of stylistic intensity in turn defines how the text should be accurately delivered.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Religious Studies


  • Levels of style, Orality, Performance, Rhetoric, Style
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch
EventSociety of Biblical Literature International Meeting 2011 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 2011 Jul 32011 Jul 7


ConferenceSociety of Biblical Literature International Meeting 2011
CountryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: New Testament Studies (015017052)