Tag Archives: Linguistics

Language & Identity in Early Christian Texts

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(Larry Hurtado)  Earlier this week I finished reading the newly-published version of the PhD thesis of another of our recent students:

Julia A. Snyder, Language and Identity in Ancient Narratives, WUNT 2, no. 370 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014).

She demonstrates admirable familiarity with principles of linguistics, especially socio-linguistics, applying herself to three case-study texts:  Acts of the Apostles, Acts of John, and Acts of Philip.  For each text, her question is whether the terminology of speakers varies with difference audiences being addressed.  In particular, when Christians are portrayed addressing other believers do they use different terminology (e.g., in referring to Christ and/or God) than when addressing “outsiders”?

It’s data-rich, measured and careful in making judgements, and to my mind persuasive in them.  Congratulations, Julia!

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