Jonathan Robie wrote:Thanks - I think I wasn't clear enough about my main question. You're saying that Luke and Acts are no more like each other than the similarities found in some set of texts that were written by different authors. What set of texts did you use for this? What sample did you use for comparison?
I'd assume, for instance, that the first chapter of Luke and the first chapter of Acts are much more like each other than either is to the first chapter of John. If you did clustering on some set of criteria on Luke, Acts, John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and the Revelation, I would expect Luke and Acts to fall into one group, John and 1-3 John in another group, and the Revelation to fall into a third group. I think many Greek readers would intuitively group text from these books in the same way. Would your technique also see Luke and Acts as more similar to each other than either is to these other texts?
To analyze just any passage or chapter from Luke or Acts was not a rigorous enough standard for me. The question of sources looms large in Luke and obscurely in Acts. So, I spent a long time identifying those passages whose authorship is the least contested - that is, seams and summaries. I consulted a set of experts and their commentaries for the experts' opinions as to which seams and summaries were judged to be authorial. In so doing, I eliminated as much idiosyncrasy as possible in data selection. Thus, when finished, I had a set of passages from Luke and a set of passages from Acts, deemed authorial by a majority of experts; it is those I analyzed.
I did not venture into the books of 1, 2, 3 John or Revelation. It was a gigantic task to do what I did, although as a future project it might be interesting. Assuming that Luke and Acts could not be the only Greek ever written by the author/s, I was satisfied that sampling the seams and summaries offered a reliable set of data.
Patricia Walters, Ph.D.
Department of Religious Studies