Re: Luke's Semitic Style

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon May 17 1999 - 09:49:53 EDT

At 8:41 AM -0500 5/17/99, James P. Ware wrote:
>After so many years of study there still seems to be no consensus on the
>origin of the heavily Semiticized style which is especially
>prominent in certain sections of Luke-Acts. It would seem that the
>explanation would have to lie in either (or, perhaps, both) 1) Luke's
>conscious imitation of LXX Biblical style, or 2) an Aramaic and/or Hebrew
>source(s). Is the question insoluble? Does any one on the list have any
>insights into this question?

No particular insight, but my recollection is that Raymond Brown, in _Birth
of the Messiah_, argued that Lk 1-2 were composed in deliberate imitation
of the style of the LXX.

I might just add, with regard to the question of Mark's style, about which
Edgar Foster was commenting, something I've said previously: that I've
changed my own attitude toward Mark's style and am now inclined to think
that he is reverent toward his source material and its often-contorted
Greek formulation, but that when he is writing what appear to be his own
redactional segments, the Greek style is not only less objectionable but
even quite respectable (DOKIMOS, I think, was the Greek term?).

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243

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