Asyndeton in Paul. A Text Critical and Statistical Enquiry into Pauline Style

Author: Güting, Eberhard
Mealand, L.
This study explores the stylistic effects of asyndeton in three of Paul's major letters: Romans and First and Second Corinthians. It analyzes the way in which these stylistic features underwent change at the hands of scribes. By comparing the use of connectives in passages of similar style, the authors recover the liveliness of Paul's original texts. Passages with firm text are used to analyse patterns of speech and of writing. Manuscript variation, too, contributes to this analysis. By carefully charting the way in which the main Pauline manuscripts have deviated from Paul's use of asyndeton, the authors build a profile of the behavior of individual manuscripts and also of groups of texts. This text is essential reading for anyone interested in Pauline style, or engaged in the methodical recovery of Pauline texts.


Anyone interested in the current state of text criticism will benefit not only from the bibliography which this book contains but also from the authors’ demonstration of the craft of text criticism. I would use it in a course on text criticism. Güting’s judgments on particular passages should be cited in future commentaries on Romans and the two epistles to the Corinthians.” – The Catholic Biblical Quarterly “. . . despite the inevitably technical nature of the material, this is a surprisingly readable monograph. It contains some illuminating insights into Paul’s rhetoric in Romans and the Corinthian correspondence, and has many helpful exegetical comments on a wide variety of verses.” – The Expository Times

“Very useful is the list of thirty-two readings judged as original that differ from the UBS/NA text. . . . excellent example of a fruitful hermeneutical circle. Given the importance of particles for analyzing Paul’s thought, exegetes as well as textual specialists will consult with profit this careful study, which research libraries will wish to acquire.” – Religious Studies Review “. . . . an approach which both expands our knowledge of Paul’s prose style and helps to resolve a number of textual problems. . . . It is sincerely to be hoped that exegetes and grammarians as well as textual scholars will read and ponder this material. Even if they do not agree with every conclusion, they need to know about the textual history of asyndeton in Paul and to be able to make informed decisions. This book performs the valuable task of leading the reader into the topic and forcing the exercise of those critical faculties which are blunted by over-dependence on the printed text.” – TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism