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Style-Switching in the Didache: Fingerprint or Argument?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the inconsistency of style within the Didache as a criterion of interpretation. A more distinctive goal is to articulate an operant definition of "style", which might prove itself in the future study of early Christian literature generally. This is presented by the example of the approach to style in the Didache as part of the problem of the oral versus literary relation of the Didache to the synoptics. A critical review of Tuckett's work provides the basis upon which to compare and contrast the use of style as a criterion within source- and tradition-critical practice with the interpretation of "style-switching" in rhetorical and sociolinguistic theories. Tuckett's work, together with these latter theoretical standpoints, also suggests some categories through which we may explore an interpretation of style and "style-switching" within the Didache.

Keywords: Didache; rhetorical theories; sociolinguistic theories; Style-Switching; Tuckett



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