Ancient Letters and the New Testament: A Guide to Context and Exegesis

By Hans-Josef Klauck; Daniel P. Bailey | Go to book overview
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3
Nonliterary and Diplomatic
Correspondence

A. Questions of Classification

Bibliography 14: M. Buss, “Principles for Morphological Criticism: With Special Reference to Letter Form,” in R. A. Spencer, ed., Orientation by Disorientation: Studies in Literary Criticism and Biblical Literary Criticism, FS W. A. Beardslee, PTMS 35 (Pittsburgh, Pa. 1980) 71–86. P. Cugusi, Evoluzione (Bib. 2) 105–36. A. Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East (Bib. 1) 227–51. W. G. Doty, “The Classification of Epistolary Literature,” CBQ 31 (1969) 183–99. H. Koskenniemi, “Cicero über die Briefarten (Genera Epistularum),” Arctos NF 1 (1954) 97–102 (= FS E. Linkomies). H. Hunger, Buch- und Schriftwesen (Bib. 12). E. R. Richards, Secretary (Bib. 4) 14–23. K. Thraede, “Zwischen Gebrauchstext und Poesie: Zur Spannweite der antiken Gattung Brief,” Didactica Classica Gandensia 20 (1980) 179–218. J. L. White and K. A. Kensinger, “Categories of Greek Papyrus Letters,” SBLSP 1 (1976) 79–91.

The multitude of letters that have come down to us from antiquity presents us with considerable problems of classification that have not found a single simple or widely accepted solution. If we focus for the moment only on the types of writing materials, then papyrus could be used for recording any number of different kinds of writings. In the words of one specialist, papyrus was used for “all works of literature from first draft to final copy, but also all types of documents, including official and private letters, petitions and complaints, records of various authorities, minutes of municipal councils, accounts and lists of bank and tax officials, journal entries, contracts of sale, lease, and marriage, wills, birth and death announcements, etc.” (Hunger 32)—and significantly a

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