CHAPTER XVI
LANGUAGE AND STYLE

The third factor to be considered in the work of Luke is the author's individuality. His sources represent the deeds and records of predecessors. His general language, method and viewpoint he shares with others of his group. There remains, however, something distinctive in his writing, as there is something distinctive in everyone's writing --his own personality. To distinguish this and to isolate it for study is never easy even for contemporaries, and it is especially difficult for us to do so for the evangelist because of our remoteness in time, thought and knowledge. Often a writer himself is as unaware of his own special characteristics as he is of the conventions of his group. He has of course some conscious viewpoints and some definite aims. These we shall postpone for later examination. At this stage we wish rather to consider, so far as it can be detected, the author's own personality as one of the determining factors in the making of Luke-Acts. But our only clue to this influence is the resultant character of the work itself and the author's unconscious self-revelation there.

Even a man's language is individual. His printed diction is nearly as distinctive as his voice or as his handwriting. With some men the favorite or peculiar idioms are more numerous and striking than with others, but nearly every writer has something of his own. If these idiosyncrasies are too prominent and peculiar, we call them mannerisms. Under less odious titles phenomena of the same kind can

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