This dissertation explores "scale" in literature in general, and in the New
Testament epistles in particular. All creative activity has its locus at an
appropriate point within a wide scale spectrum: literature is no exception.
This became apparent in 1965 when scale relationships were observed by
the author in cumulative sum graphs of the Pauline epistles. Such scale
differences are familiar to architects who use scale as a creative tool, but a
wide search through standard reference books, surveys of work on statistical
stylometry, linguistics and Biblical studies failed to provide any evidence that
scholars were aware of scale in literature.
Further investigation revealed that scale differences were to be found in
many fields of creativity, in architecture, art, photography, music and
engineering. Also explored was an interesting parallel found in the
multi-layered scaling associated with the mathematics of chaos.
To provide a broader perspective through which to view the Pauline
epistles, 80 works by six modern authors and the writings of three ancient
Greek authors were selected as test material. Graphs were prepared
showing the sentence sequences and distributions of these works comprising
over 400,000 words, and scale differences were found, not only between
works, but also between sections of individual works. These were related to
differences in genre, and this raised serious questions concerning the
statistical homogeneity of samples containing scale differences. Care was
taken to relate patterns directly to the content of the text and to the findings
of Biblical scholarship.
Links with theology revealed that the sense of the numinous presence,
and the sense of the sublime in art, were on occasion directly reflected in
sentence length. Human moods and feelings were found to have
unpredictable but measurable manifestations in terms of scale in literature.
The Pauline epistles revealed a common scaling structure of varying
degrees of complexity, and a mathematical model was devised to
demonstrate that major parts of all thirteen epistles share similar unusual
scaling features. Significant patterns of a different kind were also found
covering the texts of Hebrews and substantial portions of 1 and 2 Peter. It
is submitted that these patterns provide new hard evidence which must be
considered together with the evidence from other sources in arriving at
conclusions concerning the authorship of the New Testament epistles.