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Textual Connections in Acts
Stephen H. Levinsohn
Publication Date
January 1997


“This monograph considers how relating successive sentences of a narrative to their context affects the way in which sentences begin and the order in which their elements (words, phrases and clauses) occur. In particular, it is concerned with the range of choices open to the writer of Acts, as regards both the form taken by the initial phrase or clause of the sentence, and the conjunction employed. Because ‘meaningfulness implies choice,’ the significance is discussed of selecting one conjunction rather than another, and of beginning the sentence with one element in preference to some other.…

Part One of this monograph develops the concept of the basis for relating a sentence to its context. The basis chosen affects the order of elements in the sentence and the form of the clause selected to begin a sentence in Acts.… In Part Two of the monograph, the distribution of de and kai in the narrative of Acts is explained in terms of a suprasentential ‘development unit’ (DU) which reflects the author’s purpose. As a narrative unfolds, the author not only needs to show how the event he describes in a sentence relates to its context. He may also wish to indicate whether that event represents the next step in the development of his story or is concerned only with the step introduced in an earlier sentence.”
—from the introduction

“Levinsohn makes a serious contribution to biblical studies by exploiting discourse analysis to shed light on two inadequately explained linguistic phenomena. The value of this work, a pioneer effort integrating structural linguistics with study of ancient languages, will be greatly appreciated by those drawing upon it.… Though technical and demanding, this book should prove a helpful stimulus for discussion of issues that take scholars back to the text.”
—Stanley E. Porter, Journal of Biblical Literature