Using Objective Stylometric Techniques to Evaluate New Testament Authorship

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Kenneth Royal


Background: Bible scholars often debate the authorship of certain books appearing in the New Testament.


Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate New Testament authorship by using stylometric analytical techniques


Setting: This research focuses on texts appearing in the New Testament.


Intervention: This was an exploratory research on evaluation study with no intervention.


Research Design: A powerful, state-of-the-art psychometric model was applied to Biblical text in an effort to identify correlations among word usage and writing style among each of the New Testament books.

Data Collection and Analysis: Strong’s Concordance was used to provide original Greek text. Computer programming was necessary to create a worksheet that contained a list of New Testament books, each Greek word appearing in the New Testament, and a count of each word’s appearance relative to each book. Rasch-based Principal Components Analysis of standardized residual correlations was used to map stylistic similarities and differences.


Findings: With regard to substantive findings, the gospels (Matthew, Luke, Mark, and John) and the narrative book of Acts were closely correlated. Other texts presented a mix of expected and unexpected findings. With regard to other findings, the technique presented in this study offers a great deal of promise to various research and evaluation practices.



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How to Cite
Royal, K. (2012). Using Objective Stylometric Techniques to Evaluate New Testament Authorship. Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, 8(19), 1–7.