## Stichometry in the New Testament

Every speech must be put together like a living creature, with a body of its own;

it must be neither without head nor without legs;

and it must have a middle and extremities

that are fitting both to one another and to the whole in the written work. (Plato)^{[1]}

A whole is what has a beginning and middle and end. (Aristotle)^{[2]}

Discover the New Testament from a new perspective:

Each of its books is structured carefully, as was expected of ancient authors. They measured the size of prose texts exactly according to a standard line (**stichos**). With this method they were able to define the proportions of a book in advance.

We attempt to trace the original **disposition** of the author as far as possible. Starting point in each case is a thorough and detailed analysis of the book’s content. Then the number of lines is registered for each paragraph, each part and the whole of the book. Next we ask: What is the relation between the size of a book and the size of its parts? The mathematical structures very often turn out to be astonishingly simple.

The **results** of this structuring and counting are displayed for each book in table form. For two books, the Gospel of Mark and Ephesians, the **Greek texts** are added. They are partitioned into *stichos* lines and then subdivided into units of different levels. Thus the way from the text to the structuring table can be demonstrated by an example.

Now, enjoy a tour of discovery through the New Testament!

Friedrich G. Lang

^{[1]}Plato,Phaidros264C:

Δεῖν πάντα λόγον ὥσπερ ζῷον συνεστάναι σῶμά τι ἔχοντα αὐτὸν αὑτοῦ,

ὥστε μήτε ἀκέφαλον εἶναι μήτε ἄπουν,

ἀλλὰ μέσα τε ἔχειν καὶ ἄκρα,

πρέποντα ἀλλήλοις καὶ τῷ ὅλῳ γεγραμμένα.

^{[2]}Aristotele,Poetics7,3:

Ὅλον δέ ἐστιν τὸ ἔχον ἀρχὴν καὶ μέσον καὶ τελευτήν.