New Testament scholars continue to debate the number of missing ‘particles’ in disputed Pauline letters in order to advocate or challenge their pseudonymity. Surprisingly, however, participants in the debate do not usually define particles nor do they explain how they count missing types. Addressing these methodological issues, the present study suggests using the broader category of ‘indeclinables’ instead of particles, and to count missing types by either comparing the data for a particular letter (or group of letters) against another letter (or group of letters) or in light of the entire Pauline letter corpus. Since the overall result proves to be different for both approaches, it appears that the question regarding the number of missing indeclinables in (pseudo-)Pauline literature is essentially one of method.
This paper was written in the capacity of research associate in the Department of New Testament studies at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and it was delivered to the research group ‘The Study of the New Testament Greek’ at the fifth annual conference of the European Association of Biblical Studies held in Córdoba, Spain, 12-15 July 2015.