This is the first sustained investigation of the oral patterning of "1 John" 1:1-4, examining underlying design and organization. Unlike literature in the modern western world, ancient documents were typically crafted for the ear rather than the eye. This new investigation of the structure of "1 John's Prologue" analyzes the oral patterning and resulting soundscape reflected in this key New Testament passage. After discussing contemporary techniques of sound analysis and establishing the study's methodological approach, Brickle examines the "Prologue's" aural profile. Here we begin to explore, describe, and depict graphically the patterns of sound that emerge as the text is read aloud. Brickle uses the approaches to Greek pronunciation and orality advocated in the recent New Testament research to determine the impact on the "Prologue's" soundscape, followed by an analysis employing the principles for beautiful and effective composition elucidated by the ancient teacher of rhetoric, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, in his treatise, "On Literary Composition".
A final section draws together the results and implications of the study before suggesting further ways to apply research in orality, performance, and memory to the "Prologue" and other ancient texts. Formerly the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement, a book series that explores the many aspects of New Testament study including historical perspectives, social-scientific and literary theory, and theological, cultural and contextual approaches. The "Early Christianity in Context" series, a part of "JSNTS", examines the birth and development of early Christianity up to the end of the third century CE. The series places Christianity in its social, cultural, political and economic context. "European Seminar on Christian Origins" and "Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus Supplement" are also part of "JSNTS".