Scholarly consensus holds that the Matthean version of Peter’s denial contains reference to a distinctive Galilean accent, which is the traditional understanding of λαλιά in Matt 26:73. Indeed, this understanding is so widely assumed that its very ubiquity has been described as rendering citation unnecessary. However, a survey of linguistic evidence indicates that this common assumption is far from the most plausible understanding of the passage, which is that λαλιά refers not to Peter’s accent but rather to the excessive nature of his speech in denying association with Jesus. More intriguing than merely establishing the correct meaning of this passage, though, is appreciating the manner and means by which this view has become so regnant as to require neither thorough documentation, nor careful attention to the scholarship that is cited in its support.

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