oa Scriptura : Journal for Contextual Hermeneutics in Southern Africa - The spelling eye and the listening ear : oral poetics and new testament writings

Volume 117 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0254-1807
  • E-ISSN: 2305-445X



Concepts such as orality, media criticism, manuscript culture, oral reading and performance have been introduced to New Testament scholarship since the 1980s, but their impact on and contribution to mainstream research are still in question. A resurgent interest in these socio-cultural notions is raising fundamental questions about approaches to and conclusions about early Christian texts. Some of the impli-cations and possibilities of these developments are reviewed and briefly illustrated. Rather than emphasising another method or ‘criticism’ that could be ‘added’ to the repertoire of biblical scholarship, it is proposed that a multifaceted conceptualising of ‘speaking-hearing-remembering’, an ‘oral poetics’, inform NT scholarship.

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