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Oral Fixation or Oral Corrective? A Response to Larry Hurtado

  • Kelly R. Iverson (a1)

Over the last several decades, performance criticism has made significant headway as an interpretive method. However, in a recent issue of this journal, Larry Hurtado argues that the key assumptions of the movement ignore various historical realities regarding the use of texts in the ancient world. The following discussion offers a brief response to what Hurtado suggests are several ‘oversimplifications’. The essay argues that rather than being a ‘fixation’ as Hurtado maintains, the renewed focus on orality and performance is a corrective that helps to provide a broader understanding of how biblical texts were typically experienced in the ancient world.

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L. W. Hurtado , ‘Oral Fixation and New Testament Studies? “Orality”, “Performance” and Reading Texts in Early Christianity’, NTS 60 (2014) 321–40

P. Roberts , ‘Defining Literacy: Paradise, Nightmare or Red Herring?’, British Journal of Educational Studies 43 (1995) 412–32

H. C. Kee , ‘The Transformation of the Synagogue after 70 ce: Its Import for Early Christianity’, NTS 36 (1990) 124

R. E. Oster Jr, ‘Supposed Anachronism in Luke Acts’ Use of ΣΥΝΑΓΩΓΗ’, NTS 39 (1993) 178208

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New Testament Studies
  • ISSN: 0028-6885
  • EISSN: 1469-8145
  • URL: /core/journals/new-testament-studies
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