Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Top Ten Recommendations for Books on Biblical Orality-Scribality

Many of you have been writing to ask me for a reading list for studies in orality-scribality in biblical literature. So here are my top ten picks in alphabetical order:
  1. Samuel Byrskog, Story as History, History as Story: The Gospel Tradition in the Context of Ancient Oral History. Leiden: Brill, 2002.
  2. David M. Carr. Writing on the Tablet of the Heart: Origins of Scripture and Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  3. William A. Graham. Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
  4. Richard A. Horsley with Jonathan A. Draper. Whoever Hears YOU Hears Me: Prophets, Performance, and Tradition in Q. Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 1999.
  5. Richard A. Horsley, Jonathan A. Draper, and John Miles Foley (eds.). Performing the Gospel: Orality, Memory, and Mark. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2006.
  6. Martin S. Jaffee. Torah in the Mouth: Writing and Oral Tradition in Palestinian Judaism, 200 BCE–400 CE. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  7. Werner Kelber, The Oral and Written Gospel. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983.
  8. Terence C. Mournet, Oral Tradition and Literary Dependency. WUNT 2:105, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005.
  9. Susan Niditch. Oral World and Written Word: Ancient Israelite Literature, Library of Ancient Israel. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.
  10. D. C. Parker. The Living Text of the Gospels. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.


Jared Calaway said...

Well...I have read 2 out of 10 (Carr and Niditch). The Jaffee book looks interesting. Thanks for posting this list.

April DeConick said...


The Jaffee book is EXCELLENT!

James F. McGrath said...

Thanks for sharing this! I think that along with these works, anyone working on Biblical orality should also read some of the key works on orality more generally. In addition to Jan Vansina's work on oral history, let me also recommend Jack Goody's book The Interface Between the Written and the Oral.