Oral Tradition and Literary Dependency: Variability and Stability in the Synoptic Tradition and Q
With this work, Terence C. Mournet contributes to the ongoing discussion regarding oral tradition and the formation of the Synoptic Gospels. Synoptic studies have been marked by an excessive bias towards exclusively literary models of Synoptic interrelationships. Despite the widespread recognition that oral tradition played a significant role in the formation of the gospel tradition, the gospels are often examined as literary works apart from their relationship to oral performance. While not dismissing the use of written sources in the process of gospel composition, a study of the relationship in antiquity between oral communication and written texts leads us to re-examine any solution to the Synoptic Problem that does not take into adequate account the influence of oral tradition upon the development of the gospel tradition. Orality studies, and in particular folklore research, can help provide additional insight into the transmission of the early Jesus tradition and the formation of the Synoptic Gospels. The author examines various so-called 'Q' pericopes in light of the folkloristic characteristics of variability and stability, and he raises questions about how we envision the form and scope of a 'Q' text. While not discounting the assured results of literary methods of Gospel analysis, it is suggested that more serious attention be given to an oral performance model of early Christian tradition transmission.
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Characteristics of Oral Communication
addition Aland ancient approach argues argument assumption attempt Bultmann Carlston chapter character characteristics composition conclusion contains context criticism culture dependency derived describe detail Dibelius difficulty discussion double tradition Dundes early early Christian evidence examination example existence extent Figure folklore function given helpful highly historical hypothesis important indicates individual Jesus tradition laws Length level of verbatim literary literature Lord Mark material Matt Matthean Matthew and Luke means Memory method noted Number observation oral communication oral performance oral tradition origins overall parallel particular passages pericope perspective possible present Press question reading recent recognized regarding Sanders sayings scholars sections setting Shared Words significant similar Statistical story subsequent suggests summary Synoptic Gospels Synoptic Tradition Table term Testament textual transmission understanding University variability verbatim agreement Volume writing written και
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