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Jesus, the Voice, and the Text: Beyond <i>The Oral and the Written Gospels</i> Paperback – October 1, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932792600
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932792607
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,849,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Jesus, the Voice, and the Text is enlightening and easily accessible to scholars of religion and the casual reader alike.

-Martin S. Jaffee, Samuel and Althea Stroum Professor of Jewish Studies, Comparative Religion, & International Studies, University of Washington

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...varied, enlightening, and easily accessible to both scholars of religion and the casual reader alike. -Martin S. Jaffee

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James F. McGrath on March 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
The recent volume edited by Tom Thatcher, Jesus, the Voice, and the Text: Beyond The Oral and the Written Gospel (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2008) provides both an appreciative and critical retrospective on the contribution of Werner Kelber to our understanding of orality and the Gospels, as well as explorations of methods and perspectives both old and new on this and related topics.

The first three chapters focus specifically on the work of Werner Kelber and in particular his groundbreaking book The Oral and the Written Gospel. The first chapter, by Tom Thatcher, reviews "Kelber's conclusions in each of these three areas: the hermeneutics of orality and writing, the media history of Christian origins, and the inevitable clash between a media-sensitive approach and traditional text-based models of biblical interpretation" (p.3). One particular contribution of Kelber's is his emphasis on the transitory character of oral words, existing only for the moment they are uttered. A corollary is that there can be no "transmission of content" in an oral context (p.4). This makes it impossible to speak of "originals" and "variants" - indeed, according to Kelber, each rendition was not only "an original version" but "the original version" (p.5, quoting Kelber; see too p.23). Oral speech/performance is thus characterized by a combination of stability in the overall framework and gist, and variability in the wording and precise details (p.6). Thatcher's chapter also highlights other characteristics of oral storytelling, providing in the process a helpful overview of the state of recent scholarly study of orality in early Christianity.
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