Week 4 – “Roman Imperialism and Christian Scribality” Kelber

October 20, 2007

I’m taking Storytelling with Olive Drane. We talk a lot about the oral tradition of early Jewish culture and what that means for the reading of oral stories preserved in the four gospels. Kelber concludes: “As a marginalized group, the early Christians scribalized their traditions for the purpose of solidifying cultural memory and constructing a sense of history” (110). In addition, the authors of the four gospels wrote down four versions of the gospel story, each crafted for a different audience and to preserve different aspects of Jesus’ ministry and identity. Reading scripture with the lens of an oral culture telling stories with a different idea of truth than our western emphasis on “just the facts, ma’am, just the facts” opens up a whole new understanding of early Christian interpretation of reality.

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