10 thoughts on “Listening to the Text

  1. says:

    I originally picked up this volume chasing a rabbit down a hole looking at the structure of Ecclesiastes led me to read Peterson s use of Gibson s structure of Romans, and he referenced this book I found it very helpful to accurately describe structures chiasmus is not the only word to describe such structures Harvey provides a richer andaccurate vocabulary which is helpful across languages But reading on or backwards , I also found it a really interesting approach to structure in I originally picked up this volume chasing a rabbit down a hole looking at the structure of Ecclesiastes led me to read Peterson s use of Gibson s structure of Romans, and he referenced this book I found it very helpful to accurately describe structures chiasmus is not the only word to describe such structures Harvey provides a richer andaccurate vocabulary which is helpful across languages But reading on or backwards , I also found it a really interesting approach to structure in Paul s letters I looked in detail at his work in 1 Thessalonians and have found it very helpful for preaching the book.The one star off is because I wish he had done the other NT books, or even the deutero Pauline corpus this sort of analysis, compiled into one book, is brilliant, and I would be an enthusiastic recommender of any author who continued the project left unfinished in this book Perhaps that might be Harvey s next project I should add I fully understand the need to restrict such a study It just leaves me wantingIn summary great for vocabulary on structure Wonderfully insightful for preaching Only deals with the Hauptbriefe


  2. says:

    In this volume, John Harvey reviews the recent studies on oral cultures, literacy and concepts of Orality Extensive studies have been done in recent decades on the ancient cultures and the development of literature, such as in the Greek, Roman and Hebrew traditions Harvey contributes greatly to our awareness of oral culture characteristics in the ancient writings.Oral to LiterateHarvey considers the oral patterning in literature in light of the established views of transitions from oral cultur In this volume, John Harvey reviews the recent studies on oral cultures, literacy and concepts of Orality Extensive studies have been done in recent decades on the ancient cultures and the development of literature, such as in the Greek, Roman and Hebrew traditions Harvey contributes greatly to our awareness of oral culture characteristics in the ancient writings.Oral to LiterateHarvey considers the oral patterning in literature in light of the established views of transitions from oral culture to literate culture He applies this specifically to the study of Paul s writings in the New Testament He analyzes passages minutely for style and pattern, shedding light on the meanings and uses of the writings He enables us to envision the letter read aloud to the target community serve as the oral representative of Paul.Oral Culture ContextThe author establishes a clear foundation of cultural context, from his own analysis, and other experts in various disciplines which clearly show that writing was primarily a support of an oral culture The writings of Homer and literature on up in to the Christian era, were written to be read to hearing audiences.One important insight, surprising to modern western cultures, is that silent reading, even in private study, was not the common pattern we now accept as normal This practice was unknown in ancient times and was still considered a strange anomaly by Western scholars as late as Augustine.Different CultureA growing body of knowledge, analysis and literature has established the firm view that the ancient cultures, even with their written records, were not literate cultures as we use that term today The culture, its thought and its common body of knowledge was not focused in writing and in the written materials amassed This is a recent modern culture phenomenon.Oral CharacteristicsIn his analysis, Harvey details four key factors in the writings of the First Century AD He analyzes these to find any commonality He discovers that all that literature displays a pattern different from the historically recent Western analytical culture of literacy developed since the Enlightenment This he summarizes in four characteristics 1 the oral development of the message entailing dictation, rather than silent writing or writing for the eye to read 2 the writing format establishing the same oral presence of the writer to the audience 3 the thought patterns involved in such writing 4 and the fact that the writings would be read aloud in their circulation to the relevant communities.Concrete Relational CultureCritical to this worldview difference is a view of reality categorized as concrete, rather than abstract, practical rather than analytical I did not labor over the analysis of the Greek of every passage of the New Testament letters analyzed, since I wasfamiliar with these.I have, in fact, made notes over the years in my study Bibles in Greek and other languages of characteristics I have recognized from my experience working in African languages and their Oral Relational cultures Over my decades in African cultures, I had spent considerable time studying oral literature and learning worldview concepts of African peoples.I did enjoy some time reading over the text and analysis of ancient Greek and Latin authors It was good to see a formal and complete analysis of Paul s texts as oral texts It was helpful to see the consistency of Paul s writing with the surrounding Greek styles of the period.Paul a Greek Writer Harvey concludes that every type of oral rhetorical patterning that was discovered in the Greek classics occurs in Paul s letters High in occurrence are patterns reminiscent of Septuagint usages In all quotes from the Septuagint, Paul keeps the full oral patterns, whereas some other New Testament writers paraphrase or modify passages from the Old Testament they use in their writing.Greek Old TestamentThis documents the common belief that the New Testament writers, and here in focus Paul, used a Greek Old Testament in referencing and interpreting the foundations of Christian faith.This is consistent with what has been portrayed by other disciplines of study about the language and culture situation in the Roman Empire at the time of Christ Greek was the common language, and the Greek Tanakh Hebrew Bible, commonly called the Septuagint was the common form of the Hebrew scriptures used at that time


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