The history of the Jesus movement and earliest Christianity requires careful attention to the characteristics and peculiarities of oral and literate traditions. Understanding the distinctive elements of Greco-Roman literacy potentially has profound implications for the historical understanding of the documents and events involved. Concepts such as media criticism, orality, manuscript culture, scribal writing, and performative reading are explored in these chapters. The scene of Greco-Roman literacy is analyzed by investigating writing and reading practices. These aspects are then related to early Christian texts such as the Gospel of Mark and sections from Paul's letters.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"At last! This collection of essays by Pieter Botha is a tremendous gift to those interested in issues related to orality and literacy in the ancient world. Botha is among the leading voices in this conversation. His thoughtful and carefully crafted essays represent some of the best work in the field. This collection deserves to be a part of any conversation moving forward." --Holly Hearon, Author of The Mary Magdalene Tradition
"For twenty years Pieter Botha has been doing foundational research on the communications media of the ancient world . . . I have repeatedly returned to his articles, learned from them again, and cited them often. Finally, we have Botha's important articles collected and easily accessible in this book." --Richard Horsley, Author of Hearing the Whole Story
"Botha's work is a significant, historical study that cuts through dichotomous views of communication and demonstrates the complex relationship of oral and written media in antiquity. This is responsible scholarship that seeks to define 'orality' and 'literacy' as cultural activities informed by their historical settings." --James Maxey, Author of From Orality to Orality
Prof. Pieter Botha David Rhoads
Pieter J. J. Botha is Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Studies at the University of South Africa (Unisa) in Pretoria. He is the author of Everyday Life in the World of Jesus.