Friday, June 10, 2005

Informal Controlled Oral Tradition

I am extremely happy to share Kenneth Bailey's seminal article on Informal Controlled Oral Tradition and the Synoptic Gospels, which is a must read for all those interested in studying the gospels and their origins carefully. This articles forms the basis of much historical research into Jesus of Nazareth. Bailey's conclusion looks like this:
Thus, in summary and conclusion, here we have observed a classical methodology for the preservation, control and transmission of tradition that provides, on the one hand, assurance of authenticity and, on the other hand, freedom within limits for various forms of that tradition. Furthermore, the types of material that appear in the Synoptic Gospels include primarily the same forms that we have found preserved by informal controlled oral tradition such as proverbs, parables, poems, dialogues, conflict stories and historical narratives.
Tom Wright uses it foundationally in his tome, Jesus and the Victory of God. Jimmy Dunn has also made use of it in his study, Jesus Remembered. Dunn has also managed to take a parting jab at the third quest for not taking seriously enough studies on Oral Tradition, but favouring rather more speculative literary hypotheses about the infamous "Q". Dunn's latest little book: A New Perspective On Jesus: What The Quest For The Historical Jesus Missed, adds much to the discussion about oral tradition. For those brave enough to sift through a rather technical study, NT Gateway still has Dunn's online seminar: Jesus in Oral Memory. R. T. France also makes use of this lecture in his essay, The Gospels as Historical Sources, which is a must read for those not familiar with the field.
Have fun...

1 comment:

Gareth Naude said...

I found R.T France's article very good, expecially read in conjunction with Baucham's Eyewitness and gospel tradition