Oral Tradition and Biblical Studies

by Robert C. Culley

Oral Tradition 1/1 (1986):30-65

(Editor's Note: This fine survey is worth re-reading!)

From the article:

The discussion of oral tradition in biblical studies has a rather long history, so there would be no point in trying to review everything or to examine all the material with equal thoroughness. This review, then, will attempt to cover the ground in three chronological stages. The first stage, up to the early decades of this century, will do little more than consider two remarkable scholars from the end of this period, Julius Wellhausen (d. 1914) and Hermann Gunkel (d. 1932). The next stage will note the main features of three streams of research which run alongside one another from around 1930 to about 1960. The last stage will review the last twenty-five years, and here the aim will be to cover all relevant contributions and authors. For the last two stages, the Old Testament and the New Testament will be treated separately.

Download the whole article from the Oral Tradition website.