Contextualizing Israel’s Sacred Writings: Ancient Literacy, Orality, and Literary Production
Brian B. Schmidt, editor
Reviewed in RBL 03/2017.
From the review by Gareth J. Wearne:
"The significance of this volume is twofold : it represents a timely reflection on the state of the field by some of its leading participants; and it contains several important — and at times challenging — steps forward in the ongoing dialogue at the interface between literacy and orality in ancient Israel and Judah. As such, it will no doubt serve as a major reference and point of departure for future studies. To take just one example, a theme that is reflected in a number of the essays is the political Sitz im Leben of writing: writing was primarily a function of, and sponsored by, the state, not temples. This raises profound questions for the textualization of supposedly cultic and liturgical materials in the Hebrew Bible, such as the Psalms and the Priestly materials."