Logos Bible Software
Sign In
Products>Oral Tradition in Ancient Israel (Biblical Performance Criticism)

Oral Tradition in Ancient Israel (Biblical Performance Criticism)

, 2011
ISBN: 9781610972710

Digital Logos Edition

Logos Editions are fully connected to your library and Bible study tools.
Save 25% off during the Memorial Day Sale!


Digital list price: $17.99
Regular price: $13.99
Save $3.50 (25%)


Providing a comprehensive study of “oral tradition” in Israel, this volume unpacks the nature of oral tradition, the form it would have taken in ancient Israel, and the remains of it in the narrative books of the Hebrew Bible. The author presents cases of oral/written interaction that provide the best ethnographic analogies for ancient Israel and insights from these suggest a model of transmission in oral-written societies valid for ancient Israel. Miller reconstructs what ancient Israelite oral literature would have been and considers criteria for identifying orally derived material in the narrative books of the Old Testament, marking several passages as highly probable oral derivations. Using ethnographic data and ancient Near Eastern examples, he proposes performance settings for this material. The epilogue treats the contentious topic of historicity and shows that orally derived texts are not more historically reliable than other texts in the Bible.

This volume in the Biblical Performance Criticism Series is a great addition to your electronic library if you’re wanting to learn more about oral tradition and performance. In the Logos edition, this subject is easily searchable and more convenient than ever before, with Scripture references linked directly to your favorite Bible translation and cross references linked to other resources in your digital library.

Resource Experts
  • Presents a comprehensive examination of oral tradition in ancient Israel and the Old Testament
  • Explores the literacy and orality in preexilic Israel
  • Includes a study on the orality and historicism of the Old Testament
  • Oral Formulaicism in Old Testament Study
  • The Bathos of the Oral Formulaic School
  • Models for Biblical Literature
  • Literacy and Orality in Preexilic Israel
  • What Lies behind the Written
  • Towards Identifying the Oral in the Old Testament
  • Epilogue: Orality and Historicism

Top Highlights

“Rollston’s working description: ‘Substantial facility in a writing system, that is, the ability to write and read, using and understanding a standard script, a standard orthography, a standard numeric system, conventional formatting.’” (Page 44)

“written texts circulated in spoken form by recitation long after they were committed to writing” (Page 54)

“There is considerably more evidence for literacy in the late preexilic period” (Page 46)

“major part of ancient Israel’s society and, if so, whether the Hebrew Bible has some relation to that oral literature” (Page 42)

“All authors in such societies remain in dialogue with other stories of similar kind, with the traditional folklore.” (Page 51)

In this book, Robert Miller offers an assessment of the modern study of oral tradition in ancient Israelite literature. . . . The result is an engaging survey of the question of oral literature in ancient Israel. The book points up the problems and prospects involved in this most difficult area of biblical studies.

Mark S. Smith, Skirball Professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, New York University

Robert Miller’s Oral Tradition in Ancient Israel is warmly to be welcomed. Miller is particularly well equipped for this task, being equally at home in literary and archaeological work, and this timely and comprehensive study does not disappoint. Miller succeeds brilliantly in demonstrating that there was an interplay of oral and written composition and performance throughout Israel’s history. We are very much in his debt.

Paul M. Joyce, Theology Faculty Board Chairman, University of Oxford

This study is a fascinating contribution to discussion of the role of oral tradition in the composition of biblical texts. Miller offers an impressive critique of classic and recent studies on the oral-written continuum in a wide range of literatures and cultures, opening up new insights into the literature and culture of the Hebrew Bible.

—Katherine Hayes, professor of Old Testament, Seminary of the Immaculate Conception

  • Title: Oral Tradition in Ancient Israel
  • Author: Robert D. Miller II
  • Series: Biblical Performance Criticism
  • Publisher: Wipf and Stock
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 170

Born in Ohio, Robert D. Miller II is a Secular Franciscan, married (wife Anne-Marie) with four boys. He earned a PhD in Hebrew Bible from the University of Michigan. His book, Chieftains of the Highland Clans: A History of Israel in the 12th and 11th Centuries BC, and related articles have made him a recognized authority on Early Israel. He is also greatly interested in Biblical Theology, having organized several conferences on the subject and recently edited the volume, Syriac and Antiochian Exegesis and Biblical Theology for the 3rd Millennium. He taught at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD —where he was also chair of the department of Sacred Scripture, and at the Summer Institute for Clergy of Seton Hall University. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the American Schools of Oriental Research. More recently, he has been a member of the Board of Control of the New American Bible for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


0 ratings

Sign in with your Faithlife account

    Save 25% off during the Memorial Day Sale!


    Digital list price: $17.99
    Regular price: $13.99
    Save $3.50 (25%)