This book helps us resolve some of the mysteries and contradictions that evolved during the Bible's pre-written legacy and that persist in the Great Book today. Most biblical scholars acknowledge that both the Old and New Testaments were orally transmitted for decades before appearing in written form. With great reverence for the Bible, Dundes offers a new and exciting way to understand its variant texts. He uses the analytical framework of folklore to unearth and contrast the multiple versions of nearly every major biblical event, including the creation of woman, the flood, the ten commandments (there were once as many as eleven or twelve), the names of the twelve tribes, the naming of the disciples, the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord's Prayer, and the words inscribed on the Cross, among many others.
In the most recent of Dundes's three important contributions to the study of religion. It is our good fortune that this most eminent of American anthropologists and folklorists well known for his work on folklore theory and on subjects as diverse as German national charachter and American joke cycles, has now brought his scholarship to bear on religion. Dundes's work is already widely influential in the United States and deserves to be better known among British scholars of religion. Journal Of Contemporary Religion It has long been recognized by professional biblicists that the Bible is full of duplications and that the Bible originally circulated orally. Folklorist Alan Dundes' original contribution, carried out with the spriteliness and verve for which he is celebrated, is to show how the duplications are not contingent but inherent in the nature of folklore, and thereby to show how the folkloristic nature of the Bible continues in even its written form. A wonderful book. -- Robert Segal, Lancaster University Holy Writ as Oral Lit offers insight into the Bible without diminishing it. Columbus Dispatch 'Holy writ as Oral Lit,' a brief but illuminating excursus into the Bible. -- Johnathan Kirsch Los Angeles Times, March 99 The fact of variation in the Bible is an important point, which Dundes documents abundantly... Dundes's emphasis on folklore analysis for understanding the biblical writings is salutary. -- Ronald S. Hendel, University of California, Berkeley Religious Studies Review The idea that the Bible contains elements of folklore is not new. What makes Alan Dundes's latest book so remarkable, however, is his claim that the Bible is more folklore than anything else. Even more remarkable is the fact that after reading this book, such a claim seems absolutely convincing. This is an outstanding book that belongs on the shelf of anyone concerned either with folklore or the Bible. -- Michael P. Carroll, University of Western Ontario This study provides an explanation for several of the discrepancies found in the Bible. It also gives the reader insight into the method used in this kind of study. The Bible Today Dundes persuasively makes his case for the folkloristic origins of biblical literature. Western Folklore The Holy Writ as Oral Lit is a very worthwhile book. It is enlightening, convincing, entertaining, and familiarizes the reader with the most important research done on Scripture and folklore. Evangelical Review Of Theology A worthwhile book. It is enlightening, convincing, entertaining, and familiarizes the reader with the most important research on Scripture and folklore. In addition, it gives the reader a bird's-eye view of the nature and genres of folklore. Auss While written for the novice studying the orally discursive nature of the Judeo-Christian canon, the book will also be useful to more advanced scholars, especially for its survey of the literature and comprehensive biography. Christianity and Literature
What is folklore?; written folklore; previous studies of folklore and the Bible; the Bible as folklore - variation in number, name and sequence; variation in number; variation in name; variation in sequence; more duplicate texts; the ten commandments; the Lord's Prayer; still more duplicate texts; conclusion.
Number Of Pages: 176
Published: 28th January 1999
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.55 x 15.72
Weight (kg): 0.36