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This volume provides a guide to the reader in listening to early Jewish stories about holy figures which appear to have been first told between 150BCE and 150CE. Following new translations, the book provides a close hearing of the oral storytelling that generated these narratives now surviving only in literary form. It argues that historical folklore must reconstruct storytelling performance from literary remains. Making use of contemporary folklore methods, the author examines the text, texture and context of over 100 stories, including birth prophesies, provision legends, prophetic stories of destruction or deliverance and tales of martyrdom. A broad range of stories of these four types is presented in a way that reveals and illuminates the oral patterns and characteristics of the storytellers. The stories are drawn from apocryphal and pseudepigraphal literature, Early Jewish historians, first-century Christian texts and the Mishnah and early Talmudic writings. The Christian tradition is included here because it was generated within sectarian Judaism and the first reports about Jesus appeared from Jewish storytellers. This work aims to shift the attention of biblical scholars and historians of religion away from an exclusive focus on the thought and art of writers and authors, and toward a wider recognition of the work of the storytellers, men and women alike, who generated the traditions that ultimately came to be preserved in written form.
Buy Holy Lives, Holy Deaths: A Close Hearing of Early Jewish Storytellers (Studies in Biblical Literature) by Antoinette Clark Wire from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781589830226 & 1589830229
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