This book brings the results of recent biblical scholarship on the origins of the Old Testament to Christians who want to deepen their knowledge of the Scriptures. The Old Testament comes from an oral society, where even as literacy was spreading, people preferred to engage with Scripture by hearing. Understanding how literacy in ancient Israel worked and how oral tradition works is essential for understanding the Old Testament. This book is both informative- going section by section through the Old Testament as oral tradition and exploring the process of composition of the biblical books—as well as methodological, unpacking how these insights ought to affect the ways in which believers read the Bible.
1. Oral Tradition and the Composition of the Old Testament
2. Oral Tradition and Narrative
3. Oral Law
4. How were the Psalms Performed?
5. The "Words" of the Prophets
6. Wisdom Literature
7. Apocalyptic Literature
8. Implications for Today
Suggestions for Further Reading
Dr. Robert D. Miller II, OFS, is a Secular Franciscan and Ordinary Professor of Old Testament at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He is also a Research Affiliate at the University of Pretoria and a Life Member of St. John’s College, Cambridge. He has authored many books and articles on the Old Testament and serves the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as Chair of the Board of Control for the New American Bible.