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Author: Eric Eve1
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Paul Foster has recently argued that ‘orality’ (along with memory and the Fourth Gospel) is one of three ‘dead-ends’ in historical Jesus scholarship, and that it is more appropriate to continue to use traditional methods such as form criticism. While some of Foster’s criticisms are valid, he does justice neither to the particular scholars he addresses nor to the wider implications of orality studies for New Testament and Historical Jesus scholarship. It is in any case inconsistent to advocate form criticism while denying the usefulness of orality studies. nt scholarship needs to embrace newer approaches to ancient media studies, not spurn them as ‘dead-ends’.

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