0023 A third point supports Carol Hill’s commitment that Old Testament “celebrities” are real people.
0024 Clouser’s terminology is revealing. Adam and Eve are “celebrities”. Are “celebrities” real people?
I can visualize the headlines in the netherworld at the moment when Adam and Eve achieve celebrity status. “Adam and Eve Fall For It.” Read all about it.
0025 The key is “read”.
0026 Undoubtedly, the Pentateuch is a compilation of oral traditions. Once codified, during or after the Babylonian exile, the compilation becomes fixed as canon. Codification raises a host of issues, such as the reliability of the preceding oral traditions.
Or, are these oral traditions already codified in secret documents?
Does the question sound absurd?
Oh, the slipperiness of spoken words.
0027 Am I worried about the reliability of oral traditions or the reality within oral traditions?
0028 The Biblical text itself conveys a reality, in the objective sense of the word, that is assumed by the subjective realities engaged by the underlying oral traditions. Even if Adam and Eve are fairy-tale figures in text, they are real in an oral tradition. Even if Noah is an epic figure in text, he is real in an oral tradition.
0029 Why do the writers of the New Testament take the realness of the Old Testament for granted?
Please do not quote me on what I am about to say.
Despite the fact that the Old Testament is written, the biblical oral traditions are alive and well at the time of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth. Everyone knows that the words are now written, so they use the word “scripture”, acknowledging this fact. However, even though Paul can read the written text, the apostles (and most early Christians) cannot.
My conclusion is that Jesus recites the scriptures, with as much precision as the written text. So, does John the Baptist. They draw crowds that already know the oral tradition and marvel at its theatrical articulation. Jesus and John are performers. What a performance they give. They recite the scriptures so convincingly that members of the audiencewhisper to one another, “The kingdom of God is at hand.”
0030 The New Testament is composed while the oral traditions of reciting the scriptures are alive and well. The spoken word renders a subjective reality. In the beginning, is the word, which, dare I say, tells us that spoken words are slippery things. Listen to the stories of Adam and Eve.
The objective reality conveyed in the written word enters the historical theodrama the moment when Christianity spreads from Israel.
Does that bring me back to Augustine’s slip up?
The slipperiness of spoken words also applies to the written text.