Werner Kelber's The Oral and the Written Gospel substantially challenged predominant paradigms for understanding early Jesus traditions and the formation of written Gospels. Since that publication, a more precise and complex picture of first-century media culture has emerged. Yet while issues of orality, aurality, performance, and mnemonics are now well voiced in Synoptic Studies, Johannine scholars remain largely unaware of such issues and their implications. The highly respected contributors to this book seek to fill this lacuna by exploring various applications of orality, literacy, memory, and performance theories to the Johannine Literature in hopes of opening new avenues for future discussion.
Part 1 surveys the scope of the field by introducing the major themes of ancient media studies and noting their applicability to the Fourth Gospel and the Johannine Epistles. Part 2 analyzes major themes in the Johannine Literature from a media perspective, while Part 3 features case studies of specific texts. Two responses by Gail O'Day and Barry Schwartz complete the volume.