“Performance” and Reading of Texts in Early Christianity

from a blog post by Larry Hurtado

September 16, 2013

At a recent conference there was a paper presented in which there was repeated reference to the “performance” of passages from the Gospels in early Christian gatherings. Indeed, the presenter posited that this likely involved acting out passages, such as the narrative parables of Jesus. In recent years there have been a number of similar claims, and the word “performance” seems to have acquired a greater prominence in NT studies. I guess it depends on what one means by “performance” of a text, but when some scholars assert “performance” of texts and not the reading of them, I’m a bit sceptical.

Read the full blog post, responses from Mikeal Parsons and Danny Yencich