A Fourth Point about the Telephone Game?
Thanks to Dr. Goodacre for the ditto. Also, thanks to Dr. West and Dr. Gregory, who have added a fourth objection to my three objections to the idea of using the telephone game to teach the transmission of the gospel stories and teachings: people in the first century were less likely to intentionally change the traditions and they were more likely to be better at memorizing the traditions.
I’m not enough of a Bible scholar to argue much about 1st century Palestinian memorization practices, but I can at least make one caveat to these additions: they didn’t really have “traditions” to start with at the beginning. It seems that Dr. West and Dr. Gregory’s comments assume that traditions were there from the beginning.
I can’t believe that pericopes popped out of the air each day after Jesus gave a teaching. There had to have been a considerable gap between “did you hear the crazy shit Jesus said yesterday?” and a relatively stable storyline that begins with “Jesus spoke to them, saying ….”
I’m willing to believe that people in the first century were better at memorization than we are today, but they would need a relatively stable tradition before they could begin memorizing. I think it is unlikely that anyone would memorize an anecdote concerning what happened yesterday, last month, or even last year.
Again, let me note that this isn’t intended as a rebuttal of Dr. West or Dr. Gregory’s points—more as just a caveat.