Well, I took my midterm yesterday but didn't do too well. I was in a bad mood for a couple hours then decided that I would just have to live with it and study harder for the final. Also, I have to get going on my exegesis paper. One bit of good news, the professor had scheduled a Greek quiz for tomorrow but that was pushed back until next week. So, I get a break this week. The bad news is that I have a Hebrew quiz that day as well.
While studying for my midterm, I read this paper. I was pleased to see that it was online so that you could read it too. It's a paper by Kenneth E. Bailey on oral traditions in the Middle East. He makes the case that if the Bible had been transmitted orally, we could be assured of it's reliability based on the oral tradition found in the Middle East. Bailey was a missionary to the Bedouins.
This story was missing from the online version. It's an example of the flexibility that is evident in oral tradition (it's under the title "Some Flexibility"):
Wafaqa Shanon Tabaqah is reported in Mujammaa Al- Alamthal ( The
Collection of Proverbs) by Al-Maidani . The story goes like this. Chan,
a clever young man was traveling in search of a wife that suits him. In
his journey he would meet an old man and escort him . Shan asks the old
man "do you like to carry me, or do you like me to carry you?" "you
are so ignorant, we are both riding our own horses" the old man
exclaims. Shan is quiet. They reach a field with ripen harvest, "has
this crop been eaten yet" asks Shan. "you are so ignorant. How could
this crop be eaten while it is still in the ground? Shan is quiet. They
continue their trip. They pass by a funeral "is that corpse dead or
alive?" Shan asks. "You are so ignorant. It is a corpse and you wonder
if it is still alive" Shan is quiet. When they reached the house of
the old man he would invite Shan over. The old man has a pretty
daughter and he would complain to he from the stupidity of his friend.
Tabaqah, which was the name of the young lady explains to her father
all Shan's questions. He would go back to him and tell him "look I
understand all your questions. In the first one you meant if I would
rather entertain you or you entertain me so the road would be shorter
and our journey less boring. And in your question about the crop you
wondered if the farmr who owns that feild had already arrnged the sail
of his crop and ate from the pre-paid price. And if the dead person had
left children so his/her memory will continue to be alive in them."
Shan, "Impressive though this understanding is not from you, some one
The old man "yes that is Tabaqah my daughter."
Shan thought that is it. This youg lady is his perfect match and his
future wife and they ended up marrying.