David M. Carr in Writing on the Tablet of the Heart seemed to me to get repetitious toward the end of his section on textuality and education in Ancient Israel. So I will just state what I take to be his point. In Israel scribes were like those in Mesopotamia and Egypt in that they memorized the great literary works of their cultures. But, when their education reached a certain level, they were free to renew those works by adding, combining and rephrasing. Texts were not an end in themselves, but were in the service of the oral presentation of the material.
Carr moves on to talk about Israel after the exile, especially in the Hellenistic period (the time after Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Near East). I will blog through this more quickly.
He delves into examples of Hellenistic scribal activity outside of Israel. He brings up what he calls…
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