Intertextuality, literary competence and the question of readership: Some preliminary observations

Cynthia Edenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article reconsiders the extent recitation and memorization played in the process of the literary composition and transmission of biblical texts, and attempts to distinguish between aurally recognizable intertextual echoes, as opposed to literary patterning based upon visual recognition. The findings of recent cognitive studies are applied in evaluating two sets of questions: first, whether different types of biblical intertextuality would have been equally recognizable to both listeners and readers; and second, whether scribes who produced intertextual compositions consulted and referred to written texts, or whether biblical intertextuality stems from the author's trace memories of texts read or performed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-148
Number of pages18
JournalJournal for the Study of the Old Testament
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • intertextuality
  • literary competence
  • memory
  • orality
  • readership
  • textuality

RAMBI publications

  • Bible -- Criticism, Form
  • Bible -- Criticism, interpretation, etc -- History
  • Bible as literature
  • Literacy


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