‘Martha, Martha…’ (Luke 10:41)

Janet Scott reflects on ancient readings

A statue of Martha. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In the ancient world it was expected that reading would be done out loud. Private silent reading was rare, though it was noted of Alexander the Great that not only did he read silently but he didn’t even move his lips! So the function of text was to act as a reminder for speech. The ‘word of God’ was a spoken rather than a written word.

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