Reflections on “Nomadic Text” (Part II)

Open BibleIn this first half of Nomadic Text, Breed does much to complicate a notion of biblical reception history.[1] The problematic nature of borders frames this argument, specifically the murky ways in which biblical scholars often define (or fail to define) the differentiations between the composition and reception of texts. No longer may complicated zones be neglected and ontological assumptions about the character of the biblical text be allowed to dictate the approaches of biblical scholars to the biblical formation and reception. Instead, Breed highlights the problem of determining where authorship and editing mix, how textual combination, redaction, and editing indistinguishably merge with the beginnings of scribal copying and textual corruption. Reception history involves more than just what happens after the final form of a text comes into existence. Rather, this field of inquiry should encompass the complex and pluriform ways in which the multiplicity of biblical texts have arisen, the difficulties of explanatory contextualization, and the recognition of the sign/signifier/substitution realities of language. Continue reading