The History of the Closure of Biblical Texts

This paper examines the history of the biblical texts from their oral and papyrological beginnings to their triumphant apotheosis in print culture. Focusing on the oral-scribal-memorial-typographic dynamics, it demonstrates ways in which the biblical texts were communicated, transformed, interiorized, and lived by. The central thesis states that the media transformations of the Bible can be viewed by and large as reductive processes commencing with multiformity and polyvalency and moving away from oral, memorial sensibilities in the direction toward the autosemantic print authority.