I recall reading somewhere not long ago in my studies of oral tradition (which has touched on folksong, epic, and the Parry-Lord school) that those who composed such works would often withdraw to compose their works, and then would return and send out troubadors or other performers. I couldn’t help but think of the way Jesus is depicted in some parts of the New Testament, as withdrawing to isolated places, and then returning and sending out his students (= disciples).
The connection (and blurry distinction) between “poetry” and “prophecy” has often been noted, perhaps most famously in the case of Muhammad. This is not surprising, since composers and poets have often felt like their works were coming from somewhere outside them, appearing almost fully-formed in their minds. But I wonder whether trying this category on for size is likely to be helpful in the case of Jesus, whether in terms of historical research or in terms of mediating between his ancient context and our own.
What do you think?