Performing Ancient Texts in the Original Languages

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My colleague Chris Bungard is one of the performers (the first you see) in the above video, which was made as part of an NEH Summer Institute: Roman Comedy in Performance. It got me thinking. Has anyone done something similar with Biblical texts, acting out and narrating stories in the original languages?

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The Pentateuch in the Prophets
  • Yuyu

    I hate to mention it because it’s such an internet-drama generating title, but Passion of the Christ was done in Aramaic and Latin. So there’s that.

    • James F. McGrath

      I thought of making some sort of Mel Gibson quip and then decided against it! But at any rate, I had in mind performances using the original languages of the texts.

  • Jessica Harmon

    My undergrad Greek professor did this. It was the year before I had her, but instead of a written final the students performed a scene in Greek in the school amphitheater. Someone even did part of the critical apparatus in Latin. I think the students definitely liked it more than a written exam.

    • James F. McGrath


  • Brenda Kronemeijer Heyink

    Western Seminary in Holland, MI has been doing this with Hebrew for awhile now, and the Hebrew instructor, Travis West, is now working on a PhD on this. I think the study of it is called performance criticism.