(Continued) 3. We owe to Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann the insight that reality is always
“socially constructed”, in other words, embedded in society. This also applies to the Bible’s authors, of course. The religious reality they describe follows contemporary social conventions that we are no longer familiar with, so we need to research them.
The difference between oral and written tradition must also be taken into account. As long as traditions are passed on orally, the wording can change. As soon as they are written down, a change of meaning can only take place through an interpretation of the tradition.
Because the written versions of the Gospels and Acts were preceded by a long period of oral tradition, we must assume that they were adapted to the changing early Christian consciousness before being written down.