Hearon, Holly. "The Interplay Between Written and Spoken Word in the Second Testament as Background to the Emergence of Written Gospels." Oral Tradition 25:1 (2010), 57-74.
Hearon observes there is a complex interaction between the written and spoken word in first century Christian experience (Hearon 2010, 57). Her study focuses on primary sources, particularly Greek and Roman texts, as well as Luke and Acts.
The non-Christian world considered spoken and written communication to be highly intertwined. There are also repeated references to reading and speaking together in the New Testament (Hearon 2010, 58). The relationship, however, seems to be one-sided. While the written word can be seen as an extension of the spoken word, the reverse is not demonstrated very much. Hearon takes the spoken word to be the default authority (Hearon 2010, 59). However, Hearon sees the boundaries as porous.
Speaking fits into certain social contexts in the New Testament as well. It seems clear to Hearon that certain settings bear expectations of speeches, and that those speeches are to fit the contexts (Hearon 2010, 60). Hearon also concludes based on the verb used for speaking that there are different expectations plalced on different speakers.
Letters and documents fit into their own contexts, as do speeches. Hearon notes that various documents have different technical uses, but that the authors are normally quite matter-of-fact about their motivations.
Hearon further sees evidence for New Testament attitudes toward the Old Testament. Those characters found reading the Scripture in the work of the Church regularly suggest that the Old Testament is an authoritative written text which must be tested by fire in some way (Hearon 2010, 62). The Scripture is assumed to be a written word which demands attention through listening (Hearon 2010, 64).
Proclamation and teaching are normally considered oral activity. However, in some instances, proclamation and teaching may involve use of the Scriptures, which becomes a scribal application of oral material which has had contact with additional people since writing (Hearon 2010, 66). The method of interaction is not made clearly, but the fact of interaction is clear.
Hearon considers the New Testament use of "word of God" and concludes that here, the word is normally considered as something which would be presented orally, though it does have written roots (Hearon 2010, 68). Tradition, also, is typically understood as an oral transmission of a written text.