Article

Form, Source, and Redaction Criticism

Johannes P. Floss

in The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780199237777
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199237777.003.0034

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Form, Source, and Redaction Criticism

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This article looks at form criticism, source/literary criticism, and redaction criticism. Form criticism, like source criticism, literary criticism, and redaction criticism, is a scientific method of interpreting the texts of the Old Testament. Literary criticism constitutes the first methodological step on the path to seeking the origin and provenance of a text. Further steps (including form criticism and redaction criticism) must follow later, in order to place a stratum or source in its proper place within a larger textual whole where possible. Here, the term ‘literary criticism’ is used rather than ‘source criticism’. Redaction criticism concerns itself with form and not with content. Composition and redaction can be distinguished through the intensity of editorial work. Composition can be recognized by a more intensive engagement with the units and the way that they are fitted together and built into episodes to achieve a desired end. Redaction tends to put the individual texts next to each other, but in an uncoordinated way.

Keywords: Old Testament; biblical texts; form criticism; source criticism; literary criticism; composition

Article.  10486 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Judaism and Jewish Studies ; Christianity

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