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Encyclopedia > Biblical criticism
This article is about the academic treatment of the bible as a historical document. This is not the same thing as Criticism of the Bible, which is where criticisms are made against the Bible as a source of reliable information or ethical guidance.

Biblical criticism is "the study and investigation of biblical writings that seeks to make discerning and discriminating judgments about these writings."[1] It asks when and where a particlular text originated, how, why, by whom, for whom, in what circumstances it was produced, what influences were at work in its production, what sources were used in its composition, and the message it was intended to convey. It also addresses the physical text, including the meaning of the words, the way in which they are used, and its preservation, history and integrity. Biblical criticism draws upon a wide range of scholarly discplines, including linguistics, archaeology, anthropology, folklore and oral tradition studies, history and religious studies. when thousands of people call a person as thief, he becomes thief. ...

Contents

Background

Biblical criticism, definined as the treatment of biblical texts as secular rather than religious artefacts, grew out of the rationalism of the 17th and 18th centuries. It can be broadly divided between the Higher Criticism (the term is perhaps a little old-fashioned today), the study of biblical texts to discover their composition, history, and meaning, and textual criticism, the close examination of the text to establish variant and original readings. Contemporary criticism has seen the rise of new perspectives which draw on literary and multidisciplinary sociological approaches to address the meaning(s) of texts and the wider world in which they were conceived. Higher criticism, also known as historical criticism, is a branch of literary analysis that attempts to investigate the origins of a text, especially the text of the Bible. ... Carmina Cantabrigiensia, Manuscript C, folio 436v, 11th century Textual criticism or lower criticism is a branch of philology or bibliography that is concerned with the identification and removal of errors from texts and manuscripts. ...


Within "higher criticism" a division can be made between historical criticism and literary criticism. Historical criticism seeks to locate the text in history: it asks such questions as when the text was written, who the author/s might have been, what audience they wrote for, their presumptive purpose, and the development of the text over time. Historical criticism was the dominant form of criticism until the late 20th century, when biblical critics bcame interested in questions aimed more at the meaning of the text than its origins, and developed methods drawn from mainstream literary criticism. The distinction is frequently referred to as one between diachronic and synchronic forms of criticism, the former, broadly identified with historical criticism, concerned with the development of texts through time, the latter viewing texts as they exist at a particular moment. The difference, however, should not be regarded as absolute. Literary criticism is the study, discussion, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. ...


History of Biblical criticism

Both Old Testament and New Testament criticism originated in the rationalism of the 17th and 18th centuries and developed within the context of the scientific approach to the humanities (especially history) which grew during the 19th. They developed, however, more or less independently of each other during the 19th and 20th centuries, largely due to the difficulty of any single scholar having a sufficient grasp of the many languages required, or of the cultural background, for the very different periods in which the two groups of texts had their origins. Note: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh to refer to its canon, which corresponds to the Protestant Old Testament. ... This article is about the Christian scriptures. ...


Old Testament

Biblical criticism begins with the 17th century philosophers and theologians - Thomas Hobbes, Benedict Spinoza, Richard Simon and others - who began to ask questions about the origin of the biblical text, especially the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy). They asked specifically who had written these books: according to tradition their author was Moses, but these critics noticed and then wrote about what they believed to be many contradictions and inconsistencies, which in their minds made the Mosaic authorship tradition improbable. In the 18th century Jean Astruc, a French physician, set out to refute these critics. Borrowing methods of textual criticism already in use to investigate Greek and Roman texts, he discovered what he believed were two distinct documents within Genesis. These, he felt, were the original scrolls written by Moses, much as the four Gospel writers had produced four separate but complementary accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus. Later generations, he believed, had conflated these original documents to produce the modern book of Genesis, producing the inconsistencies and contradictions noted by Hobbes and Spinoza. “Hobbes” redirects here. ... Baruch Spinoza Benedictus de Spinoza (November 24, 1632 _ February 21, 1677), named Baruch Spinoza by his synagogue elders and known as Bento de Spinoza or Bento dEspiñoza in the community in which he grew up. ... Richard Simon (May 13, 1638 - April 11, 1712), was a French biblical critic. ... Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ... Mosaic authorship is the traditional ascription to Moses of the authorship of the five books of the Torah or Pentateuch - Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. ... Jean Astruc (Sauves, Auvergne, March 19, 1684 - Paris, May 5, 1766) was a famous professor of medicine at Montpellier and Paris, who wrote the first great treatise on syphilis and venereal diseases, and with a small anonymously published book played a fundamental part in the origins of critical textual analysis...


Astruc's methods were adopted by German scholars who, in the course of the next century, refined and used them to further investigate the bible. By mid-century the consensus was that the Pentateuch contained four (not Astruc's two) original sources, that Moses had had no hand in any of it, and that the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings made up a unified history of Israel known as the Deuteronomic History because of its links to the book of Deuteronomy. 19th century German biblical criticism reached its peak with two books by Julius Wellhausen, his "Sources of the Pentateuch", and his subsequent and even more influential "Prolegomena to the History of Israel". Wellhausen summarised and distilled the previous century of scholarship into the definitive version of the documentary hypothesis, arguing that the Pentateuch was made up of four originally distinct documents, none of them composed prior to the 10th century BC, and combined by an editor into their present form as late as the 5th century BC. The Deuteronomist (D) is one of the sources of the Torah postulated by the documentary hypothesis that treats the texts of Scripture as products of human intellect, working in time. ... Julius Wellhausen (May 17, 1844 - January 17, 1918), was a German biblical scholar and Orientalist. ... A relational diagram describing the various versions postulated by the biblical documentary hypothesis. ...


Wellhausen's hypothesis was immensely influential, but also immensely controversial, especially with believing Christians and Jews, who saw its essentially secular orientation as a challenge to faith. Subsequent scholarship amended Wellhausen and softened the initially hostile reception of religious critics. Hermann Gunkel and Martin Noth developed tradition history, the theory that the biblical texts, even if they were composed after the 10th century, had been based on prior oral traditions, and that the texts therefore contained accurate memories of the events they described. Biblical archaeology as developed by William Foxwell Albright seemed to support the same conclusion: the stories of the bible, especially the Pentateuchal stories of the Patriarchal Age, the Exodus from Egypt, and the conquest of Canaan, were validated by physical evidence from archaeological exploration, and therefore essentially trustworthy. By the middle of the 20th century the Vatican had reversed its original condemnation of biblical criticism, and actually commended it to Catholic scholars. Translated and abridged from the German version of wikipedia. ... Martin Noth (August 3, 1902 - May 30, 1968 was a German scholar of the Hebrew Bible who specialized in the pre-Exilic history of the Hebrews. ... Tradition history/criticism is a methodology of Biblical criticism that was developed by Hermann Gunkel. ... Oral tradition or oral culture is a way of transmitting history, literature or law from one generation to the next in a civilization without a writing system. ... Biblical archaeology involves the recovery and scientific investigation of the material remains of past cultures that can illuminate the periods and descriptions in the Bible. ... William Foxwell Albright (May 24, 1891 - September 19/20, 1971) was an evangelical Methodist archaelogist, biblical authority, linguist and expert on ceramics. ... Patriarchal Age is the era of the times described in the Book of Genesis (Gen. ... The Exodus or Ytsiyat Mitsrayim (Hebrew: יציאת מצרים, Tiberian: , the going out of Egypt) refers to the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt. ...


The consensus at the middle of the 20th century was that the Documentary Hypothesis was essentially correct, but that the bible nevertheless contained genuine traditions of Abraham, Moses and later ages in Israelite history. This began to change in the 1960s: John Van Seters, Thomas L. Thompson and William G. Dever questioned, and effectively demolished, the Albrightean view that archaeology had validated the books of Genesis and Exodus; and Van Seters (again), R. N. Whybray, Rolf Rendtorff and others questioned and abandoned the Documentary Hypothesis, proposing in its place new theories based on supplementary and fragmentary models of composition. In the last decades of the century the biblical minimalists went so far as to propose that the bible was an entirely fictional product dating from the last few centuries before Christ, and of no value as history whatsoever; biblical minimalism remains a minority position, but the nature and scope of source criticism are again, at the opening of the 21st century, a matter of heated debate. John Van Seters is a notable scholar on the Ancient Near East. ... Thomas L. Thompson is a Baháí[1] American biblical theologian, born Jan 7, 1939 in Detroit Michigan. ... William G. Dever is an American archaeologist, specialising in the history of Israel and the Near East in Biblical times, who was Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona from 1975 to 2002. ... R.N. Whybray (1923-1997) was a Biblical scholar and specialist in Hebrew studies. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The article concerns the historicity of the Bible; i. ...


New Testament

The seminal figure in New Testament criticism was Hermann Samuel Reimarus (1694-1768), who applied to it the methodology of Greek and Latin textual studies and became convinced that very little of what it said could be accepted as incontrovertibly true. Reimarus's conclusions appealed to the rationalism of 18th century intellectuals, but were deeply troubling to contemporary believers. In the 19th century important scholarship was done by David F. Strauss, Ernst Renan, Johannes Weiss, Albert Schweitzer and others, all of whom investigated the "historical Jesus" within the Gospel narratives. In a different field the work of H. J. Holtzmann was significant: he established a chronology for the composition of the various books of the New Testament which formed the basis for future research on this subject, and set out the evidence for a hypothetical source used by three of the four Gospel writers (the source is known as "quelle", or the "Q document"). By the first half of the 20th century a new generation of scholars including Karl Barth and Rudolf Bultmann had decided that the quest for the Jesus of history had reached a dead end. Barth and Bultmann accepted that little could be said with certainty about the historical Jesus, and concentrated instead on the kerygma, or message, of the New Testament. The questions they addressed were: What was Jesus’s key message? How was that message related to Judaism? Does that message speak to our reality today? Hermann Samuel Reimarus (December 22, 1694, Hamburg - March 1, 1768, Hamburg), a German philosopher and writer of the Enlightenment who is remembered for his Deism, the doctrine that human reason can arrive at a knowledge of God and ethics from a study of nature and our own internal reality, so... Ernest Renan (February 27, 1823 - October 12, 1892) was a French philosopher and writer. ... Johannes Weiss (December 13, 1863 - August 24, 1914) was a great German theologian and Biblical exegete. ... Albert Schweitzer, M.D., OM, (January 14, 1875 – September 4, 1965), was an Alsatian theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician. ... This article is about Jesus the man, using historical methods to reconstruct a biography of his life and times. ... Heinrich Julius Holtzmann (May 7, 1832 - 1910), German Protestant theologian, son of Karl Julius Holtzmann (1804-1877), was born at Karlsruhe, where his father ultimately became prelate and counsellor to the supreme consistory. ... The Q document or Q (from the German Quelle, source) is a postulated lost textual source for the Gospel of Matthew and Gospel of Luke. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Rudolf Karl Bultmann (August 20, 1884 - July 30, 1976) was a German theologian of Lutheran background, who was for three decades professor of New Testament studies at the University of Marburg. ... Kerygma (κηπύσσω, keÌ„rússoÌ„, “to cry or proclaim as a herald”) (Matthew 3:1; Romans 10:14) is the Greek word used in the New Testament for preaching (see Luke 4:18-19). ...


The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1948 revitalised interest in the possible contribution archaeology could make to the understanding of the New Testament. Joachim Jeremias and C. H. Dodd produced linguistic studies which tentatively identified layers within the Gospels that could be ascribed to Jesus, to the authors, and to the early Church; Burton Mack and John Dominic Crossan assessed Jesus in the cultural milieu of 1st Century Judea; and the scholars of the Jesus Seminar assessed the individual tropes of the Gospels to arrive at a consensus on what could and could not be accepted as historical. The Dead Sea Scrolls comprise roughly 900 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, discovered between 1947 and 1956 in eleven caves in and around the Wadi Qumran (near the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet Qumran, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea) in the West Bank. ... John Dominic Crossan (born Nenagh, Co. ... The Jesus Seminar is a research team of about 200 New Testament scholars founded in 1985 by the late Robert Funk and John Dominic Crossan under the auspices of the Westar Institute. ... Another meaning of Trope is Jewish cantillation. ...


Contemporary New Testament criticism continues to follow the synthesising trend set during the latter half of the 20th century. There continues to be a strong interest in recovering the "historical Jesus", but this now tends to set the search in terms of Jesus' Jewishness (Bruce Chilton, Geza Vermes and others) and his formation by the political and religious currents of 1st century Palestine (Marcus Borg). Geza Vermes (born 22 June 1924) is a Jewish scholar and writer on religious history, particularly Jewish and Christian. ...


Methods and perspectives

The critical methods and perspectives now to be found are numerous, and the following overview should not be regarded as comprehensive.


Source criticism

Source criticism is the search for the original sources which lie behind a given biblical text. It can be traced back to the 17th century French priest Richard Simon, and its most influential product is undoubtably Julius Wellhausen's Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels (1878), whose "insight and clarity of expression have left their mark indelibly on modern biblical studies."[2] Source Criticism is an aspect of historical criticism, a method of literary study used especially in the field of biblical criticism that seeks to understand a literary piece better by attempting to establish the sources used by the author and/or redactor who put the literary piece together. ... Richard Simon (May 13, 1638 - April 11, 1712), was a French biblical critic. ... Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels (Prolegomena to the History of Israel) is a book by German biblical scholar Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918) which formulated the documentary hypothesis (a theory regarding the origins of the Torah or Pentateuch, the first five books of the bible). ...


Redaction criticism

Redaction criticism studies "the collection, arrangement, editing and modification of sources" within a given text. Redaction criticism is frequently used to erconstruct the community and purposes of the author/s of the text.[3]] Redaction Criticism, also called Redaktionsgeschichte, Kompositionsgeschichte, or Redaktionstheologie. ...


Form criticism and tradition history

Form criticism Form Criticism contends that the Bible is composed of many smaller sections of text, many of which had oral prototypes. Form criticism breaks the Bible down into sections (pericopes, stories) which are analyzed and categorized by genres (prose or verse, letters, laws, court archives, war hymns, poems of lament, etc). The form critic then theorizes on the pericope's Sitz im Leben ("setting in life"), the setting in which it was composed and, especially, used.[4] Tradition history is a specific aspect of form criticism which aims at tracing the way in which the pericopes entered the larger units of the biblical canon, and especially the way in which they made the transition from oral to written form. The belief in the priority, stability, and even detectability, of oral traditions is now recognised to be so deeply questionable as to render tradition history largely useless, but form criticism itself continues to develop as a viable methodolgy in biblical studies.[5] Form criticism is a method of biblical criticism applied as a means of analyzing the typical features of texts, especially their conventional forms or structures, in order to relate them to their sociological contexts. ... Tradition history/criticism is a methodology of Biblical criticism that was developed by Hermann Gunkel. ...


Canonical criticism

Associated particularly with the name of Brevard S. Childs, who has written prolifically on the subject, canonical criticism is "an examination of the final form of the text as a totality, as well as the process leading to it."[6] Where previous criticism asked questions bout the origins, structure and history of the text, canonical criticism addresses questions of meaning, both for the community (and communities - subsequent communities are regarded as being as important as the original community for which it was produced) which used it, and in the context of the wider canon of which it forms a part.[7]


Rhetorical criticism

Rhetorical criticism was invented by James Muilenberg in 1968, but remains a rather poorly-defined field. "What Muilenburg called rhetorical criticism was not exactly the same as what secular literary critics called rhetorical criticism, and when biblical scholars became interested in "rhetorical criticism," they did not limit themselves to Muilenburg's definition. ... In some cases it is difficult to distinguish between rhetorical criticism and literary criticism, or other disciplines." Unlike canonical criticism, rhetorical criticism (at least as defined by Muilenberg) takes no interest in meaning, but concentrates on identifying and elucidating the stylistic markers of the text and asks how the rhetoric functions in discourse, beginning with the original audience.[8] Rhetorical criticism is an approach to criticism which is at least as old as Aristotle. ...


Narrative criticism

Narrative criticism is one of a number of modern forms of criticism based in contemporary literary theory and practice - in this case, from narratology. In common with other literary approaches (and in contrast to historical forms of criticism), narrative criticism treats the text as a unit, and focusses on narrative structure and composition, plot development, themes and motifs, characters and characterisation.[9] Narrative criticism is a complex field, but some central concerns include the reliability of the narrator, the question of authorial intent (expressed in terms of the context in which the text was written and its presumed intended audience), and the implications of multiple interpretation (meaning an awareness that a narrative is capable of more than one interpretation, and thus of the implications of each).[10] Narrative criticism is criticism that tries to find the original story line of the Gospel. ... Narratology, a term coined by Professor Edward Maloney from Georgetown University, is the theory and study of narrative and narrative structure and ([1]) the way they affect our perception. ...


Psychological criticism

Psychological Biblical Criticism is a perspective rather than a method. It discusses the psychological dimensions of the authors of the text, the material they wish to communicate to their audience, and the reflections and meditations of the reader. // Psychological Biblical Criticism Psychological Biblical Criticism[1] is a re-emerging field within biblical scholarship that seeks to examine the psychological dimensions of scripture through the use of the behavioral sciences. ...


Socio-scientific criticism

Socio-scientific criticism (also known as socio-historical criticism and social-world criticism) is a contemporary form of multidisciplinary criticism drawing on the social sciences, especially anthropology and sociology. A typical study will draw on studies of contemporary nomadism, shamanism, tribalism, spirit-possession, millinarianism, etc. to illuminate similar passages described in biblical texts. Socioscientific criticsm is thus concerned with the historical world behind the text rather than the historical world in the text.[11]


Postmodernist criticism

Postmodernist biblical criticism treats the same general general topics addressed in broader postmodernist scholarship, "including author, autobiography, culture criticism, deconstruction, ethics, fantasy, gender, ideology, politics, postcolonialism, and so on." It asks such questions as, What are we to make, ethically speaking, of the program of ethnic cleansing described in the book of Joshua? What does the social construction of gender mean for the depiction of role and female roles in the bible?[12] In textual criticism, postmodernist criticism rejects the idea of an original text (the traditional quest of textual criticism, which marginalised all non-original manuscripts), and treats all manuscripts as equally valuable; in the "higher criticism" it brings new perspectives to themes such as theology, Israelite history, hermeneutics and ethics.[13] Postmodernism is a term applied to a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and culture, which are generally characterized as either emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism. ... The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in both the Hebrew Tanakh and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. ...


Textual criticism

Textual criticism refers to the examination of the text itself to identify its provenance or to trace the history of a family of texts. Textual criticism is a rigorously objective discipline using a number of speciaised methodologies, including eclecticism, stemmatics, copy-text editing and cladistics. A number of principles have also been introduced for use in deciding between variant manuscripts, such as: "The harder of two readings is to be preferred."[14] Nevertheless, there remains a strong element of subjectivity, areas where the scholar must decide his reading on the basis of taste or common-sense: Amos 6.12, for example, reads: "Does one plough with oxen?" The obvious answer is "yes", but the sense of the passage seems to demand a "no"; the usual reading therefore is to amend this to "Does one plough the sea with oxen?" The amendment has a basis in the text, which is believed to be corrupted, but is nevertheless a matter of judgement. Similarly, the Masoretic (i.e., Hebrew) manuscripts of Genesis 4:8 have: "Cain said to Abel his brother," but stop at that point, with no indication of what it was that Cain said. The Samaritan Pentateuch, the Septuagint (Greek), the Latin Vulgate, and two of the three Aramaic Targums, all have Cain saying words to the effect: "Let us go into the fields." Possibly the non-Masoretic texts are adding this, or possibly the Masoretic text has lost it, but there is no way to tell; the decision is ultimately subjective.[15] Carmina Cantabrigiensia, Manuscript C, folio 436v, 11th century Textual criticism or lower criticism is a branch of philology or bibliography that is concerned with the identification and removal of errors from texts and manuscripts. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Carmina Cantabrigiensia, Manuscript C, folio 436v, 11th century Textual criticism or lower criticism is a branch of philology or bibliography that is concerned with the identification and removal of errors from texts and manuscripts. ... It has been suggested that Clade be merged into this article or section. ... The Masoretic Text (MT) is the Hebrew text of the Tanakh approved for general use in Judaism. ... This entry incorporates text from Eastons Bible Dictionary, 1897, with some modernisation. ... The Septuagint: A column of uncial text from 1 Esdras in the Codex Vaticanus, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brentons Greek edition and English translation. ... The Vulgate Bible is an early 5th century version in Latin, partly revised and partly translated by Jerome on the orders of Pope Damasus I in 382. ...


See also

History of biblical criticism

Andreas Rudolph Bodenstein von Karlstadt (1486 – December 24, 1541), better known as Andreas Karlstadt, was a Christian theologian during the Protestant Reformation. ... “Hobbes” redirects here. ... Isaac La Peyrère, or Pererius, (1596-1676) was a French Millenarian and formulator of Pre-Adamite theory. ... Baruch de Spinoza (‎, Portuguese: , Latin: ) (November 24, 1632 – February 21, 1677) was a Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Jewish origin. ... Richard Simon (May 13, 1638 - April 11, 1712), was a French biblical critic. ... John Hampden John Hampden as depicted in the 1851 Illustrated London Reading Book John Hampden (circa 1595—1643) was an English politician, the eldest son of William Hampden, of Hampden House, Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire, a descendant of a very ancient family of that county, said to have been established... Jean Astruc (Sauves, Auvergne, March 19, 1684 - Paris, May 5, 1766) was a famous professor of medicine at Montpellier and Paris, who wrote the first great treatise on syphilis and venereal diseases, and with a small anonymously published book played a fundamental part in the origins of critical textual analysis... Johann Gottfried Eichhorn (October 16, 1752 - June 27, 1827), was a German theologian. ... Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette (January 12, 1780 - June 16, 1849), was a German theologian. ... Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (IPA [ˈʃlaɪəmaxə]) (November 21, 1768 – February 12, 1834) was a German theologian and philosopher known for his impressive attempt to reconcile the criticisms of the Enlightenment with traditional Protestant orthodoxy. ... David Friedrich Strauss (January 27, 1808 - February 8, 1874), was a German theologian and writer. ... This article refers to the philosopher. ... Ferdinand Christian Baur (June 21, 1792 - December 2, 1860), was a German theologian and leader of the Tübingen school of theology. ... Julius Wellhausen (May 17, 1844 - January 17, 1918), was a German biblical scholar and Orientalist. ... Albert Schweitzer, M.D., OM, (January 14, 1875 – September 4, 1965), was an Alsatian theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician. ... Albrecht Alt (born 20 September 1883 in Stübach (Franconia); died 24 April 1956 in Leipzig), was a leading German Protestant theologian. ... Martin Noth (August 3, 1902 - May 30, 1968 was a German scholar of the Hebrew Bible who specialized in the pre-Exilic history of the Hebrews. ... William F. Albright (1891-1971) was an evangelical Methodist archaelogist, biblical authority, linguist and expert on ceramics. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Thomas L. Thompson is a Baháí[1] American biblical theologian, born Jan 7, 1939 in Detroit Michigan. ... R.N. Whybray (1923-1997) was a Biblical scholar and specialist in Hebrew studies. ... John Van Seters is a notable scholar on the Ancient Near East. ... Niels Peter Lemche is a biblical scholar at the University of Copenhagen. ... The article concerns the historicity of the Bible; i. ... Richard Elliot Friedman is a writer and Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at UCSD. He is also Katzin Professor of Jewish Civilization: Hebrew Bible; Near Eastern Languages and Literatures. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... William G. Dever is an American archaeologist, specialising in the history of Israel and the Near East in Biblical times, who was Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona from 1975 to 2002. ... Israel Finkelstein Israel Finkelstein is an Israeli archaeologist. ...

Methods and perspectives

Biblical studies is the academic study of the Judeo-Christian Bible and related texts. ... There has long been interest in the whether internal consistency is or isnt present in the Bible. ... The article concerns the historicity of the Bible. ... Biblical archaeology involves the recovery and scientific investigation of the material remains of past cultures that can illuminate the periods and descriptions in the Bible. ... The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write history. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Harper's Bible Dictionary, 1985
  2. ^ Antony F. Campbell, SJ, "Preparatory Issues in Approaching Biblical Texts", in The Hebrew Bible in Modern Study, p.6. Campbell renames source criticism as "origin criticism".
  3. ^ [http://www-relg-studies.scu.edu/facstaff/murphy/courses/exegesis/redaction.htm Religious Studies Department, Santa Clara University.
  4. ^ Bibledudes.com
  5. ^ Yair Hoffman, review of Marvin A. Sweeney and Ehud Ben Zvi (eds.), The Changing Face of Form-Criticism for the Twenty-First Century, 2003
  6. ^ Norman K. Gottwald, "Social Matrix and and Canonical Shape", Theology Today, October 1985.
  7. ^ Harpers Biblical Dictionary, 1985
  8. ^ M.D. Morrison, "Rhetorical Criticism of the Hebrew Bible"
  9. ^ Johannes C. De Clerk, "Situating biblical narrative studies in literary theory and literary approaches", Religion & Theology 4/3 (1997)
  10. ^ Christopher Heard, "Narrative Criticism and the Hebrew Scriptures: A Review and Assessment", Restoration Quarterly, Vol. 38/No.1 (1996)
  11. ^ Frank S. Frick, Response: Reconstructing Israel's Ancient World, SBL
  12. ^ David L. Barr, review of A. K. M. Adam (ed.), Handbook of Postmodern Biblical Interpretation, 2000
  13. ^ David J. A. Clines, "The Pyramid and the Net", On the Way to the Postmodern: Old Testament Essays 1967–1998, Volume 1 (JSOTSup, 292; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998)
  14. ^ Johann Jakob Griesbach (1745–1812) published several editions of the New Testament. In his 1796 edition, he established fifteen critical rules, including a variant of Bengel's rule, Lectio difficilior potior, "the hardest reading is best." Another was Lectio brevior praeferenda, "the shorter reading is best," based on the idea that scribes were more likely to add than to delete. Critical Rules of Johann Albrecht Bengel. Bible-researcher.com.
  15. ^ David J. A. Clines, "Methods in Old Testament Study", section Textual Criticism, in On the Way to the Postmodern: Old Testament Essays 1967–1998, Volume 1 (JSOTSup, 292; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), pp. 23–45

Further reading

  • Barton, John (1984). "Reading the Old Testament: Method in Biblical Study, Philadelphia, Westminster, ISBN 0-664-25724-0". 
  • Birch, Bruce C., Walter Brueggemann, Terence E. Fretheim, and David L. Petersen (1999). A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament, ISBN 0-687-01348-8. 
  • Coggins, R. J., and J. L. Houlden, eds. (1990). Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation. London: SCM Press; Philadelphia: Trinity Press International. ISBN 0-334-00294-X. 
  • Ehrman, Bart D. (2005). Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 0-06-073817-0. 
  • Fuller, Reginald H. (1965). The Foundations of New Testament Christology. Scribners. ISBN 0-684-15532-X. 
  • Goldingay, John (1990). "Approaches to Old Testament Interpretation. Rev. ed. Downers Grove, IL, InterVarsity, ISBN 1-894667-18-2". 
  • Hayes, John H., and Carl R. Holladay (1987). "Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner's Handbook, Rev. ed. Atlanta, GA, John Knox, ISBN 0-8042-0031-9". 
  • Knight, Douglas A., and Gene M. Tucker, eds. (1993). "To Each Its Own Meaning: An Introduction to Biblical Criticisms and Their Applications, Louisville, KY, Westminster/John Knox, ISBN 0-664-25784-4". 
  • Morgan, Robert, and John Barton (1988). "Biblical Interpretation, New York, Oxford University, ISBN 0-19-213257-1". 
  • Soulen, Richard N. (1981). "Handbook of Biblical Criticism, 2nd ed. Atlanta, Ga, John Knox, ISBN 0-664-22314-1". 
  • Stuart, Douglas (1984). "Old Testament Exegesis: A Primer for Students and Pastors, 2nd ed., Philadelphia, Westminster, ISBN 0-664-24320-7". 
  • Shinan, Avigdir, and Yair Zakovitch (2004). That's Not What the Good Book Says, Miskal-Yediot Ahronot Books and Chemed Books, Tel-Aviv

Bart D. Ehrman is a New Testament scholar and an expert on early Christianity. ... Reginald Horace Fuller (b. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Biblical Criticism (Higher) (6303 words)
Biblical criticism which is called textual, or lower, to study these documents with a view to arriving at the purest possible text of the sacred books.
Biblical critics, while taking as postulates the plenary inspiration and the inerrancy of the sacred Writings, admit in a large measure the literary and historical conclusions reached by non-Catholic workers in this field, and maintain that these are not excluded by Catholic faith.
The unwarranted concessions of Catholic writers to rationalistic criticism and the exclusive use of internal arguments against historical authority were condemned as contrary to correct principles of criticism.
Biblical Criticism (Higher) (6037 words)
Biblical criticism in its fullest comprehension is the examination of the literary origins and historical values of the books composing the Bible, with the state in which these exist at the present day.
The critical dissection of books was and is accomplished on the ground of diversity of vocabulary and style, the phenomena of double narratives of the same event varying from each other, it is claimed, to the extent of discrepancy, and differences of religious conceptions.
The majority of contemporary critics incline to Harnack's view, which is that the Fourth Gospel was composed by John the Presbyter or the "elder" referred to in a fragment by Papias, and asserted by the Harnackians to be distinct from the Apostle and a disciple of the latter.
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