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Form criticism

Form criticism. A method of analysing a text in terms of its pre-history in oral tradition. It was first applied (1901) by H. Gunkel to the narratives of Genesis, and has been most significantly used since then in studying the Gospels, as well as the Psalms and Pentateuch. The term (Germ., Formgeschichte) comes from the preoccupation of the pioneer critics with the forms of oral material.

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