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form criticism

Subfield of biblical studies; the study of a story's history, with the goal of determining the original form and meaning. Rudolf Bultmann (d. 1976), a German New Testament scholar, used form criticism to "demythologize" biblical narratives—that is, to remove what he decided were "miraculous legends" and then look for the "kernels of truth" that originally inspired them. For the biblical authors, the historical veracity of miraculous events was just as important as the truths that inspired the writing of the stories (e.g., see 1 Cor. 15:12-20). See also deconstructionism; exegesis; redaction criticism; textual criticism.

Printed with permission from Bethany House Publishers, South Bloomington, Minnesota from the book "The Da Vinci Codebreaker : an easy-to-use fact checker for truth seekers" by James L. Garlow.

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