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Form Criticism Essay Example

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Form Criticism

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Form Criticism. This research tells that Form criticism is a method of linguistic textual analysis that may be applied both synchronically and diachronically to texts in either written or oral form. It especially focuses on the patterns of language that appear within the entire linguistic configuration or form of a text as well as the role that these patterns play in giving shape and expression to the biblical text. Form Criticism works around the principle that there is an intimate relationship between language and the social and literary setting, wherein it arises and functions. Form, wrote Marvin Sweeney, emerges as a fundamental exegetical method that enables the interpreter to come to an understanding of its communicative functions and effects.

What it does is recover older stages of biblical traditions by identifying primary literary or oral genres or “forms” as well as by establishing, as far as possible, the live setting of these forms so as to understand how they functioned within their respective social contexts. Form criticism emerged during the time of the Protestant concern with the origins of religion back to the rise of the unified German state in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Hermann Gunkel was particularly credited to have produced the first modern form-critical research sometime between 1862 and 1932. Throughout the twentieth century, the method has served as one of the primary exegetical tools in the scholarly interpretation of the biblical literature. It works well, in the analysis of biblical text, with other critical methodologies like textual criticism, redaction criticism, historical criticism, among other methodologies within the broader context of literary criticism. Form criticism looks primarily not for the date or the origin of a text or for sources from which it may have been composed; instead, it looks for the function of the text the way in which it may have been utilized. For example, in the New Testament: when a passage talks something about the life of the church but not about the teachings of Jesus, then form criticism would say it implies that the saying or the teaching did not originate from Jesus. Form Criticism.

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