Methods of Biblical analysis

There are many ways to read the Scriptures.

  • Historical criticism is concerned with the historical aspect of the book, whether it actually happened, who wrote the book, what archaeological findings are there, and researching the background. This is obviously restricted to experts, however it is exciting to uncover findings for yourself for the first time! 
  • Source criticismis the study of books in the bible to discover what sources if any the author used.
  • Form Criticismis not primarily concerned with documents. It is concerned with the community that produced them, their myths, their songs , their needs and the ‘rhythm of life’ of the people concerned. 
  • Textual criticism is a very painstaking way of exploring the bible; where are the overlapping stories?, why were they re-written, and re-written again?; what are the differences?. ( e.g the different accounts on the gospels of Jesus’ death? )
The Old Testament as a ‘tool box.’

When reading or listening to a Biblical text, ask yourself these questions

  • What strikes you?
  • What do you like or dislike?
  • What amazes you?
  • What raises questions for you?
  • Who is talking and who is listening?