Re(de)fining Historical Criticism of the Hebrew Bible in Light of Textual History


The research group focuses on the editorial techniques applied by ancient scribes during the creation and transmission of the Hebrew Bible. It investigates ancient editorial techniques in light of empirical or documented evidence provided by parallel versions in different books or divergent textual traditions. What can be learned from this evidence about the factual scribal techniques or ancient methods of editing, and how do they relate to the classic methodological assumptions made in redaction criticism which seeks to reconstruct redaction history without empirical evidence?


Leading questions of the research group are: How do the editorial changes that are empirically observable relate to the respective older text, how do they impact its form and message? Would the changes we observe by comparing parallel versions and divergent manuscript traditions be detectable also in the case that such documented evidence would be unavailable? What methodological conclusions need to be drawn from these observations?


Key Words:
Textual plurality, Textual Criticism, Historical Criticism, Literary History, Improving Methodology



Reinhard Müller
University of Münster 

Juha Pakkala
University of Helsinki 

Member Area

Syracuse 2023

This unit will not be meeting at the 2023 conference.