Historical-critical method

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The historical-critical method is developed in the 18th and 19th centuries Methods apparatus for the study of historical texts. She is best known from biblical exegesis . Its aim is to understand a (biblical) text in its historical context at the time and, ultimately, to interpret it. The reconstruction of the presumed previous and genesis of the text and its integration into what happened at the time play a special role. Important sub-disciplines of the historical-critical method are text criticism , text analysis, editorial , literary , formal and traditional criticism . The historical-critical method is nowadays recognized as a fundamental method of biblical interpretation in the Protestant and the Catholic Church, even if it is not undisputed.


Richard Simon (1638–1712) is considered to be the actual founder of the historical-critical method in biblical studies . Very early on, he dealt with the wide variety of Old Testament and New Testament texts. His study of the New Testament is the Histoire critique du texte du Nouveau Testament , which appeared in Rotterdam in 1689 after the first edition of 1678 was destroyed at the behest of Bishop Jacques Bénigne Bossuet . An example of the use of this term is the historical-critical introduction to the comprehensive canonical and apocryphal writings of the Old and New Testaments by Leonhard Berthold, which appeared in several volumes from 1812. The term historical-critical is also used for historical-critical editions of works ; such an edition is based on several written texts that differ in at least some places.

In biblical studies, the double adjective historically and critically refers to the combination of two basic assumptions of these hermeneutic methods:

  • This method is historical insofar as it assumes that the text form to be examined has a long, partly oral, partly written history. In addition, the historical and theological environment of the author at the time of writing should be examined, for example the theology expressed in the relevant biblical book .
  • The method is critical , i.e. distinguishing , because a difference is assumed between the original events and the biblical accounts, and because the viewer, when determining the preliminary stages of the biblical text, has an enormous ability to distinguish (what is original and what became - on the basis of which theology - changed?) Is required.


The historical-critical method was an achievement of the modern age and represented a break with the old church or medieval interpretation of the Bible . In contrast to those interpretations, the word to be interpreted is viewed as subordinate to history and not as a predicate to it. This came about through the subordination of “generally valid truths” to reason in the Enlightenment at the end of the 17th century.

Evangelical theology

The emergence of the historical-critical method is closely linked to the philosophy of rationalism . Gotthold Ephraim Lessing , a pioneer of the Enlightenment , believed that revelation could not reveal anything that could not be recognized by reason. The “nasty rift in history” is now difficult to overcome: this rift separates the reader of the present from previous events. Nobody can be forced to believe random truths from history. In contrast, only eternal truths of reason can be made plausible. Lessing also published the “Fragments of an Unnamed” written by Reimarus, in which the historical reliability of the Gospels is called into question due to their contradictions.

The title of a book by Immanuel Kant was programmatic : Religion within the Limits of Mere Reason (1793). In addition to the restriction to what is understandable to the human understanding, there was also a strong tendency towards the ethical : Man does not need “ salvation ”, but a guide to right action.

Several theologians played a key role in the development and dissemination of the historical-critical method. Johann Salomo Semler , shaped by the Enlightenment , is often considered the "father" of the historical-critical method in theology. For the first time he demanded a “free investigation of the canon ” (1771) and replaced its general validity with a “religious history of mankind”. So he imagined the scriptures of the Bible as testimony from certain times, places, historical and cultural epochs. But the later Ferdinand Christian Baur is also referred to as the "founder" of the historical-critical method.

In the 19th century, the three essential tasks of the historical-critical method emerged, with the help of history and literature , linguistics , sociology and others:

  1. Exploring the stories interpreted in the biblical texts,
  2. philological analysis of the biblical texts,
  3. Explanation of the historical sense in the intention of the author or editor .

Roman Catholic theology

The Roman Catholic Church has long been opposed to the historical-critical method. The beginnings of a historical-critical interpretation were hindered by the anti-modernist tendency in the Roman Catholic Church in the decades around 1900 AD; Until around 1960, the anti-modernist oath and negative decisions of the papal Biblical Commission had an impact .

The Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum of the Second Vatican Council emphasized the human authorship of the biblical texts. Therefore, the intention of these human authors to make statements should be determined, taking into account the culture of the time and the literary genres used in each case. In the interpretation, however, the unity of the whole of Holy Scripture should be taken into account, as well as the tradition of the universal Church. The decisive judgment of the interpretation of Scripture always remains with the church (i.e. the church's magisterium ) ( Dei Verbum , 12). Regarding the possible outcomes of the interpretation, a framework was set in which, for example, the historicity of the four Gospels was "affirmed without hesitation"; these Gospels reliably convey what Jesus "really did and taught in his life among men" ( Dei Verbum , 19).

Orthodox theology

The Orthodox theology is the in the early church compared to traditional information about the origin and authorship of biblical books with great confidence. On the other hand, these statements are viewed with skepticism by the majority of German-speaking historical-critical theologians. The orthodox theologians appreciate the results achieved through the historical-critical work, but they consider the tendency to see only historical things to be one-sided. The scripture interpretation must note that the authors were inspired and must be open to the possibility of supernatural revelations such as miracles and prophecy.

The method steps of the historical-critical method

The historical-critical method is considered to be the standard method for interpreting the Bible in Protestant and Catholic theology today. In the exegetical discussion since the 1970s, other interpretative approaches have increasingly been included or integrated (cf. Biblical Exegesis ). The application of the historical-critical method to the Bible presupposes that biblical exegesis is “a piece of historical science” ( Rudolf Bultmann ), that is, the Bible text is recognized as historically formed and not taken literally as pure revelation . The interpretation of Bible passages in their historical context recognizes, for example, that Jesus was a Jew or that the rule “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” had to be understood as an express command of moderation at the time.

The historical-critical method is based on the genesis of the text that has survived today. The deeds and words (e.g. from Jesus) were first handed down orally, then put down in individual writings and summarized. These writings were collected ( text corpora ) and copied over and over again over a period of many centuries. This resulted not only in very rare, accidental typing and translation errors, but also in deliberate changes (editorial offices). The historical-critical method tries to reconstruct this development history in order to get closer to the original text in its historical context, ie the original meaning.

Other methods of interpretation (such as narrative or feminist exegesis ) also endeavor to ascertain the original text, to embed the texts historically correctly, to translate and interpret them. Therefore, they have some method steps in common with the historical-critical method, namely the textual criticism and the determination of the literary genre (see form history ).

Text review: comparison of the manuscripts

In ancient times and in the Middle Ages, the biblical books - until the development of the printing press (see the Latin Gutenberg Bible ) - were handed down by hand. The original of no biblical book has survived. Nevertheless, the biblical texts are among the best surviving sources of all. Due to the numerous copies, text critics are trying to reconstruct the original wording. In 1516 Erasmus of Rotterdam published the New Testament in Greek, and with his attempt at reconstruction he had a great influence (hence the name " Textus Receptus ") on the Bible translations of the following centuries. For the Old Testament, the oldest complete manuscript (the Codex Leningradensis , around 1000 AD) is still important, along with more recent finds (e.g. in Qumran ).

The Hebrew text edition of the Old Testament ( Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia ) and the Greek text edition of the New Testament ( Eberhard Nestle / Kurt Aland , Novum Testamentum Graece ) contain notes on the parts of the Bible text at which different text variants exist in the oldest manuscript finds. After 1700, Johann Albrecht Bengel first developed scientific criteria for weighing the manuscript findings according to quantity and quality .


After the original text has been established, it can be translated into German. This requires the exegete to have as good a knowledge of ancient Hebrew and ancient Greek as possible (some chapters of the Old Testament are also written in Aramaic ) - which is why theology students still have to learn these ancient languages ​​today - and, on the other hand, basic knowledge of linguistics and translation studies is necessary. You have to understand how languages ​​work. There are also phenomena in Hebrew and Greek such as polysemy (ambiguity), stylistic devices, proverbial phrases, poetry, etc., which should also be understood as such. Some terms have to be paraphrased in German using longer expressions. Experts must therefore strike a good balance between a word-for-word translation that is too narrow, which may not reveal what is meant, and free paraphrases that capture the content well, but differ far from the wording of the original text. If you want to buy a German Bible, you have the choice between true-to-form translations (e.g. the Elberfeld Bible ), true-to-content Bible translations (e.g. the Good News Bible ) and the translations of the "Middle" ( e.g. Luther translation , standard translation ) .

Text analysis: structure of the text

The Bible interpreters already have a provisional translation of the text at hand at this point, but for the sake of accuracy all the following steps always refer to the Hebrew or Greek source text. The third step of text analysis listed here does not actually belong to the classic historical-critical method, but is specifically taken into account in more recent method books. While the classical historical-critical method mainly concentrated on reconstructing the presumed genesis of the biblical text ("diachronous"), in exegesis there has recently been a shift towards viewing the biblical text as such in its final form ("synchronous") . Thanks to the text analysis, the "finished" text is to be examined for its intended purpose. So before the text is “broken down” into its (presumed) preliminary stages, it should first come into its own. For this purpose, methods from linguistics and literary studies are used in the text analysis: the creation of word fields from terms of the text, the structure and development of the “story” and the drawing of the narrative characters by the biblical narrator ( narrative theory ), the actant model of Greimas or the semantic structure analysis , which helps to trace the linguistic-grammatical structure of a text.

Editorial history: handling of the author with his sources

The method step of the editorial history (also: "Redaktionskritik") tries to describe the way in which a later author processed the sources of the respective earlier written tradition and with what intention he wrote his writing. In this way, the special theological profile of every biblical author should emerge. In the Gospel of Matthew and Luke, for example, which, according to the two-source theory , are said to have resorted to the Gospel of Mark in many sections of the text, the way in which they deviate from the Gospel of Mark is examined. Based on the changes, their own theological profile is determined. Such editorial changes can be: stylistic adjustments; Rearrangement of text sections; Cuts; Extensions; Merging of different traditions; theological interpretations of the literary original. In part, the compositional criticism is also included in this method step, i.e. the analysis of how the entire work is structured.

Literary criticism: reconstruction of the written sources

Biblical exegesis also regards it as one of its main tasks to reconstruct the written sources of the Bible text by means of literary criticism . In contrast to literary text analysis, literary criticism is very old. The method of literary criticism emerged in Bible exegesis in the 18th and 19th centuries out of the need to explain the contradictions, tensions, duplications and linguistic differences between biblical texts. Similar observations were already made in the time of the early Church, but at that time they did not pose a real problem (for Origen the contradictions between the Gospels showed that the reader had to pay attention to the spiritual and not the literal sense of the Bible; Augustine, on the other hand, tried the harmony of the Gospels). With the awakening of historical awareness in the Enlightenment period, however, biblical exegesis tried to give a historical answer to the problem of contradictions, and on the other hand they wanted to work out the oldest, most original sources to which the highest historical value was attributed.
Literary criticism therefore tries to clarify whether the author of a Bible text has resorted to written sources. Especially with Old Testament texts, but also with some New Testament texts, it must be assumed that the individual Bible text has a long history, i.e. is composed of different sources and has been revised again and again. Ultimately, the aim is to reconstruct the texts of the various editorial levels as accurately as possible. But how do you find sources and adaptations if there are no external references? In the book of Genesis , for example, it was observed that some text passages speak of God as “ Yahweh ” (the proper name of the God of Israel), other texts simply call him “ Elohim ” (= God), and still other texts combine both names. In conjunction with other observations, it was theorized that there were two sources: one was written by a Yahwist and the other by an Elohist . Or for linguistic and content-related reasons, Isaiah 40–55 and 56–66 can be assigned to other authors than (the basic text of) Isaiah 1–39, etc. In order to distinguish different sources from one another, pay attention to the sudden appearance of new people, places, dates or times other topics, contradictions or missing references between individual verses or repetitions in the text that disrupt a tight narrative process.

In the New Testament area, for example, it was found that the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke made use of the Gospel of Mark in many text passages . The literary criticism examines the way in which deviations exist, where further additions have been made and where completely different sources have been used.

The most important literary-critical hypotheses were developed in the 19th century. Some are still valid today in a modified form, for example the two-source theory in the Synoptic Gospels . The JEDP hypothesis in the Pentateuch, on the other hand, has largely dissolved. Many exegetes have also moved away from literally reconstructing several preliminary stages of a Bible text because the criteria for distinguishing between sources are sometimes very subjective and the - contradicting - literary-critical hypotheses have become almost unmanageably numerous.

Form history: determination of the text genre

Next, the linguistic form of the text is examined (form history). With the final text (and all its preliminary stages) the following has to be clarified: Is it a miracle story ? Is it a parable ? Is it a prophetic warning? Because in order to understand a text, one should have correctly assigned its text genre. A parable, for example, does not want to be understood historically, but as a comparative narrative that is supposed to convey and illustrate a general truth on a certain point. Jesus used this genre very often (the parable of the prodigal son in Lk 15 : 11–32  ESV is particularly well known ). After assigning the text to a specific text genre, you can analyze whether and at what points the specific text form deviates from the ideal type in order to draw conclusions from it. The history of form has found two forms in the biblical exegesis, the so-called "older history of form" and the "newer history of form".

a) The "older history of forms" was created around 1920 with three publications by Karl Ludwig Schmidt , Martin Dibelius and Rudolf Bultmann . The determination of the text genre should not only serve as a framework for understanding, but should also help to trace the oral tradition very precisely before the oldest written sources. The basic idea is as follows: Every genre of text always has a certain place in life , namely a typical situation in which it is used. Thus the “seat in life” of prayers or teaching texts is mostly the worship service and Christian instruction, while that of miracle stories is often missionary preaching. As a rule, their origin was also seen in the typical traditional situation; one could now determine in which situation and for what purpose the early Christian community created stories about Jesus. If an oral narrative - freed from all later written additions by the literary criticism - could have served several purposes, a target point is again assigned to a separate oral tradition level (for example in the exegesis of Jacob's fight on Jabbok in Gen 32: 23-33  ELB ). The possibility that an oral tradition can also have a historical "core" is not excluded by this procedure, but it is significantly minimized. The biblical exegesis in the first half of the 20th century focused on the criterion of difference in order to peel the 'historical Jesus' out of the biblical texts: Strangely enough, the Jesus reconstructed in this way basically had neither Jewish nor Christian traits, although Jesus was undisputedly a Jew. Hence the criterion of difference in today's historical Jesus research is supplemented by the criterion of coherence ( Gerd Theißen ).

b) While the definition of the genre in the "older history of forms" was primarily intended to reconstruct the oral history of the text, the "modern history of forms" breaks entirely with this aim. Because "the possibility of diachronic inquiries with the help of formal historical research is increasingly being questioned": One must also reckon with a continuum of tradition between Jesus and the community, especially if Jesus' instruction of the disciples was based on the rabbinical school system and then the social role of the Traditional bearers (e.g. apostles) in early Christianity is observed. The tradition may have been formed in the early church , but it is not necessarily invented by it. It is not imperative that the oral tradition always began with the “pure form”. In addition, the older formal history was still very confident in being able to reconstruct the different levels of oral tradition in the wording - research shows that oral tradition can vary in wording.

The “more recent history of forms”, on the other hand, completely dispenses with gaining hypotheses about text history from the form of the text. Instead, the form and genre of the final text are assessed all the more precisely: First you describe the individual form of the individual text, then you look for similar texts from biblical and extra-biblical ancient literature and try to create a common genre scheme in order to finally examine the individual deviations from the genre scheme as well as the Consequences that result from this for understanding. There are now very sophisticated classifications of ancient text genres and sub-genres for form analysis ( K. Berger ).

History of tradition: question of previous oral tradition

The history of tradition (also: "critique of tradition") wants - in conjunction with the history of form - to trace the development of the oral tradition that preceded the first written preliminary stages of the text. So she wants to tap into the oral traditions from the reconstructed written sources. The steps of the history of motifs and the history of religion are used as a support to shed light on the historical situation of the spoken word. In some exegetical methodologies, this step is also called the "tradition history". Since a tradition is seldom included in a text in a detailed range, the recognition of a tradition is mostly based on conspicuous key terms, images, idioms or word ensembles that remind the exegete of content complexes and draw his attention to parallels in other texts.

Concept and motive history: trace the development of concepts and ideas

While literary criticism, the history of form and tradition are interested in the oral and written preliminary stages of the biblical text as a whole, the concept and motif history (also: "traditional criticism") tries to trace the history of individual expressions of the biblical text. If, for example, the " Son of David ", "Justice", " Holy Spirit ", "Law", " Gospel " or " Lamb of God " are spoken of in New Testament texts, the conceptual background of these expressions should be reconstructed become. This is done on the basis of earlier and contemporaneous biblical and extra-biblical texts in which similar terms and views are sought. However , it is often disputed whether a term should be interpreted more in its early Jewish (including Old Testament) roots or more on a Roman- Hellenistic background. The same applies to the interpretation of expressions in Old Testament texts. The realization that terms are to be interpreted in their historical context goes back to the beginnings of textual interpretation; however, the method of the history of motifs has been further refined in exegesis in the last few centuries. The results of motif story can be found in the great theological dictionaries ( ThWAT , ThWNT ) or for the reader of the Bible in Bible encyclopedias summarized.

History of Religion: Comparison with Extra-Biblical Texts

The biblical texts did not develop in a vacuum, but were related to and exchanged with other ways of thinking in their cultural environment. This method step is specifically about drawing formulations or thoughts of the biblical text and its hypothetical preliminary stages in the general ancient oriental history, religion and culture or in the Hellenistic-Roman and early Jewish historical and religious-cultural background. Basic knowledge from related historical disciplines is therefore also imparted in the theology course. So one can work out, for example, that the book of Proverbs ( Prov 22.17–23  EU ) is partly literal echoes of an Egyptian text around 1100 BC. Has the doctrine of Amenemope . The Flood story ( Gen 6–8  EU ) has revealing parallels in the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh . According to the description in Acts 26.14  EU, Paul uses a formulation from Aeschylus , Agamemnon (“It is difficult for you to strike against the sting”); or the writer of the letter of Titus quotes the Greek poet Epimenides , De oraculis: “The Cretans are always liars…” ( Tit 1.12  EU ). Indirect conceptual references are even more numerous, although one should not succumb to the “parallelomania”, which immediately suspects a dependent relationship to extra-biblical texts with any slight similarity. The religious-historical comparison has been intensively pursued in biblical exegesis since the end of the 19th century (cf. Religious History School , Bible-Babel-Dispute ).

Summarizing interpretation and theological statement

At the end, the genesis of the Bible text in its individual oral and written transmission stages is briefly summarized again; the theological motives for the textual changes should also become clear. In addition - this goes beyond the historical-critical method - it can be asked what role the subject of the text plays within the Bible ( Biblical theology ) or Christian theology.

Critique of the historical-critical method

Franz Graf-Stuhlhofer describes a total of eleven distinctive tendencies of the historical-critical method, such as the fading out of ideas of inspiration, the splitting of the biblical message into a multitude of (merely human) “theologies” or the reversal of the order of prediction and fulfillment. The "historical-critical method" is accused of having a tendency to exclude supernatural factors (e.g. miracles or divine prophecy). In addition, there is a largely skeptical assessment of the historicity of individual biblical reports. Therefore, especially by opponents of this research direction, other terms are used, such as “ biblical criticism ”, or a “critical” position is contrasted with a “conservative theological position”, or a “radical critical” position is contrasted with a “biblically positive” basic attitude . The comparison of “traditional” and “liberal” positions is also widespread. The questioning of the historicity of many biblical reports resulted in a "trend from the factual to the fictitious", in that the actions of God in historical reality are reduced to internal processes.

Poor connection between theory and practice

There is widespread dissatisfaction both among theological researchers (quasi the “theorists”) and among the “practitioners” (ie the users or “non-users”). Scientists often criticize the fact that priests or pastors rarely use the historical-critical method in practice, although every preparation for a sermon or Bible study should be preceded by a scientific exegesis of the Bible text. For their part, however, many “practitioners” complain that the historical-critical method is not particularly helpful for preparing sermons. The theory-practice problem is interpreted by some as a crisis in classical exegesis: on the one hand, biblical exegesis has a very sophisticated method of interpretation (the historical-critical method), on the other hand, it is hardly used in non-university practice , perhaps because of the other questions and requirements affecting this context.

Distance between the Bible and the reader

The application of the historical-critical method brings about a historical distance between the interpreter and the biblical text. The historical-critical method alone cannot clarify how the biblical text can acquire significance for the present. In addition, the historical-critical method obscures the view of the whole through the elaborate detailed work. However, it is also not seen as the task of the historical-critical method to provide a direct basis for Christian life, but only to work out the historical meaning of a Bible text, with the interpreters reflecting their requirements and methods in the sense of hermeneutics .

Internal academic debate

Since the 1970s, the number of methods of interpretation used in Bible exegesis has grown rapidly (see Biblical Exegesis ). With reference to the justification of such a pluralism of methods, the dominance of the historical-critical method is called into question.

Hypothetical results

Since the reconstruction of the prehistory of a written text depends heavily on guesswork, it is sometimes referred to as a "theology of guesswork" and this is compared to a traditional "theology of trust". New Testament scholar Klaus Berger sees some unfounded assumptions in the historical-critical method as it is practiced today: inconclusive criteria for the authenticity and inauthenticity of Jesus' words, the devaluation of the Gospel of John as historically worthless, the denial of miracles, and the "Easter pit" (according to which Jesus was a simple person and was only seen as the Messiah after Easter).

Methodical atheism as a prerequisite

There is a tendency among theologians who interpret historically and critically to view the biblical texts under the assumption of a “methodical atheism ”. So it is not reckoned with the possibility that a supernatural power was involved in the events reported in the Bible; any indication of divine intervention is explained as if there were only human action.

Historically critical Old Testament scholars go e.g. B. assume that the prediction of the conquest of Babylon in 539 BC With mentioning of the name of the conqueror "Cyrus" ( Isa 44,28-45,1  EU ) a around 700 BC. Living Isaiah had to be discussed. This prediction is then used as an argument that these passages were written centuries after Isaiah.

The biblical texts themselves repeatedly refer to God and his actions in history. If the researcher excludes the possibility of divine action in the reported events, he will find hardly any traces of divine action in the text. The historical-critical method, because of its prerequisites, does not lead to knowledge of God when studying the biblical texts. Thus, churchgoers who inquire about God are disappointed by historical-critical research.

Renunciation of inspiration

Methodical atheism does not only exclude God's participation in the events reported in the Bible, but also in the writing of the biblical texts. The idea of inspiration in the biblical texts hardly plays a role in historical-critical exegesis. Sometimes this exegesis is therefore questioned and a return to the theory of inspiration is called for (so Stuhlmacher and Wilckens ).

See also


Historical-critical method

  • Uwe Becker : Exegesis of the Old Testament. A method and work book. (UTB 2664) 3rd edition, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-8252-3602-1 .
  • Hans Conzelmann, Andreas Lindemann: Workbook for the New Testament. (UTB 52) 12th edition, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1998, ISBN 3-8252-0052-3 .
  • Martin Ebner , Bernhard Heininger: Exegesis of the New Testament. A workbook for teaching and practice. (UTB 2677) 3rd updated edition, Schöningh, Paderborn 2015, ISBN 3-8252-4268-4 .
  • Georg Fohrer : Exegesis of the Old Testament. 6th edition, Heidelberg 1993 (overview; standard work).
  • Gerhard Maier : The end of the historical-critical method. Brockhaus, Wuppertal 1974, ISBN 3-7974-0050-0 .
  • Martin Meiser, Uwe Kühneweg: Proseminar II New Testament - Church history: a workbook. Kohlhammer, Cologne 2000, ISBN 3-17-015531-8 .
  • Sascha Müller: The historical-critical method in the humanities and cultural studies. Echter, Würzburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-429-03312-5 .
  • Udo Schnelle : Introduction to New Testament Exegesis. (UTB 1253) 6th edition, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2005, ISBN 3-525-03230-7 (brief overview; is often used in theological studies).
  • Armin Sierszyn: The Bible under control? - Historical-critical thinking and biblical theology. Hänssler, Holzgerlingen 2001, ISBN 3-7751-3685-1 .
  • Thomas Söding : Ways of interpreting scriptures. Herder, Freiburg, Basel, Vienna 1998, ISBN 3-451-26545-1 .
  • Odil Hannes Steck: Exegesis of the Old Testament: Guide to methodology. A workbook for proseminars, seminars and lectures. 14th edition, Neukirchen-Vluyn 1999, ISBN 3-7887-1586-3 .
  • Helmut Utzschneider , Stefan Ark Nitsche: workbook literary biblical interpretation. A methodology for the exegesis of the Old Testament. 3rd edition, Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2008, ISBN 978-3-579-00409-9 .
  • Heinrich Zimmermann : New Testament methodology: presentation of the historical-critical method. Revised by Klaus Kliesch. 7th edition, Katholisches Bibelwerk, Stuttgart 1982.

To individual sub-disciplines

Translation from Hebrew or Greek

Text analysis

  • Manfred Dreytza, Walter Hilbrands , Hartmut Schmid : The study of the Old Testament: an introduction to the methods of exegesis. Brockhaus, Wuppertal 2002, ISBN 3-417-29471-1 , pp. 63-78.
  • Wilhelm Egger: Methodology for the New Testament. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1987, ISBN 3-451-21024-X , pp. 74-146 (classic).
  • Sönke Finnern: Narratology and Biblical Exegesis. An integrative method of narrative analysis and its output using the example of Matthäus 28. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2010. ISBN 978-3-16-150381-8 (on the method of narrative exegesis ).
  • Sönke Finnern, Jan Rüggemeier: Methods of New Testament Exegesis. A textbook and workbook. (UTB 4212) Tübingen 2016 (narrative science up to date, didactically expanded, offers an integrative overall model of text interpretation).
  • Martin Meiser, Uwe Kühneweg: Proseminar II New Testament - Church history: a workbook. Kohlhammer, Cologne 2000, ISBN 3-17-015531-8 , pp. 260-275.
  • Heinz-Werner Neudorfer , Eckhard J. Schnabel (Ed.): The study of the New Testament / Vol. 1. An introduction to the methods of exegesis. Brockhaus, Wuppertal 1999, pp. 69–154.

Shape history

  • Manfred Dreytza, Walter Hilbrands, Hartmut Schmid: The study of the Old Testament: an introduction to the methods of exegesis. Brockhaus, Wuppertal 2002, ISBN 3-417-29471-1 , pp. 79-99.

History of religion

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Leonhard Berthold (1774–1822) was a professor at the University of Erlangen. About him see the Real Encyclopedia for Protestant Theology and Church , 2nd edition, Vol. 2, 1878, pp. 339f; or German Biographical Encyclopedia of Theology and the Churches , Vol. 1, 2005, p. 129.
  2. Ernst Fuchs : Hermeneutics . 4th edition. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1996, p. 159 f .
  3. a b Ernst Fuchs: Hermeneutics . 4th edition. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1996, p. 161 .
  4. John William Rogerson: Art. Biblical Studies I / 2: History and Methods , in: Theologische Realenzyklopädie , Vol. 6, pp. 346–361, there 350f, also about Lessing and Kant.
  5. Lessing in his 1780 published book The education of the human race .
  6. ^ Rochus Leonhardt: Basic Information Dogmatics . 4th edition. S. 189 .
  7. Armin Sierszyn: Christological Hermeneutics: a study of historical-critical, canonical and biblical theology with special consideration of the philosophical hermeneutics by Hans-Georg Gadamer . Lit Verlag, 2010, p. 25 . See also Bernhard Lohse: Martin Luther: An introduction to his life and work . 3. Edition. Beck, Munich 1997, p. 191 .
  8. Johann Salomo Semler: Treatise on free investigation of the canon (1771)
  9. Armin Sierszyn: Christological Hermeneutics: a study of historical-critical, canonical and biblical theology with special consideration of the philosophical hermeneutics by Hans-Georg Gadamer . Lit Verlag, 2010, p. 27 .
  10. So Uwe Swarat: Art. Baur , in: Evangelisches Lexikon für Theologie und Gemeinde, Vol. 1, 1992, pp. 190f.
  11. a b Cf. Ecumenical Working Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologians: Understanding and Use of Scripture. Final report . In: Theodor Schneider, Wolfhart Pannenberg (ed.): Binding testimony . tape 3 . Herder, Freiburg i. Br. 1998, p. 345-347 .
  12. a b Gottfried Maron: The Roman Catholic Church from 1870 to 1970 . Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 1972, p. 312 f .
  13. Konstantinos Nikolakopoulos : The New Testament in the Orthodox Church. Basic Questions for an Introduction to the New Testament . Berlin 2014, 2nd edition, pp. 300–320: “Excursus: The orthodox hermeneutics in their self-understanding and the historical-critical method”.
  14. Nikolakopoulos: The New Testament in the Orthodox Church . 2014, p. 22f.
  15. Neudorfer / Schnabel, 1999, 69 ff.
  16. Meiser / Kühneweg, p. 87.
  17. ^ Franz Graf-Stuhlhofer: Eleven characteristics of the historical-critical handling of the Bible. In: Yearbook for Evangelical Theology 30 (2016) pp. 196–208.
  18. Armin Daniel Baum speaks of the "ideological determinations to which the historical-critical method has largely committed itself since the Enlightenment". In: Thomas Mayer, Karl-Heinz Vanheiden (ed.): Jesus, the Gospels and the Christian faith. A debate triggered by a SPIEGEL conversation . Gefell, Nuremberg 2008, p. 114.
  19. So z. B. with Franz Graf-Stuhlhofer : In search of the historical Jesus. About the credibility of the Gospels and the doubts of the skeptics. Leun 2013, p. 16. - Even Werner Georg Kümmel : Introduction to the New Testament . 20th edition, Heidelberg 1980, p. 8, uses this comparison.
  20. As formulated by Leo Scheffczyk : Resurrection. Principle of Christian Faith . Einsiedeln 1976, pp. 58, 63.
  21. E.g. in Armin D. Baum, in: Mayer, Vanheiden: Jesus, the Gospels and the Christian faith. 2008, p. 37.
  22. Criticized by Helge Stadelmann : Opinion on the understanding of scripture , in: BEFG Presidium : So! Or also different? Contributions from the BEFG on dealing with the Bible . Kassel 2008, pp. 89-100, there p. 91.
  23. ^ Graf-Stuhlhofer: In search of the historical Jesus. On the Credibility of the Gospels and the Doubts of the Skeptics , 2013, p. 17.
  24. Klaus Berger: The sick heart of theology. In the same: contradictions. How much modernization can religion take? Frankfurt / Main 2005.
  25. Claus-Dieter Stoll: Controversial authorship using the example of the Isaiah book . In: Eberhard Hahn, Rolf Hille , Heinz-Werner Neudorfer (eds.): Your word is truth. Festschrift for Gerhard Maier. Contributions to a scriptural theology . Wuppertal 1997, ISBN 3-417-29424-X , pp. 165-187, 185 there.
  26. cf. also Gerhard Maier: The end of the historical-critical method . 2nd edition, Wuppertal 1975, p. 5: "A critical method of biblical interpretation can only generate sentences that are critical of the Bible."
  27. Gerhard Maier: The end of the historical-critical method , 1975, p. 17: "But since the historical-critical methodologists also want to be church scientists, the mentioned lack of practicability of their results for the church must be a serious objection to the method Make a book. "
  28. Mentioned by Jens Schröter : From Jesus to the New Testament. Studies on the early Christian history of theology and the emergence of the New Testament canon . Tübingen 2007, p. 363. - Schröter refers to Peter Stuhlmacher: Biblical Theology of the New Testament . Vol. 2, Göttingen 1999, pp. 327–331, as well as Ulrich Wilckens: Theology of the New Testament . Vol. I / 1, Neukirchen-Vluyn 2002, pp. 16-18.