First published in 1919, From Tradition to Gospel introduced and established Form Criticism in New Testament scholarship, and it remains the classic description of the field. Dibelius outlines the twofold object of Form Criticism, firstly to explain the origin of the tradition about Jesus, and secondly to uncover with what objective the earliest Churches learnt, recounted and passed on the stories and sayings of Jesus, which gradually developed into the Gospel narratives. In doing so, he begins to answer questions as to the nature and trustworthiness of our knowledge of Jesus. As new sources come to light and new critical techniques are developed, the original investigation into the Gospels along Form-Critical lines is as relevant as ever.
Author’s Preface to the English Edition
Glossary of Principal Technical Terms
I. Formgeschichte, or the Criticism of Literary Form
(iii) Patristic Apothegms
VII. The Passion Story
XI. Form, History, Theology
Index of Scriptural Passages
(a) Old Testament
(b) New Testament
Endorsements and Reviews
Grasping the rich history of New Testament scholarship is crucial for rightly understanding contemporary debates. James Clarke & Co’s Foundations in New Testament Criticism makes available once more a rich corpus of influential books. These are classics in the best sense of the term: works of arresting originality and lasting impact. Whoever takes up these volumes will encounter the rewarding erudition of our predecessors and glean fresh insight by grappling with the shapers of biblical scholarship.
David Lincicum, Associate Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame