Story Scholars and the
Role of the Reader
HAVING RECOGNIZED THAT THE BIBLICAL STORY follows rules of its own—meaning that it is distinguished by particular literary qualities—we move on to the next question: When did biblical studies start to treat the biblical story as a discrete subject of research? In other words, when did scholars begin to study and analyze the literary techniques developed by the authors of biblical stories?
The treatment of biblical narrative as an independent genre and a subject of poetic analysis is a relatively new addition to biblical research. In all, the systematic, critical study of the Bible is a recent area of research in the last two hundred years, pioneered by scholars in the fields of history and philology. They applied research methods taken from the study of classical literature with the central purpose of uncovering the seeds of historical truth, so