A Biblical Story
alongside Biblical Criticism
THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER OPENED with a description of the relatively new branch of Bible research that deals with biblical stories. This chapter focuses on the relationship between general Bible research with its critical conclusions and the study of biblical stories. Do story scholars adopt the conclusions of Bible criticism as their assumptions, do they consider them, or do they ignore them altogether?
A historical examination of this issue shows that all three possibilities can be found in the scholarship. The choice of a particular approach may reflect a scholar’s background and training, ideological persuasion, and even psychological inclinations. Some scholars who, consciously or otherwise, regard the biblical text as sacred, even while treating it as an object of study, would not only prefer to ignore the critical conclusions of biblical research but would happily adopt those literary synchronic approaches that analyze the existing text without asking questions about its history. Other scholars may do so because this suits their theoretical outlook, which rests on principles that lead them to ignore the