Who was Herman Gunkel?

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saintfester | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Herman Gunkel was a German professor of Old Testament studies in Berlin. Gunkel is most well known for his contributions to the “History of Religons School” which addressed the importance of oral traditions behind biblical texts. They looked into the history surrounding the Bible, including the history of the ancient Israelites and other Near East religions.

Gunkel also wrote several commentaries on different books of the Bible, including one comparing Genesis to the book of Revelations. He also worked with other biblical scholars to perfect form criticism, a method of categorizing biblical scripture by comparing literary patterns within the words. Historians can then trace each book to its period of oral transmission, and learn more about the historical origins of the Bible.

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