Sunday, March 03, 2019

Source criticism

20 years ago, Richard Gale and Alexander Pruss coauthored: (1999) "Book Review: Atheism And Theism," Faith and Philosophy: Journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers: Vol. 16 : Iss. 1 , Article 10. Available at:

The review is, by turns, incisive and entertaining. And it presents an interesting test-case for biblical source criticism and form criticism. I guessing Gale wrote the bulk of the review. Certainly the colorful, colloquial and sometimes risqué comparisons are his. 

However, I wouldn't be able to tell even that much if all I had to go by was the review. I've read a fair amount of stuff by and about Gale–philosophical, biographical, and autobiographical. I also watched his informal debate with Plantinga. By contest, Pruss's style is cooler and drier. 

But that aside, it would be pretty much impossible for a literary critic to figure out where Gale's contribution ends and Pruss's begins. And that illustrates a problem with biblical source criticism and form criticism. 

Furthermore, there's a lot more comparative material to work with in the case of Pruss and Gale than, say, the Gospels, or Paul's letters, Isaiah, or the Pentateuch. So much biblical source criticism and form criticism is arbitrary projection. 

No comments:

Post a Comment