An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Redaction Criticism

The German word “redaction” is best translated as editing. The main point of this exegetical method is to find an understanding of the techniques and thoughts used by the redactor or final editor of a gospel. We have no specific information about who the gospel editors were, or when the editing was done, or where the editing was completed. Redaction criticism seeks to determine the theological emphases of the editor that can be based on an examination of the details of a specific gospel. Redaction critics seek to explain the reason for the changes that have been made by the editor. They consider how specific sources were altered, modified, or rewritten. Redaction critics also evaluate how the stories were combined and arranged and the use of words, phrases, or styles by the editor. The social and environmental context of the editor is also considered in redaction criticism.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.