a method of textual analysis, applied especially to the Bible, in which the origin and history of certain passages are traced by isolating their literary forms, as miracle story, saying, or apothegm, on the assumption that they were fixed by oral tradition prior to compilation in written form.
Origin of form criticism
First recorded in 1925–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
literary criticism concerned esp with analysing the Bible in terms of the literary forms used, such as proverbs, songs, or stories, and relating them to their historical forms and background
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012