The subject and methodology of biblical scholarship has expanded immensely during the last few decades. Widened limits and diverging methodologies have caused a sense of crisis in biblical criticism. This metatheoretical thesis attempts to bridge the gap between philo-sophical discussion about the basis of biblical criticism and practical academic biblical scholarship. The study attempts to trace those epistemological changes that have produced the wealth of methods and results within biblical criticism. The account of the cult reform of King Josiah of Judah as reported in 2 Kings 22:1-23:30 serves as the case study because of its importance for critical study of the Hebrew Bible. Various scholarly approaches embracing 2 Kings 22:1-23:30 are experimentally arranged around four methodological positions: text, author, reader, and context. The heuristic model is a tentative application of Oliver Jahraus's model of four paradigms in literary theory.
The present study is a doctoral dissertation to be presented with the permission of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Hesinki in November 2011.