Because of its long oral tradition, the Old Testament includes an array of different literary types and compositions. Analysis of these genres in the biblical material is known as form criticism. Gene Tucker draws on contemporary speech patterns to illustrate how the scholar pinpoints various categories or genres. The basic principles of form criticism are outlined and many biblical examples are given. The story of Jacob’s struggle at the Jabbok and the prophetic literature are treated in detail. While form criticism does not solve all the interpreter’s problems, Tucker argues that it forms an essential tool for exegesis and for recovering the living history of Old Testament literature.