Gressmann carried over the work of Gunkel in which he used the Gattungsgeschichte method of Biblical study (otherwise known as Form Criticism) and applied it to the books of Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings, in the Old Testament.
He took a traditio-historical approach in examining these passages, aiming to examine individual units so as to glean from them their original setting and purpose.
Conflict with the ideas of Wellhausen
Gressmann was significant in that he disagreed with the ideas of Julius Wellhausen, another eminent Biblical scholar, on the dates of the Decalogue (more commonly known as the Ten Commandments). Whereas Wellhausen placed the date at a relatively late stage in the history of Israel, Gressmann argued that, as they bore no evidence of having been influenced by Canaan, they must have been composed at a far earlier stage in Israel's history. Furthermore, he argued that they were older than the Prophets.
- Clements, R. E. A Century of Old Testament Study (Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 1994), 16.
- Clements, op. cit., 17.
- http://www.britannica.com, op. cit.