I have spent much effort in publications on detailing the ways in which the criteria of authenticity are outgrowths of form criticism. In my contribution to Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise ofAuthenticity, however, I also pointed out a difference. I noted how, although both the form critics and the criteria approach try to get “behind” the Gospel texts, what they sought was different. The form critics sought the earliest oral tradition, which still reflected the interpretations of the Palestinian Christians. The criteria approach sought something like uninterpreted tradition, raw access to the historical Jesus.
In doing some research today, I was surprised to see that Martin Dibelius, already in his From Tradition to Gospel, had warned against doing precisely what Käsemann and company did in developing the criteria of authenticity on the basis of form criticism:
“Methodological knowledge . . . is important. For even here we must beware of the temptations to employ literary criticism and to delete ‘additions’ for the purpose of reaching a historical and completely purified original-original form from the original form found in the Paradigm. Such an original-original form never existed, or at least not in the region of the missionary tradition in Greek. When this tradition was created it was for the purpose of preaching, and that preaching required those sayings of a general character which are probably unhistorical.” (From Tradition to Gospel, 64)
In the 1970s, Morna Hooker would make very, very similar complaints about the criteria approach’s usage of form criticism for historical, rather than literary, purposes. To be fair, though, it should be noted that Bultmann was much more comfortable with using form criticism to reach historical conclusions and regarded this as a difference between him and Dibelius, which is probably why primarily his students went on to develop the criteria of authenticity.