Genetic literary reconstruction (GLR) is the method used to produce prior drafts of a work when no prior drafts exist. It is limited to ancient writings such as the Hebrew and Christian scriptures in which the author follows a consistent writing process and the source material is known. The result is that we can deconstruct many of the writings to provide earlier drafts of a work and able to uncover the thought process behind the construction of the work. Imagine being able to recover prior drafts to books in the Bible such as Genesis, Exodus, Ezekiel, Matthew, Luke-Acts, and Revelation. What insight can be gain by seeing the work unfold through its literary process of construction.
GLR is an offshoot of Genetic Criticism which documents how a work evolved by comparing earlier manuscripts, editions, and the author's experience of a work. By showing the progression of the work, one gains unique insight to not only the work itself but the author as well.
GLR is different from source criticism in that source criticism attempts to identify only the sources used in the production of the work. Genetic Literary Reconstruction attempts to reproduce the actual construction of the work and thereby providing an extra added dimension in understanding the work itself. Currently, Genetic Literary Reconstruction is the only viable means of applying Genetic Criticism to the Bible.