Biblical criticism is the evaluation of all questions regarding the meaning, truth, and worth
of the Bible. It is a method used to study the Bible as an ancient manuscript and a method to determine if
one's faith is grounded on truth or fiction.
Because no original manuscript (autograph) exists today, the Bible is translated from various
copies and versions of the original manuscripts. Biblical Criticism studies the literary and historical
origins of these manuscripts composing the Bible from two perspectives: lower and higher criticism. The term
"lower" criticism refers to the fact that this form of study is foundational for any other forms of study.
Lower Criticism attempts to
determine as best as possible the text of an original manuscript. Essentially it looks at what the
Higher Criticism focuses its study
on the sources used for a manuscript by studying a manuscript's composition. It attempts to determine
authorship, date, and authority of the source documents and hypothesize how the source document may have
changed before its inclusion with the manuscript. Essentially it looks at the who, when, where, and
why of the manuscript.
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