What is Biblical Criticism?

Print Study

Author's Bias | Interpretation: conservative

Biblical criticism

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 manuscript said.

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.

Series: Did Moses author the Pentateuch?
Contemplating Valid Questions

Series: Did Moses author the Pentateuch?
Higher Criticism

Copyright © 2006 All rights to this material are reserved. We encourage you to print the material for personal and non-profit use or link to this site. If you find this article to be a blessing, please share the link so that it may rise in search engine rankings.