Biblical criticism is the scholarly "study and investigation of biblical writings that seeks to make discerning judgments about these writings." Viewing biblical texts as having human rather than supernatural origins, it asks when and where a particular text originated; how, why, by whom, for whom, and in what circumstances it was produced; what influences were at work in its production; what sources were used in its composition; and what message it was intended to convey. It will vary slightly depending on whether the focus is on the Old Testament, the letters of New Testament or the Canonical gospels. It also plays an important role in the quest for a Historical Jesus.
It also addresses the physical text, including the meaning of the words and the way in which they are used, its preservation, history and integrity. Biblical criticism draws upon a wide range of scholarly disciplines including archaeology, anthropology, folklore, linguistics, Oral Tradition studies, and historical and religious studies.
Famous quotes containing the word criticism:
“In criticism I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me.”
—Edgar Allan Poe (18091845)