Barr offers a critical reflection on current Old Testament study, and Barton defends the historical-critical method. Both Krentz and Fitzmyer show how the method has been accepted and adapted in mainline Christian biblical interpretation; Krentz does so from the dual perspective of classical philology and New Testament study, while Fitzmyer was one of the architects of the Catholic document on which he comments. Barton provides seminal essays on various aspects of biblical criticism. Barton offers an accurate snapshot of where biblical criticism stands today, while Collins looks toward its future in view of the emergence of postmodernism.
FREE Catholic Classes Overview Biblical criticism in its fullest comprehension is the examination of the literary origins and historical values of the books composing the Biblewith the state in which these exist at the present day. Since the sacred Scriptures have come down in a great variety of copies and ancient versions, showing more or less divergence of text, it is the province of that department of Biblical criticism which is called textualor lower, to study these documents with a view to arriving at the purest possible text of the sacred books.
The name higher criticism was first employed by the German Biblical scholar Eichhorn, in the second edition of his "Einleitung", appearing in It is not, as supposed by some, an arrogant denomination, assuming superior wisdom, but it has come into use because this sort of criticism deals with the larger aspects of Bible study; viz.
In reaching its results it sets more store on evidences internal to the books than on external traditions or attestations, and its undeniable effect is to depreciate tradition in a great measure, so that there exists a sharply-drawn line between the exegetes of the critical and those of the traditional school.
In the process by which the critics arrive at their conclusions there is a divergence of attitude towards the supernatural element in Holy Writ. Those of the rationalistic wing ignore, and at least tacitly deny, inspiration in the theological meaning of the term, and without any doctrinal preoccupations, except some hostile to the supernatural, proceed to apply critical tests to the Scriptures, in the same manner as if they were merely human productions.
Moderate critics of Protestant persuasion -- a school that predominates in Great Britain -- hold to inspiration and revelation, though with a freedom incompatible with Catholic orthodoxy. Catholic Biblical critics, while taking as postulates the plenary inspiration and the inerrancy of the sacred Writings, admit in a large measure the literary and historical conclusions reached by non-Catholic workers in this field, and maintain that these are not excluded by Catholic faith.
Its Christian exponents insist that a reverent criticism is quite within its rights in sifting the elements which enter into human aspects of the Bibleas a means of a better understanding of the written word, since its component parts were given their form by men in certain historical environments and under some of the limitations of their age and place, and since, moreover, inspiration does not dispense with ordinary human industry and methods in literary composition.
Higher Criticism may be called a science, though its processes and results do not admit of nicety of control and demonstration, as its principles are of the moral-psychological order. Hence its conclusions, even in the most favourable circumstances, attain to no greater force than what arises from a convergence of probabilities, begetting a moral conviction.
While some attempts have been made to elaborate a system of canons for the higher criticism, it has not, and probably never will have, a strictly defined and generally accepted code of principles and rules.
Some broad principles, however, are universally admitted by critical scholars. A fundamental one is that a literary work always betrays the imprint of the age and environment in which it was produced; another is that a plurality of authors is proved by well-marked differences of diction and style, at least when these coincide with distinctions in view-point or discrepancies in a double treatment of the same subject.
A third received canon holds to a radical dissimilarity between ancient Semitic and modern Occidental, or Aryan, methods of composition. Their attention was concentrated on the Divine content and authority of sacred Scripture, and, looking almost exclusively at the Divine side, they deemed as of trifling account questions of authorship, date, composition, accepting unreservedly for these points such traditions as the Jewish Church had handed down, all the more readily that Christ Himself seemed to have given various of these traditions His supreme confirmation.
As for the New Testament, tradition was the determining factor here too. As exceptions we may note that Origen concluded partly from internal evidence that St. Paul could scarcely have written the Epistle to the Hebrews, and his disciple Dionysius adduced linguistic grounds for rejecting the Apocalypse as a work of St.
The Fathers saw in every sentence of the Scripture a pregnant oracle of God. Apparent contradictions and other difficulties were solved without taking possible human imperfection into view. Only in a few isolated passages does St. Jerome seem to hint at such in connexion with history. Except in regard to the preservation of the sacred text there was nothing to elicit a critical view of the Bible in the age of the Fathers, and this applies also to the Scholastic period.Historical criticism or higher criticism is a branch of literary analysis that investigates the origins of a text: as applied in biblical studies it investigates the books of the Bible and compares them to other texts written at the same time, before, or recently after the text in question.
Essay on Biblical Literary Criticism: Higher Criticism - INTRODUCTION “Biblical criticism” refers to various methods of studying and investigating the textual content of the Bible.
In general, it just describes examining the Bible in a scholarly and critical manner. The term “biblical criticism” refers to the process of establishing the plain meaning of biblical texts and of assessing their historical accuracy. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism (as opposed to “lower” textual criticism), historical criticism, and the historical-critical method.
Essay on Biblical Literary Criticism: Higher Criticism - INTRODUCTION “Biblical criticism” refers to various methods of studying and investigating the textual content of the Bible. In 18th century Biblical criticism, the term "higher criticism" was commonly used in mainstream scholarship in contrast with "lower criticism".
In the 21st century, historical criticism is the more commonly used term for higher criticism, and textual criticism is more common than the loose expression "lower criticism".
Criticism covers two fields; lower criticism, which deals with matters affecting the transmission of the text, and higher criticism, which investigates origins, authorship, purpose, and the general character of the Biblical books.