lower criticism

Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

low·er criticism

Critical study, especially of the Bible, that attends chiefly to the words of the work being examined, exploring their meaning and seeking to establish an accurate text.

[As against higher criticism.]

lower criticism

(Theology) textual criticism, esp the study of the extant manuscripts of the Scriptures in order to establish the original text. Compare higher criticism

low′er crit′icism

(ˈloʊ ər)
Biblical criticism having as its purpose the reconstruction of the original texts of the books of the Bible. Also called textual criticism. Compare higher criticism.

Lower Criticism

the study of Biblical materials that intends to reconstruct their original texts in preparation for the tasks of Higher Criticism. Cf. Higher Criticism.
See also: Bible
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.lower criticism - the study of existing manuscripts of the Scriptures in order to determine the original text
textual criticism - comparison of a particular text with related materials in order to establish authenticity
References in periodicals archive ?
In the Republic of Letters the distinctive virtue is Philology, and more particularly the branch of philology that in the nineteenth century was known as Lower Criticism in distinction to the Higher Criticism.
He then amasses sources from the Talmud through the medieval Sages who, at least partially, accept certain aspects of both lower criticism (textual emendation) and higher criticism (authorship).
The topics include Josephus' 22-book canon and the Qumran Scrolls, the impact of the Qumran evidence on biblical lower criticism, some experimental considerations on the Genesis Apocryphon, the prayer of Manasseh in 4Q381 and the account of Manasseh in 2 Chronicles 33, how intermarriage defiles the sanctuary, and relations to Gentiles in the Damascus Document and biblical tradition.