Criticism which includes the study of the contents, literary character, date, authorship, etc., of any writing; as, the higher criticism of the Pentateuch. Called also historical criticism.
The comparison of the Hebrew and Greek texts . . . introduces us to a series of questions affecting the composition, the editing, and the collection of the sacred books. This class of questions forms the special subject of the branch of critical science which is usually distinguished from the verbal criticism of the text by the name of higher, or historical, criticism.
W. Robertson Smith.
© Webster 1913