Historical criticism  

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Historical criticism or higher criticism is a branch of literary analysis that investigates the origins of a text: as applied in biblical studies it naturally investigates foremost the books of the Bible. In Classical studies, the new higher criticism of the nineteenth century set aside "efforts to fill ancient religion with direct meaning and relevance and devoted itself instead to the critical collection and chronological ordering of the source material,"(Burkert, Greek Religion (1985), Introduction.)

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