Skip to Main Content

University of Portland Clark Library

THE 205: Biblical Texts in Global Contexts (Gaudino): Historical Criticism

What is Historical Criticism?

Historical criticism examines the social, cultural, and political environment in which the biblical text was originally written.  Sources that provide historical criticism may discuss:

  • date the biblical text was written
  • authorship of the biblical text (person or sources)
  • historical, social, and cultural context of the author's world

Some biblical commentaries (particularly commentaries published prior to 2000) use a historical criticism approach to analyzing the biblical text. A few examples of series that use this approach include:

Examples of Historical Commentary | 503.943.7111 or 800.841.8261 | 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203-5798
Copyright © University of Portland, All Rights Reserved | Icons made by Freepik from