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Since the 1990s, lower (textual) criticism has begun following in the footsteps of higher (biblical) criticism by changing the definition and goal of New Testament textual criticism. Previously, New Testament textual criticism was primarily concerned with identifying and reconstructing the original text of the New Testament based on available manuscripts. This approach focused on determining the wording of the text as it was originally written by the authors.
However, the influence of higher criticism in the 20th century led to a shift in the goals and methods of textual criticism. Higher criticism had focused on understanding the historical and cultural context of the New Testament and the formation of the canon. It also questioned the traditional authorship and dating of certain New Testament books.
As a result, some scholars began to argue that textual criticism should also take into account the historical and cultural context of the New Testament and the intentions of the authors. This approach, known as “coherence-based genealogical method,” emphasizes the importance of understanding the literary and historical context of the text in order to determine the most likely variant reading.
This new approach also places greater emphasis on the social and cultural context of the manuscripts, including the scribes who copied them and the communities that used them. By understanding the motivations and influences of these individuals and groups, scholars hope to gain a better understanding of the development and transmission of the text.
Overall, the influence of higher criticism in the 20th century led to a rethinking of the goals and methods of textual criticism. While the traditional focus on identifying the original text remains important, scholars now also consider the historical and cultural context of the text, as well as the social and cultural context of the manuscripts themselves.
“AS THE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARIES GO, SO GOES THE CHURCH”—J. Gresham Machen—The Christian Faith in the Modern World, p. 65
THREE MAJOR INFLUENCES [Changing the Definition of Textual Criticism]
Bart Ehrman’s Orthodox Corruption of Scripture (1993): early traditions are as important as recovering the original wording. We should not privilege the autographs.
David Parker’s Living Text of the Gospels (1997): “Textual criticism is, in essence, the act of understanding what another person means by the words that are laid before me.” [This is nothing more than the reader-response theory of higher criticism, wherein the meaning of a text is not derived from the words but rather from the reader. Thus, a text can have many meanings, which is dependent upon each reader to determine. – Edward D. Andrews]
Eldon Epp’s “The Multivalence of the Term ‘Original Text’ In New Testament Textual Criticism,” HTR 92 (1999) 245-81. 
A few paragraphs offer the reader an overview of how dangerous Higher Criticism (Biblical Criticism) is.
World-renowned Bible scholars, such as Robert L. Thomas, the late Norman L. Geisler, Gleason L. Archer, F. David Farnell, and the late Gleason L. Archer Jr., among many others, have fought for decades to educate readers about the dangers of higher criticism.
NT textual scholar Tischendorf was a world-leading 19th biblical scholar who rejected higher criticism, which led to his noteworthy success in defending the authenticity of the Bible text. Tischendorf was educated in Greek at the University of Leipzig. During his university studies, he was troubled by higher criticism of the Bible, as taught by famous German theologians, who sought to prove that the Greek New Testament was not authentic.
NT Textual scholar Harold Greenlee writes, “This “higher criticism” has often been applied to the Bible in a destructive way, and it has come to be looked down on by many evangelical Christians.” Greenlee, J. Harold. The Text of the New Testament: From Manuscript to Modern Edition (p. 2). Baker Publishing Group.
Higher critics have taught that much of the Bible was composed of legend and myth. They have claimed that Moses did not write the first five books of the Bible, 8th-century B.C.E. Isaiah did not write Isaiah, there were three authors of Isaiah, and 6th-century B.C.E. Daniel did not write Daniel, it was written in the 2nd century BCE.
Higher critics have taught that Jesus did not say all that he said in his Sermon on the Mount and that Jesus did not condemn the Pharisees in Matthew 23, as this was Matthew because he hated the Jews. These are just the highlights, for there are thousands of tweaks that have undermined the word of God as being inspired and fully inerrant.
Higher critics have dissected the Word of God until it has become the word of man and a very jumbled word at that. Higher criticism is still taught in almost all of the seminaries around the world, and it is quite common to hear so-called Evangelical Bible scholars publicly deny that large sections of the Bible as fully inerrant, authentic, and true. Biblical higher criticism is speculative and tentative in the extreme.
This fits with the recent words of textual scholar Daniel B. Wallace in MYTHS AND MISTAKES In New Testament Textual Criticism, where he said: “The new generation of evangelical scholars is far more comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty than previous generations.” (Page xii)
Craig Evans says Jesus did not say the I AM STATEMENTS IN JOHN’S GOSPEL:
(1) I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51)
(2) I am the Light of the World (John 8:12)
(3) I am the Door of the Sheep (John 10:7, 9)
(4) I am the Good Shepherd (10:11, 14)
(5) I am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)
(6) I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)
(7) I am the True Vine (John 15:1, 5)
After four centuries, higher critics with their higher criticism have ousted the Bible from its earlier status as the fully inerrant, inspired Word of God? Higher criticism has opened the flood gates to pseudo-scholarly works, which has resulted in undermining Christians’ confidence in the Bible. There is utterly no substantial evidence for the claims made by higher critics.
Supporters of higher criticism say, “just because some have gone too far, or some have abused the method, this does not negate the benefits of using it.” Recently, textual scholar Daniel B. Wallace commented that there is a “little [saying] about the three countries that do biblical studies: Germany, Britain, and the United States. It has to do with new views, new theories, and new hypotheses about all sorts of issues. ‘the Germans create it, the British correct it, and the Americans corrupt it.,’ which I think is pretty accurate.” The gist of what Wallace was saying is this, the Germans scholars created a new way of interpreting the Scriptures that cast doubt on God’s Word, the British scholars improved it to the point of being useful, and then American scholars corrupted it. This could not be further from the truth. The Americans could not damage something that was already damaged. The Germans and the French scholars of the late 16th-19th centuries are the forefathers of the enormously destructive higher criticism, which was adopted by the rest of Europe. In the 19th-20th centuries, American Bible scholars latched onto this poisonous subjective historical-critical method of biblical interpretation like a baby going for his mother’s milk.
People listen to that foreboding feeling in the back of your mind. Or, the higher critic might argue, “you can take the good parts of higher criticism and leave the parts that undermine the Bible.” This is like saying, “you can remove the 75% poison from the water before drinking it, trust me.” There is a way to remove the bad parts for sure, entirely abandon what is known as the subjective historical-critical method of interpretation, and return to the old objective historical-grammatical method of biblical interpretation.
 Retrieved on March 25, 2020 [3:30 – 11:00] – https://www.biblicaltraining.org/textual-criticism/goals
 Retrieved on March 25, 2020 – https://www.biblicaltraining.org/textual-criticism/goals