External Criticism

Textual Criticism

         To check if it is the original. It can be checked with the authors, language, ideas, versions, and style of writing, passages, additions and omissions.

Verification of the Authorised

          Handwriting, style and the method of presentation.

Identification of Dates

        Identification of date and place such as where it was written, to check with the physical properties, quality of paper, colour, weight, ink and other marks.

Application of External Criticism

       Application can be done on allied disciplines – chronology, paleography, sigiliography (study of seals) and archaeology. Chronology is a study of science to arrange the significant events and fix the gap in-between. Paleography is the study of handwriting, describes the evolution of letters. Sigliography is the study of seals help to authenticate and describe the seals.


        Once the authenticity is decided, the correct interpretation of meaning has to ascertain. The words passages change from region to region and from period to period. For eg: Some people identify democracy with freedom. The revolution does not have same meaning. The French revolution wanted freedom, but the communist revolution demanded restriction of freedom. Through development of historical mind and adequate knowledge, it was has to be understood and properly interpreted.