Below is an excerpt from my introductory chapter in Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity. This particular section was written during a time a social conflict in my life. In researching for this, I was hoping to understand better evangelical aversion to and general misunderstanding of historical Jesus research. While many evangelicals whom I've known have voiced an interest in the topic and voice their support of historiographical rigor, there is an equally disturbing hostility to the discipline. Sometimes these two faces of evangelicalism can manifest simultaneously. These are dangerous waters to navigate I have found. What the below excerpt demonstrates is that sometimes scholars and churchmen use the same words and do not realize that they define these words much differently. Shenanigans ensue.
Here it is:
The Two Authenticities 
The story of the traditional authenticity criteria begins in Europe and then takes on new life in America. The following two sections will sketch the history of ideas behind their formation and reception. I will have an eye to the larger scope of their development, but I will specifically focus on their reception in America.
In the late nineteenth century, proponents of (neo-)Romanticism were keenly interested in “originality.” To be an originator bespoke genius and heroism. Building from eighteenth-century philosophers in Germany,  Scottish author Thomas Carlyle measured the major movements of history by the (types of) heroes who moved history forward.  Dagmar Winter points out the parallels in German Jesus research:
As [Keim, Baumgarten, Bousset, Wellhausen, Wrede, Holtzmann] began to examine the historical figure of Jesus, both concepts of genius  and hero were easily applied to him. And both the concept of hero and genius bear not only a special relation to the divine, they also indicate a fundamental difference to the milieu whence their protagonist emerges. What had hitherto been a doctrinal appreciation of the uniqueness of Jesus was replaced with Jesus as the unique hero and genius… Jesus can be seen to pick up the threads again and be an even greater hero and genius by founding universal Christianity. 
Given this backdrop, one recognizes the impetus for locating the ideas that were original to Jesus over and against his contemporaries. In order to establish Jesus as the great originator of Christianity (really, as the archetype of German Protestantism) it was necessary to establish his original teachings. In these contexts of German and British historiographical thought, “authenticity” could best be demonstrated through “originality.”  Thus it is important to underscore the association between originality and authenticity.  This interest in the teaching original to Jesus (and thus authentic) was foundational to New Testament studies
well into the twentieth century. 
In nineteenth-century America, the concept of “authenticity” developed along a much different track. While German Romanticism was concerned with genius of thought, Americans were much more interested in the uniformity that common sense provided. At the risk of over-simplification, one could say that the common American approach to the Bible’s “authenticity” was more democratic—that is, it more readily extolled the “common man”  and less so the genius.
In reaction to what American evangelicals saw as “unbiblical” dogmas of man-made institutions (i.e. the traditional creeds of Congregational, Episcopal, Presbyterian churches),  many leaders of the Second Great Awakening sought to restore Christianity to the primitive models of the earliest Church.  In order to do so, a groundswell of literature emerged claiming to be “Bible-only” principles derived from a “common-sense” approach to Scripture.  Underlying this new rejection of Reformation Christianity was the common-sense emphasis of contemporary Scottish philosophers coupled with an enduring suspicion of institutional power. “Driving the rush into Bible-only-ism,” argues Christian Smith, was “the populist, individualistic, democratizing tendencies of the ideology of the Revolutionary and early Republic eras.” 
But it was not long before this populist approach to the Bible was picked up and defended by the (so-called) liberal theologians of Yale College and Princeton Seminary.  What was once a rallying cry of revivalists had become the standard position of Presbyterian intelligentsia. Of course, Presbyterians had long defended the stance of the Westminster confession concerning Scripture, but did so now with new vigor:
The Old Testament in Hebrew…and the New Testament in Greek…being immediately inspired by God and by this singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical. (Westminster Confession of Faith, Ch. 1, Sect. 8)
Notice here that Scripture was “authentical” inasmuch as it was divinely inspired and kept “pure.”
Timothy Dwight (president of Yale from 1795 to 1817) and Archibald Alexander (the first professor and principal of Princeton Seminary from 1811 to 1840) were both heavily influenced by Scottish common-sense philosophers in service to “natural theology.” Using only the “literal sense” of the Bible and a Baconesque empiricism, the project of natural theology was to explain, “often in considerable detail, what God’s purposes were in creating the various parts of nature.”  In Bacon and Carlyle, these natural theologians found a means to defend their “biblical” understanding of the natural world. Interestingly, Carlyle’s thumb-print is evident in both camps: (1) the Romantic notion that the heroes of history were those that rose above common thinkers to produce something original; (2) the common-sense notion that principles about the world could be systemized and authenticated by any person with the powers of observation and a handle on empirical methods.
When this common-sense notion was applied to the Bible, two hermeneutics manifested. First, the Bible became the common person’s guide to understanding the natural world. Second, any person could interpret the Bible, using only the Bible as a guide for interpretation (viz. the idea of the Bible’s self-attestation). Underlying both was the idea that the (King James) Bible, from cover to cover, was authentic. Moreover, it was the guide by which all other facts about the natural world could and should be authenticated. When this “Biblicism” approach was adopted by the natural theologians at Princeton, a particular motive was apparent. As a reaction to the skepticism of David Hume and Thomas Carlyle (although adopting much of their philosophical framework), the theologians at Princeton latched onto a Bible-only approach in order to free themselves of the rigidity of Calvinism:
The liberals’ motive was usually to overthrow what they viewed as the thick and oppressive dogmatic systems of orthodox Calvinism. To do so, these liberal Protestant leaders of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries hammered away against doctrinally concerned evangelicals with the slogan of returning to “the Bible only” as a means to purify theology in order to arrive at the simplicity of biblical beliefs. 
So, as American evangelicalism was coming of age, both the “liberal elites” (e.g. Charles Hodge, Robert Baird) and “conservative laymen” (e.g. John Nelson Darby, Dwight L. Moody) launched a “Bible-only” offensive against any who challenged their particular understanding of the universe.  Despite their many differences, they agreed that the Bible was the divine guidebook for interpreting human experience and scientific research.
To illustrate, B. B. Warfield wrote: “A proved error in Scripture contradicts not only our doctrine, but what the Scripture claims, therefore, its inspiration in making those claims.”  Here we see the strongest statement of the most recent theological topic of this period: the doctrine of inerrancy.  Not only was the Bible divinely inspired (a longstanding Christian position), but now it was without error. If one were to find a single error in the Bible, according to Warfield, it would disprove the authenticity of Scripture.  Seeing the problem created by his bold stance, Warfield retreated to the position that the Bible was inerrant, not as it stands now, but as it existed in the “original autographs.” This retreat to the authenticity of lost originals was adopted by fellow Princeton professor A. A. Hodge.  Thus, the idea of “originality” was associated with “authenticity” among the American Biblicists as well, however with very different motives and assumptions than their Romanticist counterparts.
In this climate of Bible-only theology, common-sense philosophy, and the American incarnation of empiricism, the need to prove the Bible’s “authenticity” became paramount. Baptist moral philosopher Francis Wayland claimed in 1835 that the “proof of the authenticity of the Holy Scriptures” should be treated as a particular example of “the general laws of evidence.”  In 1844, Mark Hopkins (president of Williams College) wrote that the properly inductive approach to Scripture “decides nothing on the grounds of previous hypothesis, but yields itself entirely to the guidance of facts properly authenticated.”  Here Hopkins echoes a standard formula of Bacon and suggests that the Bible will provide its own proofs of authenticity, which will be corroborated by any person of sound mind and free from “previous hypothesis.”
Such appeals to “proofs of authenticity,” argues George Marsden, provided evangelicals arguments of probable “evidences that formed strands of a rope of virtual certainty.” Marsden continues, “Working from Common Sense premises, they argued that the authenticity of Scripture was as well established as many other of our beliefs that we rely on even in matters of life and death.”  The authenticity of Scripture, according to the Biblicist view, was self-evident within Scripture and available to any individual equipped with common-sense. This remains a common view among American evangelicals today.
In sum, the concept of “authenticity” and the pursuit of “originals” developed from Romanticism among German higher critics by extolling the geniuses and heroes of society. At the same time, “authenticity” and the appeal of “original manuscripts” developed among common-sense, Bible-only evangelicals in America. As we will see below, the introduction of the traditional criteria in America made for an uneasy mixture of motives and assumptions.