Relying on the Experts

Obviously, an appreciation of history, culture and language can give us an understanding for what people of the past were trying to convey when they wrote things down. This is true of Biblical studies.

However, I think that one can rely too heavily on experts. In the homosexuality area, for example, my church is presently involved in such a study put out by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. As part of the study, the church has issued an in-depth Biblical review of the verses related to homosexuality. If I were to indiscriminately rely upon the arguments made by these august scholars, I would conclude that the Bible has nothing meaningful to say on the subject, but I find that the conclusions that they draw are not really supported by the known facts. In other words, they have done work in the field which gives some light and meaning to the texts, but their biases (as demonstrated by various points they make and omit) make their conclusions unreliable.

So, I think that it is important to know what the Bible says about a subject in light of its original context. That does require some understanding of the culture, the language, the type of writing and other factors which scholars can help us grasp. But simply because a scholar is able to turn up reliable facts on the background on the texts does not mean that the conclusion that the scholar reaches is warranted.

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