Thursday, February 5, 2015

What Was That Point Again?

A number of people seem to have misunderstood my point from a few posts ago. The question was asked whether one could become a biblical scholar without taking any coursework in history or archaeology. The answer is yes, one can. I quoted in extenso from a number of first rate programs to show that this is the case.

So, there is no guarantee that if one encounters a biblical scholar that she will have any training in history or archaeology because many good programs do not require it.

On the other hand, just because it is not required does not mean that any given biblical scholar does not have training in history or archaeology.

Furthermore, just because a scholar did not receive training in a field does not mean that he cannot acquire competence in that field through other means.

The flip side of this is that just because a scholar has had coursework in a subject does not mean that he has understood the subject. Likewise, a scholar may never use the training that she has had.

In the end, a biblical passage explains it best:
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. . . . Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:16–18, 20)