I realized anew this morning why it is so difficult for scholars of the NT (or the Hebrew Bible) to explain the results of their results of their research to non-scholars.  Well, one of the reasons.  As is true, I suppose, for most fields of serious intellectual inquiry, the *results* of scholarship are built on other results that are built on other results that are built on… and so it goes.   If the scholar explains his findings without explaining the background – the assumptions based on previous findings that are built on the assumptions based on yet previous findings and so on – then it all sounds very arbitrary and rather easily dismissed.

That’s why it is so easy for a scholar to give an interpretation of a passage based on a detailed analysis that is itself based on careful research only to have a non-scholar “refute” it simply by quoting a verse from somewhere else.   The non-expert simply assumes the scholar doesn’t know about this other verse, or hasn’t thought about it, or taken it into account.  But that is almost always wrong – if we’re talking about a serious scholar.

I’ll give a simple example and then I’ll explain the real, more complicated example, that brought this whole business to mind to me this morning.

Simple example….

To see the rest of what I have to say, you need to belong to the blog.  It take almost no effort and little money to join.  And all proceeds go to charity.  So get with it!!!