Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Does It Matter If Someone Is a Scholar or Not?

Three or four times, I think, an anonymous person has posted a comment in which he writes a short paragraph to say that I'm not a scholar, except in a very small circle of KJVO churches.  His evidence of this is the lack of acknowledgement received from evangelical scholarship.  I'm not recognized in scholarly circles, he says, which proves I'm not a scholar.  His point for these comments is to discredit what I write with hopes that no one takes what I write seriously.

Whether I'm a scholar or not had not occurred to me until this person had written these anonymous comments.  I'd like to address this, because now it seems like an interesting subject to me.  It brought back to memory an article written by Aaron Strouse, "What Is Biblical Scholarship?"  Does it matter if someone is considered a scholar?  What matters to me is if what I'm writing is true, hence the title of the blog, What Is Truth.

Obviously the idea behind anonymous's comments is that recognition from certain association is what makes someone a scholar.  This reminds me of how the religious leaders dealt with Jesus.  To them, Jesus wasn't a scholar, because He didn't receive the imprimatur of the sacral society of the day.  These men essentially quoted each other and received their endorsement by approved person.  The Lord Jesus on the other hand spoke with direct authority, proving His doctrine from scripture.  I call this making your cake from scratch versus making it out of the box.  Jesus went directly to the source of authority.

A long time ago I knew that I would not get the acceptance of mainstream scholarship.  It gives its approval to its own people, which must take "correct" positions.  It's very much like the accreditation of the state schools.  Almost all of it relates to power and money.  Darwinism is a prerequisite for inclusion in the scientific establishment.  We all know that a establishment exists in Washington, DC that protects itself from outside competition.

The money factor in establishment scholarship relates especially to the schools and the publishers.  Schools need a broad position to attract the most possible students for more tuition and money to pay for buildings and faculty.  Accreditation relates to size.  Publishers, as one might understand, need books that will sell enough to make money.  The two are interrelated and scholarship means fitting into positions acceptable to a larger group of people.  The power lies in positions that will bring the money that pays mortgages.  Someone who does not toe the line will lose out.  He should know that in advance as he makes his decision to elevate the truth above acceptance and power.

I'm saying that the truth trumps so-called scholarship.  The real power is in heaven, and the approval should be Jesus Christ.  Moses rejected the court of Pharoah for the people of God.  When I go door to door, the people I talk to don't ask me if I'm a scholar.  I've got to stand and show them the truth from the Bible, where they believe it because it is God's Word.  I don't quote and footnote and explain that so-and-so Dr. Scholar says.  When someone does discipleship in the church, he doesn't say, let's do this because "most scholars say."  He opens his Bible and proves things straight from the Bible.

The Lord Jesus said, By their fruits ye shall know them.  When He said that, He was saying that you judge someone by what kind of fruit is produced, the followers.  Are the people following you obedient to the Word of God?  As a result, are the people following you living obedient, holy lives in surrender to Jesus Christ?  That's also what builds a church.

My approach on this blog is to present a biblical and historical position.  That will stand up to scrutiny.  If I write something here that is true -- it is biblical and historical -- and someone says, "that's not scholarly" or "you aren't a scholar," that doesn't overturn what I've written.  What should matter is whether what I've written is true.

I could point to at least five or ten different issues or matters where I have proven something from scripture to overturn a "scholar."  Daniel Wallace, who is considered a scholar in the mainstream, wrote an article that said that God did not in fact preserve every Word to be available for God's people.  I dealt with every one of his arguments in a biblical manner without getting an answer, except for personal attack.  What I wrote stands, whether he is a scholar or not.

Many years ago, I unveiled the gender discord argument between Hebrew noun and pronoun that backs up the position of a masculine pronoun as antecedent of a feminine noun in Psalm 12:6-7.  I sent a paper out by email that made its way all over the country.  With clear proof of that gender discord position with numerous examples relating to the Word of God, I never received an answer from those who took the wrong view.  Proximity of antecedent to the noun comes back into play.  I debunked the argument of gender discord, but "scholars" would not rescind.  This dishonesty is scholarship, I've found.  What is more important?  Being a scholar or telling the truth?

I've written many articles proving from scripture that unity is based upon all the teaching of scripture and not the "essentials."  There is no biblical proof of unity based on "essential doctrines."  This is very important if unity is very important, which it is.

I understand that I'm defending unpopular positions here, but that doesn't mean that what I'm writing is false.  The "scholars" should prove that what I'm writing is wrong, based upon scripture.  They don't do that.  Are they really scholars?  Is that what we want scholarship to be?

Even if I'm not a scholar, which I'm happy to agree, that I'm not one, I believe Thomas Ross, who posts here on Friday, is a scholar in a class of anyone who might be called a scholar.  He has his personal devotions in Hebrew and Greek.  I believe he has large portions of scripture memorized in the original language.  I've read a lot of scholarship, and he is a scholar.  He stands up easily to other so-called scholars, except actually being a scholar.  Thomas Ross writes here, perhaps because he recognizes that I write the truth.  Is in a regular, consistent way proving the truth, scholarship?  That should be what matters.

In the end, we're going to stand before God, and He's going to judge.  That's the judgment I'm concerned about.  Many, if not most of these scholars, will stand before God, but not at the bema seat judgment.  They'll stand before Him at the Great White Throne Judgment.  They aren't even saved, and this is evidenced by their elevation of "scholarship" ahead of truth.  God is going to judge based upon the truth, not what men agree is scholarly.


Theo C. said...

As someone who is reasonably familiar with what "the scholarship" has to say on a number of topics commonly covered on this blog, I have to say - being a "scholar" really isn't as impressive as many people think it is.

demapastor said...

Amen and amen. Great article, thank you!
Dmitry Gospodarev

Andrew Tollefson said...

Great article.

Bill Hardecker said...

Amos, the herdsman turned prophet is a case in point. The true scholar is the student of the Word of God (if we take for instance the etymology of the Old English word "scolere" meaning student.) I am thankful for the men that God has raised up in my lifetime who are genuine students of the Word. They don't look to this present evil world for validation. Truth is what validates them. Mr. Aaron Strouse's article is exactly on point. The pastor-church dynamic is Biblical scholarship. AMEN!

Leroy said...

Well that is true. Too many want to be elevated by men. On the other hand some Christians shy away from being called a scholar. It’s like a bad, evil word. Hey if a man is a scholar fine. If not, great. It doesn’t matter to me. Truth is truth and God’s word is Truth.
So again, your article is correct.