The Problem with “Academic” study of the Bible

An "academic" person would refuse to believe that Moses literally parted the Red Sea because it does not make scientific sense.

The problem with the “academic” study of Scripture is that Scripture is the Word of God and thus not part of the natural and/or man made world, which makes it something quite outside the range of things that “academic” thought is competent to address.  It is not chemistry or literature or marine biology.

Usually, when an Academic talks about the “historical context” of a book or passage, especially when it contains a miracle, they are by their very nature, predicating their statement on the thought; “An ignorant person might read this and take it literally, but since we have modern science and enlightenment to guide us, we’ll clear up their superstitions by showing them that the people who wrote this were primitive savages.”

The same is true of many passages that some Bible Colleges teach their students “are addressed to a certain group of people at a certain time.”

But God exists outside of time, and His Word is Eternal.  The idea that this or that passage was “addressed to a certain group of people at a certain time” is quite simply untrue.  Parts of the Bible have a specific frame of reference, but nothing in the Bible is FROZEN in its frame of reference.

In Mark 8:33 Jesus said to Peter

“Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

Jesus was saying that for a specific person, Peter, at a specific time and in the context of that specific conversation, but He was also saying it to every person who ever reads it who has a similar attitude.

A certain level of agnosticism cum atheism is absolutely necessary for a classical “academic” study of the Scriptures in order to reduce the Eternal Word of God to something that a carnal, worldy mind (like the one Peter was using when Jesus rebuked him) can accept.  A certain amount of pride/arrogance is also very helpful when approaching Scripture from an “academic” standpoint, and it is a rare Academic who suffers from a low opinion of him/herself.

There is no room for faith in the “academic” mindset which, by its very nature, seeks to find a carnal explanation for observable phenomenon and/or historical accounts of them.

Remember Mark 10:14-15:

“But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”

The Bible, says what it says and it says it very plainly.  No “academic” study is necessary to understand it, only a heart willing to listen to what God is saying.

Posted by Aaron

11 thoughts on “The Problem with “Academic” study of the Bible

  1. Good post, Aaron.

    This powerful and beautiful scripture goes well with what you wrote.

    Luke 10:21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

  2. I read somewhere that passing through the red sea represented baptism, also the flood represented baptism. After one believes Moses did part the red sea then you have to believe it means something even more hard to believe..

    I cor 15:29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?

    It seems to say people are baptized for the sake of the dead, to make a chain to their ancestors or something.

    Zechariah 14:8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter.

    John 4:11 Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?

    Jeremiah 2:13 “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

    1. Dear Ed.

      Shalom.

      Do not be confused about Baptism.

      Repent. Repent. Repent, you brood of vipers. That is the true meaning of Baptism. It is called Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The World refuse to accept that sin is going to lead people to Hell. They take pleasure in their life of sins, and do not want God to change them.

      Water baptism is an oath, you give to Jesus, based on His demand. Never to turn away from His light, but to follow Him at all costs. Few people are willing to do that.

      Noah repented. The whole World mocked God, and perished.

      Moses repented. He took a 180 @ U-turn in Egypt. The Egyptian Army perished, and all the firstborn in the ultimate Kingdom of Paganism.

      Ed. Am I finally able to get through to you?

      1. Water baptism is an oath, you give to Jesus, based on His demand. Never to turn away from His light, but to follow Him at all costs. Few people are willing to do that.

        He specifically says not to swear any oaths or to make any promises to him, lest your unable to keep them.

      2. Dear Ed.

        I guess you meant “able” to keep them?

        So honor this oath, you give him in water baptism.

        A contract is valid, even if one part dishonor’s it. That is why men often need a tribunal, to take a look at it. Jesus is the ultimate tribunal in all kinds of matters.

      3. The phrase that biblically links the passing through or immersion – baptism is the text in the letters of the Apostle Peter – “that which corresponds to this, namely baptism”

        It is an interesting discussion point because baptism is an act of public contrition and a statement made before all that you now live for God’s purpose.

        Now the red Sea required a demonstration of obedience and faith but the nation of Israel had not yet entered into the special relationship or covenant with God. So this indicates that it is the recognition of God’s saving power at that time.

        Noah had to do the same thing build the Ark, preach and then enter into it.

        Likewise today we have to find Gods vehicle for salvation, directed through the Bible, align ourselves, repent and follow Christ.

        Once accept Christ sacrificed his life and we are bound by that sacrifice if we choose to follow his footsteps then we get baptised showing everyone that we have made that dedication to do gods will.

  3. The History channel did an experiment and caused a great wind to blow over a portion of swamp in Everglades.The airboat blew back the water proving that a land bridge could develop in that part of Egypt/Arabia. look it up,very cool proof That the Creator works with the elements He founded.

  4. The issue for the academic is often linked to the need to understand everything. I have often found the desire to be right more pressing than the desire to be accurate. Therefore the problem for the academic is when they have to say we just don’t know how that happened.

    To seek to explain something we were not present for is always dangerous but most academic historical research is speculation – much is questioned by later academics so we have to draw the conclusion that when we reach a point where we can’t explain what happened do we accept the author’s version who was there or continue to question something we will never have a satisfactory answer to.

  5. All wisdom and truth flows from God alone. If man is able to discover some principles for himself that is fine but no “truth of man” will ever surpass the truth and wisdom that God revealed in His word. He confounds the “wise”.

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