Fundamentalists and Scholarship

Fundamentalists and Scholarship June 6, 2015

Fundamentalist dependence on scholarship

I made the same point some years ago in a blog post. But the above image, shared on Facebook by the page Science & Scripture, makes the point much more effectively and succinctly. Does someone claim that they simply read the Bible and have no need for scholars, when they are reading the Bible in translation, or reading critical editions of the texts in the original languages, or using manuscripts copied by scribes, having learned Hebrew and Greek with the help of textbooks and lexicons? That person is a liar, plain and simple.

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  • Jim West

    the chart is wrong for one simple reason- not all fundamentalists are dependent on english translations of the bible. it is, accordingly, an oversimplification of a complex phenomenon. fundamentalism has less to do with what text one reads and more to do with a mindset.

    • Wolf Paul

      But even those fundamentalists who read Greek and Hebrew depended on scholars to teach them and to produce the printed Hebrew and Greek texts they are reading. Mc Grath alludes to that, even if the chart doesn’t.

    • Andrew Dowling

      I would make a very comfortable guess that at least 99% of Christian fundamentalists are not fluent in Greek or Hebrew.

  • Wolf Paul

    I would call them “deluded”, for the most part, rather than “liars”, because they actually believe the nonsense they are spouting.

  • Charybdis69

    The top left box should say “Earliest, or best copies of texts”, rather than “Original”. We have no copies of the original texts (or autographs). We have good copies that we have every reason to believe are overwhelmingly true to the originals, but we don’t have the actual autographs.

    • Indeed, “original” gives the wrong impression. And as a result of not having the originals, textual criticism intervenes as another layer of scholarship in between the manuscripts and the fundamentalist.

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  • Jeff Y

    Agree with Wolf Paul. Ignorant or delusional a better perspective. But, the point is very well taken.