Be Careful of Agreeing Scholars

All scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16, NIV).

My favorite seminary professor used to say, “Be cautious when somebody says, ‘All the scholars agree.’”

He explained that while studying at both Harvard and Yale (as a conservative Bible scholar), whenever he would bring up an idea like the divine inspiration of the Bible, his professors would respond with, “Well, the scholars agree that your ideas are wrong.”

I remember thinking back then, “Well, it’s hard to disagree with all the scholars.”

Then “my favorite seminary professor” (MFSP) added, “Be careful when someone says, ‘all the scholars agree,’ because all the scholars agreed in the time of Jesus that He should be crucified.”

Then MFSP told this story …

I was sitting in a class one day at Harvard.  

The professor and all the students were discussing whether the Gospels were filled with myths and, if so, could God actually speak through Scripture.  

The professor looked down at his lecture notes and said, “I wrote this verse down a while back on this topic, and I don’t remember what it says. It’s Matthew 22:29. Does anyone have a Bible?”

In a classroom filled with seminary students at Harvard, no one did.

Some students began looking around the room, and finally, someone found a dusty old King James Version on a shelf. The student opened it and read Matthew 22:29 …

Jesus answered and said unto them [scholars of His day)], “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”


After telling this story, MFSP continued …

After the verse was read, the class thought about it, sat back down, and began arguing whether or not this verse was included in the actual Gospel written by Matthew or added later.

Please understand that all the scholars don’t agree. And when someone uses this type of statement as proof about something in the Bible, you can assume two things:

First, there are many conservative scholars who disagree.

Second, they haven’t thoroughly studied the topic.

Throughout the years, I’ve heard other renditions of the “all scholars agree” statement used to doubt Scripture. I’ve heard, “There are new studies,” “There’s new information from the Greek,” and “There’s so many opinions; can we really know?”

When we hear statements like this, let’s keep our faith. I believe we can all agree that they don’t know what they’re talking about!

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