15 Things That Make Being A Bible Scholar Difficult

In about 5 weeks I will be taking my Comprehensive Exams.  As I continue to prepare for this major 3-part test and as the time draws nigh, I cannot help but feel overwhelmed.  Of course, there is the actual test-prep that causes anxiety, but there are also a number of other factors, some not directly related to the exams themselves that also add pressure.  This all got me reflecting last night on the things that make being a Bible scholar so difficult.  Would Jesus himself have been this interested in keeping up with all of the scholarly and popular "views" about him?  He did ask, "Who do they say that I am?" but that was likely only a few years into it all.  Would God's Son, if he were to come back and walk upon the earth, still have an interest in what folks are saying about him?  How would he process it all?  Anyway, last night, off the top of my head, I came up with 15 things that make being a Bible scholar difficult, which I'm sure many of you can add to.  Here's my list.  I wonder if you agree, disagree, and/or could add other things to this list?

15 Things That Make Being A Bible Scholar Difficult

1) Retention of the languages & syntax/grammar rules
2) Retention of the details of historical events and the various interpretive nuances about them
3) Retention of key figures and discussions in interpretive history
4) Keeping up with the mass of relevant academic studies/literature
5) Keeping up with the mass of relevant popular literature
6) Being able to, at one and the same time, be a generalist across the spectrum (history, literature, etc.), and a specialist/particularist in a given area or two
7) Being able to share with others why and how these things are meaningful and relevant in meaningful and relevant ways
8) Being able to navigate the triple worlds of the academy, church, and society without being completely awkward
9) Dealing with people who think that scholarship is not needed and/or even a spiritual detriment
10) Being careful not to let one's doctrinal or theological biases override what the text says (whether one is an atheist, agnostic, Christian, Jew, etc.)
11) Being able to see the big picture of how everything (history, theology, research, exegesis, etc.) relates
12) The pressures to make "unique" contributions to the field
13) The pressures of being ousted by one's academic institution for saying things that may question or challenge doctrinal assumptions, in other words, job security
14) Separating scholarly debates from personal relationships
15) Practicing an apologetic of humility

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