- Some scholars are incredibly educated incompetents. What I mean is that they know an awful lot of data but can't seem to put it all together. They know all the different plays and are brilliant at describing them, but they can't seem to cross the finish line. I heard a couple papers I would put in this category.
- Some scholars are incredibly bright, but their presuppositions sometimes prevent it from showing. Sometimes I feel like I can outrun some of these, even though they are way smarter than I am, just because I can smell a cop out and want to be honest with the evidence.
- There are some scholars who are just world class masters. Most people have no idea what one of these looks like. I heard a paper by Greg Sterling today. What a master. Heard another by Jimmy Dunn--what clarity and lucidity.
But to get the nuances will often require expert knowledge of the biblical languages and the historical background. In some cases even those who know the most won't have enough information to be sure. This is the reason why it is more important for us to focus on the big picture of Scripture than on the details of individuals verses.
For example, our theology of women in ministry should not hang on the interpretation of individual verses like 1 Timothy 2:12 but should flow from the big principles of Scripture.