The Cost and Value of Producing Bible Experts

By March 31, 2015 No Comments

We often feel the need to call for professional help. When building, we enlist an architect. If needing legal advice, we will contact a lawyer. When we undergo surgery, we look to the surgeon.

In each case the professional will almost certainly have a minimum of 7 years’ training, and often several decades. They will also have a subdiscipline. We do not have one surgeon for every operation, one architect for all buildings, or one lawyer for all areas of law.

We know it’s often important to get professional specialized help.

But does this also apply to expertise in the Bible?

If churches need reliable information about the Bible, how many years’ experience would they expect their advisor to have? Would we expect someone with a PhD in something related to the Bible to advise us in every area relating to the Bible?

Of course, there is a difference between professional study of Scripture and expertise in these other areas.

Much in Scripture leads one to believe that untrained people may get things right, while experts get them wrong. In the gospels the scribes and Pharisees were deemed expert, but often wrongheaded.

But the possibility that experts may fail, is hardly a justification for us to seek expert help in all areas of life except the interpretation of Scripture.

In Tyndale House we believe that though education itself is not a spiritual cure, but that the global church does need experts in every area related to the study of the Bible.

We need experts in archaeology, biblical languages, different books of the Bible, rabbinic sources, and on each of the cultures of the ancient world, as well as on the manuscripts of the Bible.

Each of these areas also has subdisciplines. For instance, there are actually hundreds of thousands of manuscripts which are relevant to the study of the Bible and its world. How could any one individual become acquainted with more than a fraction of these?

Our vision is to see a growing global network of experts in each of these areas, with a heart to serve the church.

As with any professional training, it will cost, but the amount needed to train experts at this level relative to the budget of the entire global church is vanishingly small.

Our library provides study space for people who have usually refused prosperous careers and given their lives to study Scripture and explain it to others. They are trained to access primary sources and daily use several ancient and modern languages.

For each library desk we need $6,000 annual sponsorship. This is a small amount to pay for one of these high calibre people not only to research and write, but also be equipped for future service.

Please support a portion of the cost of a library desk by contributing a monthly sum which will be a great blessing!

The fiscal year ends April 30th for Tyndale House so please consider giving monthly donations of  $10, $20, $50 or more per month.  Monthly giving will greatly help the budgeting process for the general operating needs and special needs (scholarships, mentoring, etc.).  We need many of you to help in this work which impacts the world.

We know experts too can miss the heart of the Scriptures. That’s why we also ask you to pray for us, for spiritual insight into the Word of God.