I am always astonished to discover that there are some biblical academics who will admit that they have never actually read all of the Bible. Yet, it is often these very same academicians who harp on the absolute necessity of knowing the original languages. Don’t get me wrong. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to learn Hebrew and Greek. But for me and my house, if I had to choose between knowing the biblical languages or reading the whole counsel of Scripture in translation, the latter would be my choice hands down. Similarly, I am perplexed that there are some within the academy who have failed to read the entirety of the Scriptures and yet trumpet the importance of primary sources when it comes to biblical studies. Do they not realize that the Scriptures are the ultimate primary source? Can one really rightly claim to be a biblical scholar who has read all of the Gilgamesh Epic, Philo, or the Apostolic Fathers and yet have pages in their Bibles which have never passed in front of their eyes? I am stunned by those who can claim to keep up with their disciplines (e.g., NT, OT, the Prophets, Paul, etc.) because they read the most influential journals and the seminal monographs and yet cannot recall the last time that they have read some of the books of Scripture.
Ad fontes—back to the Bible.