From Dan Hughes:
there seems to be a series of assumptions that either support or are created by this notion (the professional mediating strange ancient texts to the masses):
1. that the secrets of G-d are locked in the text and need to be unlocked by a "bible expert," who is defined in terms of technical literacy.
2. that somehow the received text is a sufficient answer to the question of the genealogy of the textual tradition. thus the task is simply one of translation and communication--questions of strata and critical texts being left to the side, or rather, not generally even acknowledged as questions.
3. that there is a right interpretation. that somehow we can possess the author's intent by translating and interpreting the text "objectively."
in this view we need experts to unlock the linguistic mysteries of G-d that come from inerrant texts which we can objectively know absolute truth from.
doesn't that make us feel all warm and fuzzy.
what a crock of shit. what a dangerous delusion. "Inerrant in the original manuscripts" is the traditional mantra. as if that solved anything. what does inerrancy mean in a world without recourse to objectivity? inerrant to whom? when? in which situations? interpretations can never be inerrant. interpretation is our ever present enterprise. i'll give you inerrancy if you demand it, but i warn you, it does you no good when over the perspectival line of contingency you step. and step you must! in practice if not in purpose.
He's right, you know.