The uses to which the Bible has been put; the ways in which it has been tortured; the cruel violence it has suffered at the hands of persons who never should have been allowed within 10 miles of it; all lead me to believe that things may well have gone better with Christianity had it kept its sacred text accessible only to those with the training and skills to ‘rightly divide’ it.
The truth, ugly as it may be, is that most folk are simply unequipped to read it. Perhaps our ‘democratic’ approach of allowing any slack jawed mouth breather who wanted to and wants to to pillage it for any meaning they wish has done more to harm the truth and its promulgation than anything else.
Historically speaking, and we all know this to be true, sacred scripture was written by the literate for the literate- and that would have been a scant fragment of the population, all professionals. The general populace was perhaps never meant to have it. They had, as it was, interpreters in their midst who read it to them and, more importantly, interpreted it for them (one need simply see Nehemiah 8 for the evidence).
At any rate, we biblical scholars may have only ourselves to blame for all the false exegesis and dreadful eisegesis that’s floating around out there because we’ve opened the book and invited anyone, anywhere, anyhow, to gaze at it and speak for it.
Zwingli insisted that two things were necessary for proper exegesis: learning and the Spirit. Most folk who open the Bible today lack one or the other.
If I’m wrong, refute me.