QUESTION: Shouldn't we respect the education of
our many "Drs." in the issue of the Bible?
ANSWER: Yes. IF there is any
education associated with their degree.
EXPLANATION: Today's Christianity proliferates
with "Doctors." It has often been joked that, "There are so many Doctors
that you'd think God was sick."
There are only two types of Doctor's degrees. Earned and Honorary.
An earned doctorate is an educational degree. It is
bestowed on a graduate by his college or university upon his fulfillment
of that school's requirements for such a degree. This involves certain
academic achievements and acknowledges the graduate's mastery of a broad
field of knowledge. Some common earned degrees are:
M.D. Doctor of Medicine
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Th.D. Doctor of Theology
Ed.D. Doctor of Education
An honorary doctorate is just that. It is bestowed
upon the recipient by some college or university as a way of honoring him
or her for some outstanding merit, or service to that school. It must be
remembered though that an honorary degree cannot bestow
an "instant" expertise in the area named, any more than bestowing a degree
on Dorothy's Scare Crow" gave him a brain. The recipient of an honorary
degree would know no more about Bible manuscripts after
he received his degree than before he did. It is an
honor only, not an academic degree. (No one would wish to
be operated on by a surgeon with an "honorary" degree.) Their opinion on
Bible questions certainly wouldn't outweigh the findings of an earned
degree. Or even of someone who holds no degree but has
thoroughly investigated all of the available evidence. Academically, an
honorary doctorate is like an "honorary black belt" in karate. Wear it
around the house, but don't try to use it or you'll get
Some common honorary degrees are:
D.D. Doctor of Divinity
D.Mus. Doctor of Music
D.Sc. Doctor of Science
L.H.D. Doctor of Human Letters
Lit.D. Doctor of Literature (or D.Lit.)
L.L.D. Doctor of Laws
Litt.D. Doctor of Letters
Both types of degrees have their place. The honorary degree is very
much a badge of merit, and should be respected as just that. An honor
bestowed upon the individual for his meritorious deeds performed for
Christ or his school.
The earned degree is an academic title and stands on the merit of the
education that it represents.