jsun3thousand wrote:how has this group of dooms day believers (or any past group) detracted from serious scholarship?
Typically they don't engage in serious scholarship. Any dissenting opinion on key texts are not taken and disputed, they are ignored as being wrong. This is the case with Harold Camping. Remember, Camping was wrong in the past about the end of the world. In cases like this groups change the dates, not their method of interpretation.
Speaking the method of interpretation, they will take an allegorical view from a key text that is not suppose to be taken allegorically. Granted, there are places in the Biblical text which are suppose to be taken as allegories, but in such key texts that are used by people like Camping they "spiritualize" them to the point where the "interpretation" becomes arbitrary and bears a very little view of the context which they took it from.The sensationalism of these kinds of views takes away from the serious study of complex texts.
In the end some people will view those who side with those like Camping as being representatives of the rest of Christianity.
These views detract from scholarship :
1) By not engaging with scholarship on key and complex passages
2) By interpreting texts wrongly (method of interpretation) which, consequently, lead to a sensationalized view of said passages.