In my circles, knowing Theology often trumps one’s knowledge of the Bible. What others have construed or constructed out of the Holy Scriptures is more known and therefore more valued than understanding the actual, sacred text—and it shows.
When I ask people who have been attending church for years, 10, 20, 30+ years, how many books of the Bible can they teach, the best answer that I have gotten so far is, “One…maybe two.” How is it that so few of us can share the context, analysis, and application of a letter, song, narrative, or prophecy from Holy Writ? They were, after all, delivered to average folks; and we are all average folks.
Now, some reading this might rush to defend the worth of confession and catechism, but when they arrive they would find that I am already there. Systematization, terminology, and doctrinal jargon are all incredibly useful. It is good and right to know and use them.
But if we learn to understand how to study the scriptures, personally, we will become a wise and understanding people. The danger is a becoming someone who knows about God rather than really knowing Him.