Isn't the claim that readers cannot properly understand Genesis without knowing Hebrew and the ancient Near Eastern culture just a form of scholarly elitism?
It’s no more scholarly elitism than recognizing someone has to translate the Bible into English. Bringing the ancient text to us is not just a matter of word rendering; it’s a matter of understanding the culture in which it was written. We have to translate not only language but also culture. We all are dependent on the expertise of others. I’m never inclined to think that the exercise of one’s spiritual gifts or talents is elitism. I’m a hand, not an eye. And someone else is an eye and not a hand. That’s how the body of Christ works.