In one of Paul’s letters, the Apostle rebukes his flock for getting involved/caught up/speculating about “words”, “names”, “genealogies”. As I recall, he calls such discussions “vain” or “futile”.
Is Paul casting in this aspersions on all who would examine issues in very great detail, down, as it were, to the “nitty gritty”? Indeed, I believe that, sometimes (maybe more often than not), such “deep digging” is necessary or at least very helpful in understanding issues, theological, philosophical, historical, linguistic, or otherwise, either church-related or in “secular” subjects. Am I wrong to believe this?
Or, rather, is Paul, in a sense, rebuking us for looking into/studying topics that might, by many, be considered too “esoteric” or even a “waste of time” such as, for instance, Art History or even Classical Studies (my own field)? To some of us, however, there are varying degrees of value in these pursuits. Of course, such are not objectively (arguably?) as important as, say, in the secular world, firefighting or being a doctor, in that the latter saves lives while the former can be very limited. Still, again, I don’t see why studying such things would be objectively wrong, even if the value is less than perhaps the more “noble” profession. But, then, again, is Paul saying that these kinds of fields are “vanity” because of their limited if non-importance and shouldn’t be studied?
Is he perhaps implying both situations are true?
If neither, than, what is Paul advising against here?