There are, of course, various tasks within biblical study that need have little direct relation to theological issues—perhaps most obviously, the mastering of the biblical languages, for the rewards of theological insight, though potentially great, come only after the exercise of prolonged self-discipline and patience in the mastering of grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and idiom (though of course the qualities required for language learning are a reminder that all academic work, rightly approached, can—indeed should–be understood as a moral and spiritual discipline).
This quote comes from Walter Moberly’s chapter, ‘How Can We Know the Truth? A Study of John 7:14–18,’ in E. Davis and R. Hays, The Art of Reading Scripture (Eerdmans, 2003), pp. 239–240.
At the end of this paragraph, he has a footnote that points the reader to ‘a fascinating account of the spiritual value of academic work.’ The chapter is by Simon Weil, ‘Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God,’ in Waiting on God (London: Fontana, 1959).