If we want to know about a religion, then what should we do? Should we go to the writings of the scholars of that religion? Or should we go to the Scriptures of that particular religion? The latter seems the better option.
In this day and age, the use of Pastors, Priests, Mullahs, Gurus, Rabbis and such, has become obsolete, because we have the ability to be our own Pastors, Priests, Mullahs, Gurus, and Rabbis. The most damaging thing any investigating soul can do, is to conclude their search based on the conclusion of other scholars. If mankind truly understood the meaning of individual investigation and collective consultation, then there would be a clearer understanding of any religion"s teachings. Man chooses what to interpret and what to alter in a religion after it has been revealed to us by the Messenger. Therefore, if man chooses to act contrary to the Principles of the religion, they are ultimately responsible for the disagreements generated after an unqualified interpretation becomes accessed by the public and spread. This is why Religion is revealed in a progressive manner, so that society is reminded on the purpose of humanity. So yes, you're right, the latter is the better option.
The dilemmas occurring to a curious seeker are generally the abundance of theological scriptures leading to different views...you may say that all religion are same , and they teach about peace and so on.....but in the core , there are lots of basic questions ,upon which these sacred books vary a lot.....so what to do then??? Then he (the seeker) has to consult some so called "scholars" who trap their mindset in the 'gospels' ,'verses','ayats','shlokas' and blah blah...the whole thought process thus gets modulated and a "JIHAD" becomes synonymous to Terrorism...
Every religion abhors terrorism and wrongdoing in one or other way. But in this era, the followers,to superiorise their religion over others, just rush along the trail created by the "spiritual leaders". These leaders ,brainwashing the youth mind , with their own interpretation of the scriptures are the real culprits behind all these communal disputes.