It is certainly true that words of wisdom can come from the wise. Ananda, supposedly, remembered many of the Buddha's wise, profound words. But does it follow that reading and pondering the words of a wise person like the Buddha add up to wisdom and enlightenment for us? I think the answer is no. The wise words that we read in the Dhammapada, for example, are being read by an unawakened person who is poisoned by delusion, anger, and concupiscence. Making matters worse, this same unawakened person might believe that they understand the words of the Buddha when, in fact, they don't really understand what they are reading.
I cannot count the times I read a discourse of the Buddha and understood very little. It seemed so foreign to me at the time. And many years later, were not it for seeing my mind shorn of its agitation in an instant, nothing now would be clear and meaningful. Yet, thankfully, the Buddha's discourses are clear and simple—not muddled and oversimplified, cast into an alien form that hides meaning. But the world does not see the Buddha's teaching as it should see it. How can it? The minds of men are blind to spirit. They do not know nor see, directly, what animates the fifty trillion cells that comprise their biological bodies. Their lives always begin each an every day with conditionality: an arising is seen, a vanishing is seen, and its alternation while it persists is seen (A. i. 152). They cannot see the unconditioned upon which the discourses of the Buddha are based.
I see the difficulty of teaching people what the Buddha taught. It is almost impossible. For people do not easily give up their opinions and their skepticism. They prefer to wangle—and men are far worse than women when it comes to holding on to their opinions and their skepticism who are always disputing with each other. Do the discourses become clearer for all this wrangling? I have yet to see it. I thank the gods that when I began my study of Zen I had to rely, eventually, on myself. I was always going back to square one which taught me how easy it was to deceive myself. I should mention that in our practice if we are not going back to square one a lot of times we are not on an adequate learning curve.