Common Word-Study Fallacies

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by TCGreek, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    1. I admire greatly the effort of those who use Strong's concordance or even Vine's.

    2. But they must not become your bread and butter at the expense of more advanced scholarship.

    3. They have their place but only as a primer and not an end in themselves.

    4. Here are some Common Word-Study Fallacies:

    a. The Root Fallacy: meaning is determined by etymology.

    b. Semantic anachronism: when a late use of a word is read back into earlier literature.

    c. Semantic obsolescence: assigning an old meaning to a word that no longer carry that meaning.

    d. Appeal to unknown or unlikely meanings.

    e. Careless appeal to background material.

    f. False assumptions about technical meaning: assuming that a word always or nearly always has a certain technical meaning.

    g. Problems surrounding synonyms

    h. Selective and prejudicial use of evidence.

    5. This list is adapted from DA Caron's Exegetical Fallacies, pp. 27-64. There are more in the list. Those that I have listed are the common ones I have encountered.
     
    #1 TCGreek, Jul 21, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2007
  2. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    Without commenting on anything else, I would like to point out that Strong's, although very weak as far as reference works go, is very, very handy because of the numbering system. This numbering system is indispensible to word studies. But, you do need a lexicon, and one that looks at the Greek instead of denominational beliefs will be superior. Although, I do think that it would be impossible for anyone with any particular doctrinal beliefs to completely ignore them. That is why when looking to the etymology of an English word, I look to secular sources, as their interest is in the English language and not a pet doctrine.
     
  3. Snitzelhoff

    Snitzelhoff
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    I also think it's fallacious to do an English word study for a Biblical term rather than (particularly when it's to the exclusion of) a word study on the Hebrew/Greek behind the English word translated. Perhaps it was assumed that such would be recognized as fallacy, but I have seen it happen before.

    Michael
     
  4. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    We also have to be carful about placing English or American idioms on words in the text. We need to make sure that we are using Hebrew or Greek idioms, and in some instances, period idioms.
     
  5. TomVols

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    The Goodrich/Kohlenberger (I may not have spelled their names right) numbering system is also helpful. As the saying goes, Young's isn't young, and Strong's isn't strong :laugh: But the Strong's numbers are helpful. I use them with my Online Bible software, but most of my indepth word studies are with materials that support the G/K numbers.
     
  6. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    I have a handy little freeware program that has the NA text that is searchable by word, you can define it further by grammar, w/without other words, etc. It will print the lists for you, and even parse the verses out.

    When studying a word, I study the secular meaning of it, since most liturgical words were borrowed from the secular world. Then, I look at the verses that use the word and compare them by context, grammar, etc.

    BTW, anyone intrested in doing serious word studies, if you want this program, drop me a message. It's old, so it's not point and click friendly, but I can also point you to a version of it online that is available part time that is point and click friendly.
     

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