Lecture 8 interpreting scripture
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Define the Exegetical fallacy: The root fallacy
Meaning is determined by etymology, i.e., by the root or roots of a word. In languages other than English, nouns and verbs have declensions and conjugations (respectively): they have a root that stays the same while the other parts of the word change to reflect different grammatical functions.
Define the Exegetical fallacy:Semantic anachronism
This is when a late use of a word is mistakenly read back into earlier literature.
Define the Exegetical fallacy:Semantic obsolescence
- The interpreter assigns to a word in the text a meaning that the word used to have in earlier times but
- that is no longer found within the live semantic range of the word.
Define the Exegetical fallacy:False assumptions about technical meaning
This is when an interpreter falsely assumes that a word always or nearly always has a certain technical meaning—a meaning usually derived either from a subset of evidence or from the interpreter’s personal systematic theology. People can read their denomination’s doctrinal meaning of the word into the text.
Define the Exegetical fallacy:Unwarranted adoption of an expanded semantic field
This is the supposition that the meaning of a word in a specific context is much broader than the context itself allows and may bring with it the word’s entire semantic range. Sometimes scholars call this “illegitimate totality transfer.” This fallacy makes the opposite mistake of the unwarranted restriction of the semantic field fallacy.
Define the Exegetical fallacy:Unwarranted neglect of distinguishing peculiarities of a corpus
This fallacy is the false assumption that one New Testament writer’s predominant usage of a word is roughly that of all other New Testament writers. It is false to assume that different NT writers use the same word in the same way.
Define the Exegetical fallacy:Unwarranted restriction of the semantic field
This is illegitimately restricting a word’s semantic range so that you do not see the full range of meaning. In doing this, you end up leaving out the legitimate possible meanings that might be the best meaning. Each of the words below has many meanings.
Define the Logical fallacy: False disjunctions
Imposing a false either/or requirement when the two parts might be complementary.
Define the Logical fallacy:Improperly handled syllogisms
- Certain arguments seem good on the surface but are formally invalid and thus worthless. People are
- fooled into thinking something is logical although it is not. Syllogism is method of Platonic
- philosophical debate and logic. It is a three-step method of arguing: 1) State a major premise, 2) state
- a minor premise (a more particular statement), then 3) drive to a compelling conclusion.
Define the Logical fallacy: Unwarranted associative leaps
This is when a word or a phrase triggers an associated idea or experience that bears no close relation to the text in question.
Abuse of tenses arise from believing...
“The present tense always has to be the continuous present and not just the simple present”; or, the aorist tense is always “punctiliar,” or describing a point-in-time event. However, aorist verbs sometimes refer to something that happened once and sometimes to something that is ongoing—seen from a synoptic or undefined perspective. Actually, aorist means undefined rather than point-in-time.
What is the example of Simplistic understanding of the article?
- E.g., “The Word was God.” (Jn 1:1). It is a fallacy to conclude that because there is no definite article before “God,” it must mean “a god” not “God.”
- SUGGESTION: If you are having a theological argument over a verse, step back and look at the linguistic possibilities!
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