Tuesday, February 09, 2010

interpretation fallacies

Michael Patton posts a nice summary of seven common fallacies of Biblical interpretation. Here are the top lines.

1. Preunderstanding fallacy: Believing you can interpret with complete objectivity, not recognizing that you have preunderstandings that influence your interpretation.
2. Incidental fallacy: Reading incidental historical texts as prescriptive rather than descriptive.
3. Obscurity fallacy: Building theology from obscure material.
4. Etymological root fallacy: Looking to the root etymology of a word to discover its meaning.
5. Illegitimate totality transfer: Bringing the full meaning of a word with all its nuances to the present usage.
6. Selective use of meaning: Selecting the meaning you like best.
7. Maverick fallacy: Believing that you don’t need anyone but the Holy Spirit to interpret the text.

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