My favorite online theologian C. Michael Patton had a great post last week outlining seven fallacies to avoid when interpreting the Bible. In light of our recent hermeneutics discussion and ongoing textual discussions, I thought I would post it here.
SEVEN COMMON FALLACIES OF BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION:
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.