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Principles for Word Studies

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Dr. Strauss leads us into exploring the riches of Biblical words in this lecture. He explains some common misconceptions and gives us safeguards so that we do not wander into exegetical fallacies. If you want to know the way forward in Biblical exploration, then listen in as Dr. Strauss outlines the basic principles for doing Biblical word studies correctly.


I. Biblical Authority and the Original Text

II. Basic Principles for Biblical Word Studies

A. Words generally have a semantic range, not one all-encompassing "meaning"

B. Context determines which particular "referent" or "sense" within this semantic range the author intended.

C. Words normally have only one "sense" in any particular literary context. (Unless a pun is intended)

D. The meaning of words often changes over time. So both historical context and literary context determine a word's meaning.

E. Etymology is never a reliable guide to meaning

F. Conclusion

III. Avoiding Word Study Fallacies

A. The "root meaning" fallacy

B. The "etymology" fallacy

C. The "anachronistic meaning" fallacy

IV. Principles to Avoid Word Study Fallacies

A. Meaning is determined by context not word roots

B. Study sentences, not Greek words

C. Read for the big idea, not for the hidden meaning

D. Compare various English versions

E. Check the better commentaries

V. The Best Tools for Word Study

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