Stresses that words have a range of meaning and that context determines meaning. Examines five fallacies in word study before laying out a plan for effective word studies
I. Two principles to remember:
A. We need to understand that words have a range of meanings in any language.
B. Context always determines meaning.
1. Things we need to look at
a. The section of the book.
b. How the passage is used
c. Where it is used elsewhere
d. The broader use of the word.
e. Romans 8:1
II. Word studies take time and you can't study them all.
A. Look for the three most important words.
2. Repeated words
3. Difficult words (theological)
B. Look for words that are crucial to the passage.
C. Look for figures of speech.
D. Look for words that are different.
III. Word study fallacies
A. The English-only fallacy--becoming dependant on one translation.
B. The root fallacy--basing understanding on just the base or root of a word.
C. The time frame fallacy--Romans 1:16-17
1. Taking a meaning from earlier or later than it was written and using it to derive meaning.
2. Greek words meant different things at different times.
D. The overload fallacy--taking all of the possible meanings of a word and applying them all to the passage.
E. The word count fallacy--using a meaning just because it is used the most in the Bible.
IV. How to do a word study
A. Identify key terms or concepts in the passage.
B. Have three or four translations side-by-side.
C. Consult a concordance.
D. Get a good commentary.