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ISBN/ASIN : 0801020867
Manufacturer : Baker Book House Company|
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Guide to Understanding Biblical Language
Many people are keen to be able to read the bible in the original languages, but do not understand how to apply their new-found knowledge.
There are some excellent books to assist in this regard, including Moises Silva's Biblical Words and Their Meaning, Cotterell and Turner's Linguistics and Biblical Interpretation and David Alan Black's Linguistics for Students of New Testament Greek, It's Still Greek To Me and Using New Testament Greek in Ministry.
But Don Carson's Exegetical Fallacies is a great start. It is reasonably easy to understand, and shows how language works and how we can easily get tripped up in our efforts to interpret it, in a stimulating and entertaining manner. His book is short, and definitely worth reading a few times.
If you find yourself disagreeing with his conclusions, think carefully about what yours are based on. Is it a great sermon or a cherished theory, or is it based on careful biblical study?
Other thought-provoking books by Carson which give examples of his exegetical method include his "Inclusive Language Debate: a plea for realism,""The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God" and "Showing the Spirit," which is an exposition of 1 Corinthians 12-14.
Carson is bilingual, having been brought up in Canada where he and his father preached in both English and French. He shows how this has helped in his study of language and of the Bible in his book on the inclusive language debate. The insights he has discovered make him well worth reading.
Excellent overview of how not to do exegesis
Carson's effort here is something of a gem. This little book is filled with sage advice for exegetes and all levels (layman, student, pastor, professor). What makes the book all the more useful is that each concept is concretized via an actual example of someone committing the fallacy under discussion. Carson's comments are generally fair, sober and accurate. Two cautions are in order however: 1) Carson's own presuppositions sometimes show through (he is a mildly Reformed Baptist) in cases of continuity and discontinuity of the Old and New Testaments and his slightly wooden understanding of the grammatical-historical method, and 2) Just because Carson thinks something is a fallacy does not mean that it actually is! His observations here are his, they do not carry the authority of the fallacies commonly identified by the logicians. Hence, one can rightly disagree with Carson and should at a few points. These reservations do not detract from the immense value of this book as a teaching tool (as long as one keeps in mind that the teacher is not infallible) and a great help to interpreters of Scripture.
I love this book!!!
While not exhaustive (which Carson didn't mean for it to be), it gets one started thinking in a balanced direction towards hermeneutics and exegesis in general. It leaves one wanting to exegete with caution. Carson's description of evaluating one's presuppositions before the text is priceless. Every fundamentalist Christian out there should get there hands on this gem and READ IT!! If this book doesn't humble you in your approach to biblical interpretation, you're doomed to hell.