I have just began reading D. A. Carson’s Exegetical Fallacies and am already enjoying it. After a rather lengthy introduction, Mr. Carson has began discussing the various errors that interpreters run in to during the exegesis of a biblical passage.
The first chapter covers the “root fallacy.” I am sure I have been guilty of this, but to summarize it, it is basically taking words to a far too literally sense or searching for connections between words that have similar forms. He cites Mr. Louw as presenting the example of developing a definition or pineapple based on the separate words pine and apple. Of course that is ludicrous, but the truthfulness in the connection between our Hebrew and Greek word studies is startling. Hopefully we can move past this abuse of word studies in order to “rightly divide the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)