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« Hebrew Corner 6: "God's Own Heart" by John H. Walton | Main | Living on the Seam of History, Part 4: The Holy Spirit »


"Paul has no tolerance for false teaching, and neither should we."

Very very true. It's time to stand firm and not compromise on Biblical truth!

Etymology fallacy probably occurs most often with "Ekklesia." After all we are the "called out ones" right? ;)

Actually, I have heard anything on ekklesia. But my guess is that since our ecclesiology is quite defective in the U.S., I would not be surprised of some issues. Yes, the saints together make up the church, which is people and not an institution, and we are all called out of our lives of former sin, crucified with Christ, and living under the lordship of a new savior.

Fee talks about it in his NT Exegesis book "not getting derivation happy" and I think Carson talks about it in his Exegetical Fallacies book.

I heard a teacher once teach about the word repent. He claimed that it basically means that we are going "back to the top" based on the components of the word. Not only is that not the etymology of the English word repent, it's a translation of a Greek word that carries other implications. Learning common fallacies is such a good way to help people notice these kinds of errors.

If you ever find out how he got "back to the top" I would be interested. Was this his understanding of the etymology of the English or the Greek?

Sadly he was referring to the English. The prefix 're-' meaning again or back. With pent he claimed that it means top, as in the penthouse. I can't find a source on that but it doesn't really matter because God didn't choose that word to describe repentance he chose a Hebrew and a Greek words. Even if he had chosen the English word it's not the correct etymology. The English word repent comes from the Old French word "repentir" which basically means to intensely regret. The French word comes from the Latin word poenitire meaning, to "make sorry." The speaker was foolish on more than one front. I just found this particular fallacy humourous because it was doubly stupid.

Great post, Bill! Thanks for setting us in the right direction on etymology and word studies. Too often the lay know no different and hang their entire theology on every "word" of their pastor/preacher who has likely forgotten most of their Greek studies shortly after leaving seminary. In the same spirit as your post, I have written On Using Greek.

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