The issue of Exegetical Fallacies stemming from a misuse and/or misunderstanding of Biblical Greek is deeply relevant and far too common in our day. These fallacies happen more often than most of us recognize. The scary thing is that so many people assume that they are excluded from them. When EF are being committed, they are usually done by a sincere, well meaning pastor or teacher, who genuinely is trying his best with the tools he has to communicate from Greek what he believes is being said. This person usually does not have any idea that they are teaching a fallacy. More so, it is thought that if someone has a Biblical Hermeneutic and sound "Reformed Theology", then they are protected for the most part from exegetical fallacies. This could not be farther from the truth. In fact, these fallacies may be as common in Reformed pulpits as they are elsewhere. Indeed, those often responsible for committing the fallacies which follow are those who do not have a working knowledge of Biblical Greek, but rather attempt find the meaning of the Greek through computer programs, lexicons or dictionaries, or some other means, but have not actually studied the language and learned it for themselves. In short, they are fully dependent on second-hand sources.
The best and most thorough treatment of this topic is D.A. Caron’s wonderful book Exegetical Fallacies. This little book should be carefully read by everyone who preaches or teaches the Word of God. If you have read it, then there is probably not much new below. Nevertheless, I will attempt to mention a brief list of some of the most common EF today.
I usually do not use transliterations of the Greek alphabet, but since the words referred to are commonly heard today and are already somewhat familiar to those without Greek, for the sake of clarity, I will use transliterations here so that there is no misunderstanding.
1. The Root Fallacy
This fallacy is based on the assumption that a word always derives its meaning from the shape or components of which it is made. This says that a word’s meaning, regardless of its other parts, always can be determined by its root.