Biblical Nuggets: English-only Fallacy

English-only Fallacy

Often we read the scripture; we may come across a word which means one thing in English, but the original biblical (Hebrew & Greek) meaning is different. Thus we may read the passage into English word meaning which does not quite fit in the original meaning.

The English-only fallacy occurs when we base our word study on the English word rather than the underlying Greek or Hebrew word, and as a result, draw unreliable or misleading conclusions.[1]

Examples: John 3: 16 – 16“For God so loved the world that he gave his begotten Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The Greek term for so loved is “in this way” rather than “so much” in English.


[1] J. Scott Duvall, and J. Daniel Hays. “Word Studies.” Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-on Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible. 2001. Reprint. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2001. 133. Print.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.