Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Hermeneutics and Children's Curriculum by John Walton

On Zondervan's new academic blog, Koinonia, OT professor John Walton identifies "five basic fallacies that appear repeatedly" in teaching material for children.

These five include,

1. Promotion of the trivial
2. Illegitimate extrapolation
3. Reading between the lines
4. Missing important nuance
5. Focus on people rather than God

In his conclusion, he argues,
If we are negligent of sound hermeneutics when we teach Bible to children, should it be any wonder that when they get into youth groups, Bible studies and become adults in the church, that they do not know how to derive the authoritative teaching from the text?

We all have a working hermeneutic, even though most have never taken a course. Where do we learn it? We learn it from those we respect. For many people this means that they learn their hermeneutics from their Sunday school teachers. Teachers in turn teach what is put into their hands. Perhaps we ought to be more attentive how Sunday school curriculum is teaching our children to find the authoritative teaching of God in the stories.


Hearty Amens.

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