This lesson uses a Scripture passage to give students hands-on practice identifying the common pitfalls of hermeneutics and learning how to avoid them.
You can start by reprising At the Well from earlier in the course, revisiting the idea of models and how they inform the way we read the Bible. As students work through the activity this time, ask them:
The first time around, this activity focused on discovery; revisiting it allows some detachment, enabling a focus on process.
Next, consider revisiting Candle in a similar manner, focusing on the relevance of the pitfalls identified.
Pop Can Implosion is a good activity to do next, as it dives into the distinctions between observations and inferences. These are explored through a classroom demonstration of a pop can suddenly imploding. At the end of the activity, debrief the process with an emphasis on the pitfalls already discussed.
If time allows, or to extend this theme into another session, do the follow-up activity Observations, Inferences, Models, which uses the example of student observation from Pop Can Implosion to delve deeper into the differences between observation and inferences.
For homework, ask students to respond to the following journal prompt:
Evaluating Pitfalls and Solutions