Exegesis Definition

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What does the word Exegesis mean? How is it related to Biblical interpretation?

In a theological sense, Exegesis is used to denote an approach to interpreting Bible passages utilizing critical analysis. It is the thorough investigation of Biblical text, within their various contexts, to discover their original meaning. The word itself comes from a Greek word delineating 'to lead out of.' It is the opposite of Eisegesis, which is to 'read into' a particular text. In its modern usage, Exegesis is a critical interpretation of text, whether or not it comes from the Scriptures.

Exegesis that is correctly conducted uses several tools in order to arrive at what the writer is trying to convey to the reader. It additionally includes comprehending and analyzing both the literary and cultural context of Biblical verses and then using them to compare with verses elsewhere in Scripture to determine what God is saying.

Exegesis, in short, is to dig out from a passage what it inherently is stating. Eisegesis, on the other hand, is the approach of interpreting passages by reading into them a particular belief that is not at all evident or clear.

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Two different types of exegesis exist. The first is called Rational and the second is called Revealed. The revealed type states that God's Spirit is the inspiration behind the writers of the Bible. The words within the pages of Scripture are written under God's divine inspiration and they convey his perfect will for mankind. Rational states the authors of the books of the Bible were using their own creative minds (without any influence from God) to compose their writings.

Page from Gutenberg 1455 Bible
Two Pages from
1455 Gutenberg Bible

Taken together, the two types of Exegesis state that some can study God's word believing he himself was the inspiration behind it while others study the Scriptures from the point of view that it is just a mere collection of made up stories, myths, tall tales, and so on.

Because prophecy was not brought at any time by human will, but the holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2Peter 1:21, HBFV).

The Bible clearly states its writers were inspired and even eyewitnesses to what they wrote. Rather than being a collection of fanciful fables or stories created out of the will of man, the Bible teaches its words came from God to holy men and women through the power of the Holy Spirit. Based on this site's belief of letting God's word interpret itself, it endorses study of the Scripture using the Exegesis approach.

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