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Related to exegesis: eisegesis


explanation or critical interpretation of a text, esp of the Bible


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Exegesis is the science (some would call it an art or method of interpretation) of determining exactly the meaning of a particular passage of writing. This technique is used by all who study any writing, but especially by those who study religious scripture. Scriptures of all religions were written within the context of a particular culture and belief system. No one can write without having a certain frame of reference. Words mean different things to different people. Worldviews change. Even the meanings of words change over the years. Imagine the embarrassment a modern teenager feels when asked to stand up during a youth-group meeting of her peers and read the Kings James version of the Ten Commandments. What will she do when she gets to the part that says we are not to "covet our neighbor's ass"? She would have been on solid ground back in the seventeenth century. But the language is a bit awkward in the twenty-first.

Gabriel Fackre of Andover Newton Seminary has developed a formula that can be used by anyone who wants to do exegesis. This four-part system, outlined in Gabriel and Dorothy Fackre's book Christian Basics, works especially well when dealing with the Bible, but it can also be used by the student of mythology or any other ancient writing:

1. Common Sense: Start with its common-sense meaning—reading it just like a newspaper story.

2. Critical Sense: Next check out the ideas of some of the other students who have studied the passage's background, original language, and literary style.

3. Canonical Sense: Compare it to the rest of the author's writing. Is it consistent with the rest of the story?

4. Contextual Sense: What does the passage mean in terms of personal and contemporary culture?

The system will save the student from arriving at conclusions that might be "contemporary" or "politically correct" but totally at odds with what the original author really meant.

References in periodicals archive ?
Pak does not demonstrate how the interpretation of scripture shapes confessional identity, but instead shows how the exegesis of Luther, Bucer, and Calvin expresses their anachronistically ascribed confessional identity.
Straton's fundamentalist perspective ultimately proved the decisive factor in his exegesis.
At a particular point in the history of the Middle East, however, a concatenation of notions and perceptions seems to have appeared that steadily worked toward the denigration (an evocative word in itself) of particular peoples, depicting them as intrinsically inferior, as "naturally" unnatural and so condignly subject to low, servile status--and increasingly, in the postbiblical rabbinical comment and exegesis, and in the early Christian patristic writings that also rested on a biblical-scriptural base, the Curse of Ham was made to act, or created to act as, the prime rationale for black inferiority, rejection from civilization, and so as an understandable, even obligatory subjection to slave status.
26) The linkages between the haftarot and the Torah readings that precede them are often due to the diachronic use of intrabiblical midrashic exegesis by the biblical authors themselves.
While all of this biblical exegesis is interesting, as an artist and a Christian, I found myself constantly arguing with Dyrness.
This is a handbook, containing the work of eighteen contributors, offering a detailed overview of the history of allegorical exegesis from antiquity to the twentieth century, with an emphasis on philosophical aspects of the topic and on the interplay of allegorical interpretation in ancient Jewish, Islamic, and Christian culture.
The profusion of books, articles, Quranic exegesis, and treatises produced by such harbingers of Islamic modernism as Sayyid Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, Muhammad Abduh, Muhammad Farid Wajdi, Qasim Amin and Ali Abd al-Raziq on historically significant issues not only generated a storm of controversy in Egypt but also affected the general course of the country's intellectual development.
Recognizing, however, the difficulties of producing any kind of political program out of ambivalence, and that a great deal of political headway can be (and has historically been) made in the name of an essentializing nativism, Bongie's book is as much an extended lament in the efficacy of his own strategy as it is a critical exegesis.
A more intriguing exegesis began hitting store shelves a couple of weeks ago, with the arrival of the first of three computer games based on older parts of the Blair Witch Mythology.
They have used formulae, tradition, and exegesis to guide them on their search for the hidden and the holy.
I teach what I call "collaborative exegesis," people sitting around the table reading and trying to be responsible to other readers as well as the text--not exegesis as a research mode, but exegesis as skill in reading.
Barbrook and Howe's preparation for this literary exegesis consisted of studying evolution from a much earlier era--the development of chloroplasts in microorganisms more than 2 billion years ago.