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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 ?
Today, the exegetic homily occupies a more significant place in the preoccupations of researchers and preachers.
He is the author of the following books: Philonian Exegetic Fragmentarium II, Nomothetics--Exegetic Points of Reference for the Decalogue (2003), Philonian Exegetic Fragmentarium (2002), Exegetic Fragmentarium (2001), Qumran and Mariotis--Two Ascetic Syntheses--Places of Spiritual Enrichment (2000), Messianism and Apocalypse in the Qumran Writings (1999), Homo--deus (1997), Echoes in Babel (2000), The Book of Osea.
81) The French case continues to be exceptional because traditional methods of interpretation (the exegetic, the social purpose and the free scientific method) and the classification of "grammatical, logical, historical and teleological interpretations" are dominant (Carbonnier 1979:177; David 1960:140-6, quoted by Germain 2003:197-201).
the exegetic tradition according to which Christ's head signifies his divine majesty while his feet signify his human frailty (Leo Steinberg, The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion, 2nd edn (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), pp.
And third, it rejects the exegetic 'violence of abstraction' by foregrounding faith and praxis toward the realization of a local/ global community that is more equitable, just and sustainable from within the church and beyond.
Like most authors whose work presents numerous difficulties of interpretation, Yeats has generated a scholarly literature that is strongly exegetic in character, and the biographical and contextual scholarship on the poet supports an effort of understanding that his complex and often esoteric body of writings requires.
The Spell of the Logos: Origen' s Exegetic Pedagogy in the Contemporary Debate regarding Logocentrism.
First is the "impression," second is "the exegetic," and third is "the judgement.
15:13 was constitutive for the understanding of Balthasar Hubmaier's exegetic use of the Holy Scipture; he relied on this passage as soon as the October dispute in Zurich in 1523, when the assembly dealt with the abolition of the idolatry (Gotzemoerk).
Music can also be used in an exegetic way, referring to a world external to the filmed or staged scenes, particularly when a specific mood is called for, as in Bogdanov's history cycle, when a piece of flute music accompanied the three doomed people or environments in Henry IV'.
What is common to all these sorts of exegetic efforts, is that they neutralize or erase the extraordinary critical dimension of the novel, whose central motive is, as Hannah Arendt understood so well, "the functioning of a cunning bureaucratic machine where the hero is innocently caught.
While Lusthaus criticizes Sthiramati and Xuanzang as essentialists, he himself often volunteers extremely idiosyncratic interpretations not supported by any exegetic evidence.