exegesis

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Related to Biblical exegete: exegeses, Bible exegete, Scriptural exegesis

exegesis

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

Exegesis

(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 ?
The Genesis texts suggest to the biblical exegetes above that relationships of control, power, domination, mastery, subjugation, exploitation, evasion of personal responsibility, deception, abuse, and violence gradually usurp the formerly harmonious, cooperative, mutual, and peaceful relationships among people that God intended.
The training in theology and philosophy that these biblical exegetes received is a rarity for exegetes today.
The Franciscan scholar Nicholas of Lyra was one of the greatest medieval biblical exegetes.
Rather they focus on how Scripture has been read in China from the 19th century to the 21st, and the hermeneutics of specific contemporary biblical exegetes and their approaches to reading.
1) It makes few totally new suggestions for loanwords ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] = uhhuzu, (2) [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] = sukku (3)), and original insights into the words' meanings concern the author less, so lexicographers or biblical exegetes may be disappointed.
Parker and his publisher are to be congratulated, and it is to be hoped that their labors will encourage wider investigations in one of the most readable as well as gifted early modern biblical exegetes.
Unlike the situation of the premodern period, careful attention to the littera by biblical exegetes today does not necessarily yield a fruitful theological exegesis.

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