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Related to exegete: exegesis


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 ?
All the traditional exegetes explained that Joseph did not attempt to hide the occupation of his brothers.
Not long after the publication of Histoire et Esprit, Brown questioned whether the study of patristic exegesis had any value for the modern exegete at all.
The exegete must acquaint himself with the Science of the Principles of Jurisprudence, because it contains important rules for understanding the text and analyzing it.
I will show that from the most famous exegetes such as, Abu Jarir al-Tabari (d.
Perhaps the best way to give a sense of how exegete and philosopher work in fruitful tension is to give a summary of two of the chapters.
Rustom then presents the Qur'anic exegetes, schools of Hadith literature, theologians, philosophers, Sufis, and poets who were most formative of Sadra as a thinker and shows where they appear in his writing.
This emphasis certainly directs modern exegetes of ancient texts to a more realistic and concrete way of approaching multidimensional experiences such as conversations.
Another well-known medieval exegete, Isma'il ibn Kathir (d.
13) To do this kind of work one must try to be what Osayande Obery Hendricks calls "the guerilla exegete," not waiting for, not expecting "the hegemonic pat on the head.
29) The editor of this work subverts the sceptical historian's intentions and may be the first to turn him into a prophetic exegete.
In other words, what is the status of the exegete as spiritual actor, as participant and not merely as observer in the process of revelation?
Topics include Eckhart as a Latin exegete, Eckhart's understanding of God and preaching, his approach to women, and his reception from his own century on.