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explanation or critical interpretation of a text, esp of the Bible
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(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.

The Religion Book: Places, Prophets, Saints, and Seers © 2004 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The present studies have come to the conclusion that through biblical hermeneutics one understands the theoretical framework (rules, principles, and technics) which permit the discovery of the true sense of a sacral text, while the biblical exegesis is seen as a practical application of the principles and theoretical rules provided by hermeneutics and, at the same time, starting point in setting up the exegetic homily.
For the Imagines does not grant physical access to the described pictures, but rather materializes a series of exegetic discursive responses: in the absence of actual paintings, the work invites audiences to exercise its own 'innate mimetic faculty,' reconstructing mental images of the pictures described.
(8.) For an exegetic account of Jakobson's earlier phonological models through to his fully developed theory of distinctive features, see Mendousse (2007).
Thus, today's students' notions about privilege correspond to the self-actualizing trajectory outlined by World Values Studies surveys in that students will tend to assert their autonomy over exegetic authority, and in thus so doing, reject traditional views of authority as definitive.
There ate many facets to this reading of Dante, and many areas that Borges investigates are common to exegetic commentaries on the Comedy; other areas are pertinent, so it would appear, only to Borges.
Figure 10 provides a comparison of the compression efficiency of hydrogen compressors providing exegetic efficiency greater than 80% and capability to easily attain pressures up to 10,000 psi or 700 bars.
(22) Sub imperiul vointei legiuitorului, omul de stiinta isi limita activitatea exclusiv la campul exegetic, adica el descria dreptul scris si nimic mai mult.
Much of the work's structure is conveyed by Sachs in an exegetic tour de force simultaneously detailed and readable, requiring no particular score-reading know-how, but with abundant revelations for those who do have the printed music handy.
(77) Rather, his espoused exegetic principle involves "a living encounter of the texts within the encounter of religions, resulting in a further articulation of implicit meanings which these texts would not reveal unless they are mutually exposed to each other's illuminating disclosures." (78) This process, which Pieris has called "symbiosis," entails the unveiling of latent, repressed, or occluded aspects of one's home tradition that would remain hidden except through encounter with the other.
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.