exegesis

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Related to exegetical: pedagogical, Exegetical Theology

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 fourth chapter presents the argument that sometimes Radak cites rabbinic midrashic teachings alongside his literalist interpretations not only for exegetical purposes, but "for the benefit of devotees of homiletical interpretation.
While it is clearly a ready and convenient source to a wealth of classical and contemporary material on the linguistic and exegetical aspects of the Qur'an, its usefulness is limited to those scholars who know Arabic and who therefore already have direct access to the Arabic-language sources from which the Mu'jam draws its material.
2:17-18), thus provides a key for a review of a developing feminist exegetical tradition, best-known today from Elizabeth Cady Stanton's The Woman's Bible (1895).
But the alleged synthesis comes at a huge exegetical price: Freud is turned into a metaphysician, which he explicitly and repeatedly claimed not to be; Heidegger is turned into an ethicist, which he explicitly and repeatedly claimed not to be (not merely in BT but more notably and forcefully in the 'Letter on Humanism').
At times, the boundary between hermeneutic principles and exegetical practices can blur; for example, Holder lists a "stance of humility" as an exegetical tool, but one might just as easily express it as an a priori assumption, or hermeneutic principle.
This statement is presented with the following caveat; Narrative Criticism uses certain exegetical methods that epistles have little or no use for.
The commentary is particularly valuable, not only because of the way in which it elucidates this particular literary work, but also because it constitutes a thesaurus of information on early medieval theological traditions, exegetical practices, and spiritual common places; the breadth of scholarship on display will be of potential benefit to all scholars working on Middle High German religious literature.
Plato's Ion, despite its frail frame and traditionally modest status in the corpus, has given rise to large exegetical claims.
Living Water for Thirsty Souls-Unleashing the Power of Exegetical Preaching by Marvin A.
Gardner reads Charles Brockden Brown's Edgar Huntly against the background of the Alien and Sedition Acts, for example, and two of Cooper's three 1820s Leatherstocking Tales against the Missouri Compromise--both unusual turns that will, one hopes, help free these texts from the rutted exegetical grooves which they have long inhabited.
Paul Ricoeur and Andre LaCocque: Thinking Biblically: Exegetical and Hermeneutical Studies.
Instead of examining the lemmatized text, where deviations from the Masoretic text could reflect the use of a non-`Masoretic' Urtext, Lim focuses on the readings within the commentary section, where at least some of the `divergent' readings can be traced to an exegetical purpose.