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 ?
Chapter five examines the ways that exegetes memorialized the "abode of the Prophet's wives." Whereas the Quran limited the visual access to the Mothers of Believers, exegetes paradoxically rendered this idealized space permanently visible in order to authoritatively resolve exegetical questions about gendered social hierarchies and legal, theological, and sectarian debates.
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." Sometimes the midrash comes to supplement the literalist interpretation, while at other times it is cited as support of it.
The conceptual diversity of words arising out of this root is systematically organized in the section dealing with its exegetical explanations, which includes classical and contemporary reflections on phrases such as khalaqa lakum (He created for you) and khalaqa kulla shay' (He created everything), as well as concepts such as the creation of human beings and aspects of creation which the Qur'an uses as proofs for Oneness of the Creator (Tawhid).
In chapter 4, Pardes examines the contemporary exegetical context of the Israelite King Ahab, especially the use of the story of Ahab's appropriation of Naboth's Vineyard (1 Kings 21) in contemporary discourse criticizing American expansionism in the era of Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War.
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.
Deweese's examination of Baptist exegetical scholars leads him to the belief that those who oppose the ordination of women deacons do so by exclusively employing selected writings of the apostle Paul and by interpreting his writings in a literalistic manner without taking into account the ancient paternalistic world in which they were written.
They include fiery pamphlets, along with exegetical works on the Resurrection of the Flesh and On the Soul.
Plato's Ion, despite its frail frame and traditionally modest status in the corpus, has given rise to large exegetical claims.
Storr's "exegetical" passages in his catalogue text are no better--I'd accuse the curator of bad faith.