Re: Eisegesis, Exegesis, Epegesis, etc.

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Thu Sep 10 1998 - 12:58:27 EDT

On Thu, 10 Sep 1998 09:18:43 -0700 writes:
>Listmembers ~
>I searched the archives and found nothing on eisegesis itself, but
>simply its usage as a pejorative.
>I am utterly unschooled in this term, and when Carl used the term
>epexegesis a few days ago, I felt it was time to give my brain a stir.
>Exegesis seems to come from John 1:18, referring to an action that can
>only be undertaken by someone having certain qualities [being 'into
>the breast of the father' etc.], and yet it seems to have acquired
>another meaning in the schools. It seems to be used in
>contradistinction to eisegesis, which is always a huge no-no, and
>relates somewhat favorably with epegesis. So far, I really have only
>a boo-hurrah understanding of these terms, plus the idea that exegesis
>is somehow objectively provable by reference to the text, and
>eisegesis is some kind of subjective interpretation of the text.
>[Plus the idea in John 1:18 of 'leading forth with authority'.]
>Does anyone have an objective definition of these terms? Are they
>derived and/or found in the GNT? Are there other '-egesai'?
>[subegesis, hyperegesis, antegesis, prosegesis, etc. come to mind.]
>Thanks in advance...

Well, since I was the one who brought up the question of an
epexegetical KAI in Mark 6:2, I should get the chance to respond.

My Classical Greek lexicon is at the other office, but a trusty Webster's
Unabridged indicates the following:

EISEGESIS - "[Gr. ... a bringing in; from EISEHEIQAI, to lead, guide] ...
an improper method of exposition by which the expounder introduces
his own ideas into the interpretation of the text."

EPECEGESIS - "[Gr. ... a detailed account, from EPECEGEISQAI,
to recount in detail; EPI, upon, ...] additional explanation; further
clarification, as by the addition of a word or words."

Paul Dixon

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