Re: Eisegesis, Exegesis, Epegesis, etc.

Date: Fri Sep 11 1998 - 09:08:46 EDT

Phillip J. Long wrote:

> Exegesis is drawing out what the text actually says, to quote Gordon
> Fee, NT Exegesis, page 27, "Exegesis, therefore, answers the question,
> What did the biblical author mean?" and a bit further on in that same
> paragraph, "what did the author intend his original readers to
> understand."
> Eisegesis is *reading into* the text what you want it to say. I want
> to prove that Jesus is God (or Not God) so I over-interpret a passage
> to prove my opinion, I read into the text what I want it ito say.

Thank-you, Phillip.

This 'reading into' vs 'reading out of' the text would seem to cover
it, and as well account for the pejorative bite of the term
eisegesis. It is easy enough to 'read into' a passage what is not
there, and rather difficult to 'take out' of a passage what is not
there. An exegete would let the text speak, whereas an eisegete would
speak for the text. Eisegetics is personal. Exegetics is objective.
Interpretation of what the text means, then, outside of word
definitions and syntax issues, heads into the direction of eisegesis,
which then, I would imagine, is held at bay with hermeneutics, which
forms the last bastion of defense against eisegetical error.

Am I getting this right?

I am unfamiliar with the term 'hermeneutics' as well, but understand
it so far as the principles of interpretation of the meaning of the
text, and accounts for the differences between, say, Catholics and
Baptists, Lutherans and Presbyterians, etc. Each has an approach to
understanding the text that differs in principle [in varying degrees]
from the others.

This is to me a strange and interesting way to think about things...

Thanks again ~


Lisa Messmer..................ICQ# 5666415
George Blaisdell

Have you seen Dulcie? Look for her Heart!

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