Re: Eisegesis, Exegesis, Epegesis, etc.

From: Phillip J. Long (
Date: Fri Sep 11 1998 - 10:43:56 EDT

On Fri, 11 Sep 1998 06:08:46 -0700, you wrote:

> Eisegetics is personal. Exegetics is objective.

Good, although I might say eisegesis is "subjective", exegesis is

>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.

Well, I think that good hermenutics will uses the tools of exegesis to
find the proper understanding of the text. I quoted Fee in a
previous message, to the effect that the goal of exegesis is to find
the one intended meaning of the author. Something like, what did the
writer intend for his audience to understand from the text?

>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.

Heremenutics is the science of interpting any written literature,
although here we are obviously applying it to the Bible, specifically
the GNT. Each "denomination" you mention probably would claim to use
the same sort of hermenutical principle described above, although they
come to slightly different ends. Why? Theological assumptions
brought to the text, hence a little bit of eisegesis.

Phillip J. Long
Asst. Prof. Bible & Greek
Grace Bible College

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