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Biblical Exegesis

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First I will give you a background of exegesis. Webster\\\'s New World Dictionary(1990), defines exegesis as, the interpretation of a word, passage, etc., esp. in the Bible. This definition is a worldly. To understand the true meaning and background I looked in John H. Hays book called, Biblical Exegesis, for the answer. He says that the term \\\"exegesis\\\" itself comes from the Greek word exegeomai which basically meant \\\" to lead out of.\\\" When applied to texts, it denoted the \\\" reading out\\\" of the meaning. The noun, therefore, could refer to \\\"interpretation\\\" or \\\" explanation.\\\" Thus whenever we read a text or hear a statement which we seek to understand and interpret, we are involved in exegesis.

In this paper I am trying to find out what true Biblical exegesis means. By finding that truth then I and the person reading this paper can leave with an understand-ing on how to comprehend the content of exegesis. Through out my paper you will see noted some of my sources. I have carefully read these books and have selected the best ones to fit the purpose of this document. I will be exploring many areas of exegesis and will be giving you a brief overview of these and then explaining different uses for exegesis.

BIBLICAL EXEGESIS: Comprehending the content

In the quest for the original wording of the Bible you have to look at all of the texts and their background. Their are many versions: Revised Standard, The New English Bible, The New International Bible, New American Bible, and the King James Version. All have different ways of saying the same scripture. This is the beginning of the textual criticism portion of biblical exegesis. In my own personal opinion I have found that the King James Version is the closest translation to the Greek and Hebrew texts that we have.

The next factor in exegesis is historical criticism. This describes the setting of the time and space. In Walter C. Kaiser,jr.\\\'s book, Toward an Exegetical Theology, he states \\\" The historical sense is that sense which is demanded by a careful consideration of the time and circumstances in which the author wrote. It is the specific meaning which an author\\\'s words require when the historical context and background are taken into account. (Kaiser p.88)\\\"

Next we have to consider the language of the text. This is Grammatical Criticism. \\\" Grammatical criticism is concerned with the meaning of the words in their combination in sense units. Grammatical criticism may be thought of as the set of skills and disciplines through which the exegate seeks to re-create and enter the original thought world and linguistic frame of reference of the text(Hays p. 54)\\\" This means that this part of exegesis is concerned with words in their context to the rest of the scripture.

Another important fact of biblical exegesis is the literary criticism. This looks at the composition, structure, and rhetorical style of the text. \\\"Literary criticism refers to the process of determining how the style and form influence how it is to be understood. Literary interpretation is the process of determining the literary quality of a writing by analyzing its genre, structure, and figures of speech and how those factors influence the meaning of the text(Zuck p.124).\\\"

Roy Zuck defines tradition criticism as the customs gap. \\\" Great differences exists between the way people in the Western world do things and think and the way people in the Bible lands lived and thought. Therefore it is important to know the cultures and customs of peoples of Bible times. Often faulty interpretations stem from an ignorance of those customs(Zuck p. 16).\\\" This type of criticism is very import-

ant to biblical exegesis because you are forced to look at the traditions of the Bible\\\'s authors in order to understand where they are \\\"coming from.\\\"

In the next phase of my paper I will be canvassing a few applications of biblical exegesis. Now that I have shone you several ways that exegesis is used I must show you how to apply it and how it is being utilized. Exegesis is involved in all areas of reading and interpreting the Bible. I also in general it also has its \\\"non-religious\\\" practices.



Roy B. Zuck outlines in his book, Basic Bible Interpretation, gives nine steps that are suggested as a way to apply the Bible properly to our lives:

(1) Build Application on Interpretaion.

(2) Determine what was expected of the Original


(3) Base Applications on elements Present-day

readers share with the original audience.

(4) Recognize how God\\\'s working varies in different


(5) Determine what is normative for today.

(6) See the principle inherent in the text.

(7) Think of the Principle as an implication of the text

and as a bridge to application.

(8) Write out specific action-responses.

(9) Rely on the Holy Spirit.




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