Greek we should know, ii.

More Greek we should all know.

I remember being warned, in preaching classes,
about the difference between
exegesis and eisegesis …
(and in Greek classes and theology, for that matter,
as in Old and New Testament and in church history!).

Exegesis comes from the Greek
meaning “explanation” or “interpretation”
from a Greek verb exegeisthai
meaning “to explain” or “interpret”
itself from the prefix ex, “out”
and the verb hegeisthai, “to lead” or “to guide.”
Eisegesis, from the same verb,
but with the prefix eis, meaning “into.”

So when it comes to interpreting the Bible,
the easy distinction is that eisegesis is more you
read into the Bible
and exegesis is more truth
read out of the Bible.
Eisegesis represents you leading into the Bible;
exegesis, the Bible leading into you.

So, of course, we all want to believe that we’re doing exegesis
(reading out of scriptural truth),
while others are doing eisegesis
(reading into it) just what they want to.

I’m not even sure I believe in exegesis anymore.

It seems at best rather optimistic—idealistic,
and at worst, arrogant—presumptuous.

I do believe in careful study—
of me as much as of the Bible.
And so I believe in bringing
as much as I know of me
(can name about me—claim about me)
to as much as I know about Scripture
(can name and claim about Scripture),
and seeing what happens!
And I believe in the Spirit, I do,
ever present with us, somehow,
guiding us into truth.

it has something to do
with leaving off the claims of ex
and the blames of eis
and just ending up—

with Jesus?

I know—I know!
Sunday School answer—

but phonetically,
it works!


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