Exegesis v. Eisegesis

From Reformation Theology

A quote from Dr. James White’s forth-coming book “Pulpit Crimes”…

Eisegesis. The reading into a text, in this case, an
ancient text of the Bible, of a meaning that is not supported by the
grammar, syntax, lexical meanings, and over-all context, of the
original. It is the opposite of exegesis, where you read out of
the text its original meaning by careful attention to the same things,
grammar, syntax, the lexical meanings of the words used by the author
(as they were used in his day and in his area), and the over-all
context of the document. As common as it is, it should be something the
Christian minister finds abhorrent, for when you stop and think about
it, eisegesis muffles the voice of God. If the text of Scripture is in
fact God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16) and if God speaks in the entirety of
the Bible (Matt. 22:31) then eisegesis would involve silencing that
divine voice and replacing it with the thoughts, intents, and most
often, traditions, of the one doing the interpretation. In fact, in my
experience, eisegetical mishandling of the inspired text is the single
most common source of heresy, division, disunity, and a lack of clarity
in the proclamation of the gospel. The man of God is commended when he
handles Gods truth aright (2 Tim. 2:15), and it should be his highest
honor to be privileged to do so. Exegesis, then, apart from being a
skill honed over years of practice, is an absolutely necessary means of
honoring the Lord a minister claims to serve. For some today, exegesis
and all the attendant study that goes into it robs one of the Spirit.
The fact is, there is no greater spiritual service the minister can
render to the Lord and to the flock entrusted to his care than to allow
Gods voice to speak with the clarity that only sound exegetical
practice can provide.

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