Exegesis – The Beginner’s Theological Vocabularium


“And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.”—Acts 8:30,31

from the Greek ἐξήγησις (exegesis) which is the noun for of the verb ἐξηγεῖσθαι (exēgéomai), meaning “to lead out”.

As Hermeneutics gives us the rules for studying and interpreting scripture, Exegesis is the actual studying of Scripture.

BibleStudy.org clarifies the definition…

In a theological sense, the definition of exegesis is an approach to interpreting Bible passages utilizing critical analysis…It is the thorough investigation of Biblical text, within their various contexts, to discover the original intent of a word….In its modern usage, Exegesis is a critical interpretation of text, whether or not it comes from the Scriptures.

Exegesis that is correctly conducted uses several tools in order to arrive at what the writer is trying to convey to the reader. It additionally includes comprehending and analyzing both the literary and cultural context of Biblical verses and then using them to compare with verses elsewhere in Scripture to determine what God is saying.

The “ex” in Exegesis stands for “out”. It means we pull out of scripture what it actually says and means. There is a contrary method of Bible “Study” called Eisegesis, which allows the reader to inject their own views into scripture. This method has produced a lot of heresy and should be avoided.