Eisegesis vs. Exegesis

This blog will highlight some of the misunderstandings and outright lies that are being taught as scripture.  Most people have been taught to approach Bible study with the attitude of “how does this apply to me?”, or “what can I get out of this?”  This method uses God’s word to support and validate belief systems. Rather than a desire to know what God wants, many “believers” are using God’s word and appropriating scripture to support certain agendas.

Matt. 15:9, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

I am greatly concerned that most of the Christian world have been indoctrinated into the precepts and traditions of men.  These traditions of men then color the reader’s eyes when we attempt to study the Bible.  We approach the word of God with certain belief systems, certain prejudices and biases that truly blind us to what God’s word really says.

It is a huge struggle to learn to remove those colored glasses, no matter the denominational background, as they all have their own creeds and traditions based upon teachings of certain prominent men from history.  Take your pick: Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyons, Origen of Alexandria, Eusebius of Caeserea, John Chrysostom, Jerome, Martin Luther, John Wesley, John Smyth, John Knox and many others.  They all derived certain belief systems from God’s word and taught it to their followers.

No matter what we have been taught to believe, we must recognize that all of these students of the Bible were just fallible men.  They were not omniscient, all knowing, sinless men. They were capable of error. No matter how well intentioned, or how zealous, we have to allow that men can and do make mistakes. If we follow only after their teachings we will be led by those same mistakes into false doctrines.

The practice of reading a belief system into the scriptures is called eisegesis.

“Eisegesis (/ˌaɪsəˈdʒiːsəs/😉 is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that the process introduces one’s own presuppositions, agendas, or biases into and onto the text. This is commonly referred to as reading into the text.” (Wikipedia)

The practice of studying God’s word to see what the Bible really says requires critical analysis of His words and their context   Instead of “reading into” the text, it is a “reading out” of the text.  This approach is called exegesis.

Exegesis – from the Greek – means exposition or explanation.  Studying the Bible requires certain rules, or hermeneutics.  A good description is found at Got Questions here:  https://www.gotquestions.org/Biblical-exegesis.html

If we want to know what the word of God really says we have to clear our minds of all learned precepts before we begin our study.  We have to want to know His mind, not impose our thoughts upon Him.  This takes work, time, and effort to look up the definitions of the original Hebrew and Greek words, to read through the different commentaries, to compare them with the contexts and usage within the scriptures.  It doesn’t come with a zap from heaven, or by magic.  It only comes with study.

2 Tim. 2:15, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

It is easy to let someone else tell us what to think, to follow someone else’s lead.  It is a lot harder to do your own research and find out what the original source actually says.  The posts offered here will help expose and explain what God’s word – the Bible – really says.

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