Posted by: StrongStakes | July 15, 2012

Exegesis

Gentlemen,

Part of the tagline that appears at the top of this blog is “O.C. men studying God’s Word exegetically …”  But what does “exegesis” mean?

In a book I’m currently reading, “Eat This Book,” the author, Eugene Peterson, adds to our understanding of this word:

“Exegesis is the discipline of attending to the text and listening to it rightly and well.” (p. 50)

“Exegesis is simply noticing and responding adequately (which is not simple!) to the demand that words make on us, that language makes on us.” (p. 51)

“… we are stuck with the necessity of exegesis.  We have a written word to read and attend to.  It is God’s word, or so we believe, and we had better get it right.  Exegesis is foundational to Christian spirituality.” (p. 53)

“Which is to say, the more ‘spiritual’ we become, the more care we must give to exegesis.  The more mature we become in the Christian faith, the more exegetically rigorous we must become.” (p. 53)

“Exegesis is a dust cloth, a scrub brush, or even a Q-tip for keeping the words clean.” (p. 53)

“Exegesis is an act of love.  It loves the one who speaks the words enough to want to get the words right.  It respects the words enough to use every means we have to get the words right.  Exegesis is loving God enough to stop and listen carefully to what He says.” (p. 55)

“But exegesis does not mean mastering the text, it means submitting to it as it is given to us.  Exegesis doesn’t take charge of the text and impose superior knowledge on it; it enters the world of the text and lets the text ‘read’ us.  Exegesis is an act of sustained humility …” (p. 57)

“But without exegesis, spirituality gets sappy, soupy.  Spirituality without exegesis becomes self-indulgent.  Without disciplined exegesis, spirituality develops into an idiolect in which I define all the key verbs and nouns out of my own experience.  And prayer ends up limping along in sighs and stutters.” (p. 58)

Wow! … this is what we are committed to doing on Monday nights as the O.C. Bereans.  Join us tomorrow night at 7 pm as we continue our overview of the New Testament, focusing on a few more of Paul’s letters to 1st Century churches.

By the way, for an online course that I am teaching (N.T. Survey), we are using F.F. Bruce’s classic work, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? as a textbook.  I found a free copy online, so click on the title to download a 77-page .pdf.

Embrace God’s Grace!

~ tr


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