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writing things down…

Students’ views on Exegesis & Interpretation

Following up on a previous post where I listed students’ responses to the first of three incomplete sentences:

The responses to the other two sentences are below. As before I have tried to clean up mistakes in spelling and grammar. There were many more grammatical mistakes, in part because students were not clear about these terms. When the grammatical mistakes reflect what I take to be some struggle with the concepts I’ve left them as is.

  • Exegesis is…
      1. determining what was meant by the original author
      2. essential for preaching
      3. the interpretation of God’s word
      4. dissemination and investigation of the Word
      5. undervalued
      6. necessary
      7. examining the context of Scripture to extract the author’s intended meaning of the text
      8. the way to interpret the Bible
      9. scary and intimidating
      10. a process to understand the text in its original context (what is it saying?)
      11. something I am learning how to do
      12. a methodical discernment of what the word is
      13. extremely important and the primary way to interpret the text
      14. pulling out the meaning of the text
      15. understanding a translation in terms of translation
      16. what people should learn and study before they open their mouth and claim certain things are biblical
      17. the deciphering or interpretation of the Greek NT text
      18. good
      19. analyzing and expounding the Bible according to various critical methods
      20. going deeper into God’s word
      21. a process of textual analysis used to better understand Hebrew/Greek and meaning(s) of Scripture
      22. the process and tools used to extract original intention of the author and understanding of the reader
      23. further, critical, in-depth interpretation
      24. understanding the historical, political and sociological context surrounding a particular text
      25. looking at the Greek for the deeper meaning of words
      26. difficult but necessary
      27. understanding God’s words in context
      • Interpretation is…
          1. determining what the text means
          2. unavoidable for anyone reading scripture
          3. the underlying meaning of a thought or spoken word
          4. knowing the elements and ow they fit; dissemination and review
          5. what we are always doing
          6. important
          7. the meaning one extracts from the text
          8. the way to understand the word of God (Bible) with specific methods
          9. complex
          10. the process of understanding the meaning and implications of the text (what does it mean?)
          11. a traitor
          12. how the word speaks and applies to us
          13. a community event and is both an art and a science
          14. open and varied
          15. taking the words and giving them meaning for life application
          16. our perspective on what objectively happened or was written; similar to people recapping what happened at the ball game
          17. using the tools you’ve been given to understand the message someone is trying to convey
          18. in the eye of the beholder
          19. expounding God’s word
          20. necessary
          21. a way of understanding textual circumstances, meanings and applications
          22. my provisional understanding of a text
          23. to coincide with the other scriptures in the OT & NT altogether
          24. the process of understanding the text through hermeneutics and exegesis
          25. after looking at Greek, striving to grasp what the author meant
          26. tricky!
          27. translating code into one’s paradigm
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          1 Comment»

            Pat McCullough wrote @

          I love these lists! Fantastic. I think “Interpretation is a traitor” sounds interesting. I wonder what that means. Well, I guess if I ask that question, I’d be going into interpretation and thus I would be abetting a traitor. That’s tricky. Does it mean that the biblical text requires no interpretation? Or maybe it means that we use various methods of interpretation to make ourselves feel better about our point of view, while it distracts us from the true meaning of the text. Hmmm.


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