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Misunderstanding the Bible

When I consider the vast world of misunderstanding that invades Christian circles, I often wonder: “Are all these people reading the same Bible?” One problem is too much eisegesis and not enough exegeses. Eisegesis is a form of construal that causes someone to read his own interpretation into a given text. This approach to Biblical hermeneutics implies a subjectivity that can narrow ones view to the arena of personal experience. How shallow our understanding and narrow our world view if we were limited to our own familiarity. Contrast this to the approach using exegesis and you have a much more objective view.

Exegesis, as a term, means to “draw the meaning out of”. Exegesis is the discipline of reading out from the text what is in it, whereas eisegesis is the practice of reading into a text what the person wishes to see there. With this understanding it is easy to see how this subjective approach can be so dangerous.

The universe of hermeneutics is much larger than just this one distinction; however in light of these two I would have to conclude that (Spirit inspired) exegesis is indeed the preferred approach.