Interpretation terms defined

by | Aug 13, 2020 | 04 Bible Study 101, Bible Study Theory

Exegesis, eisegesis, hermeneutics? Wondering what all those terms mean? Here’s the definitions.


Here are three definitions from the Concise Oxford Dictionary. All three have the idea of “meaning” in common.

  1. “to expound the meaning of” (i.e. proclaim, exposit something you already know and what to tell)
  2. “to make out the meaning of” (i.e. work at figuring out; meaning is relatively obscure and need some work to be discerned)
  3. “to bring out the meaning of” (i.e. to elucidate, expand upon a clear meaning)


Three definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary:

  1. “intention, purpose”
  2. “that which is intended or to be actually is expressed or indicated”
  3. “significance”


  • from the Greek: “leading out, drawing out”
  • “the explanation of what a passage of Scripture meant in its literary and historical context”


  • From the Greek: “leading into”
  • “the reading into a passage of Scripture what is not there in the meaning of the text”


  • “The explanation of what a passage of Scripture means in the context of the whole of Scripture with particular reference to its application for any person or situation”
  • Hermeneutics builds upon exegesis and focuses on the contemporary application rather than meaning to the original readers.
  • “The only proper control for hermeneutics is to be found in the original intent of the biblical text” (Fee & Stuart, pg. 26).

Part of the Series: Bible Study 101

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