Good morning friends. It is a pleasure to be here writing with an open Bible and a fresh cup of coffee. As Russell and I move forward with our conversation, one aspect that I enjoy is to present scripture in the way that I understand it. Russell once called the early effort light exegesis – – a Greek term for reading out the meaning of a text from its original intent and content. It is a critical and generally objective approach. It is one cornerstone upon which higher criticism stands. I learned a new word today. Eisegesis is offered as a contrasting approach to biblical interpretation.
An eisegete will read his or her own subjective experience, even desire, into the interpretation of scripture. To call someone an eisegete is the wordsmith equivalent of a logician saying, “not even wrong.” I do believe that the historical content and original content of scripture matter. That said, I disagree with many of the conclusions of higher criticism. Can I argue Greek with Ehrman? I am not qualified for that. Can I value truth and explain what scriptures mean to me today and ask if you can agree? I hope so. I also hope that is not eisegesis. I’m trying to use my new word correctly in three sentences, but my nascent understanding of the term suggests that an eisegete is the poster-child for the logical fallacy of confirmation bias.
Back to non-Greek English. I’ll do my best to explain Romans in the context of the balance of scripture and with a desire to apply it to life today. My core understanding of scripture, according to 2 Timothy 3:16-17? It is inspired (God-breathed) and useful for teaching, correcting, and training so that the Christ-follower is competent and equipped for every good work. Since I am not a biblical scholar, I’ll thumb back one page to explain my approach in 2 Timothy 2:15. “Do your best [rendered study in other translations] to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” Study has has defined my life from early years. Read, think, write. Join us as we take that approach to knowledge and beauty in life. Truth is truth.
One request from new friends learning with me? Don’t let me be an eisegete. Call me out if my biases are confirmed in interpretation, if I make the scripture say what I want it to say. Then our journey will be rich.