Exegete vs. Eisegete

By Jaxson

  • Eisegete

    Eisegesis (;) is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that the process introduces one’s own presuppositions, agendas, or biases into and onto the text. This is commonly referred to as reading into the text. The act is often used to “prove” a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda. Eisegesis is best understood when contrasted with exegesis. While exegesis is the process of drawing out the meaning from a text in accordance with the context and discoverable meaning of its author, eisegesis occurs when a reader imposes his or her interpretation into and onto the text. As a result, exegesis tends to be objective when employed effectively while eisegesis is regarded as highly subjective.

    The plural of eisegesis is eisegeses (). An individual who practices eisegesis is known as an eisegete (); this is also the verb form. The term “eisegete” is often used in a mildly derogatory fashion.

    Although the terms eisegesis and exegesis are commonly heard in association with Biblical interpretations, both (and especially exegesis) are broadly used across literary disciplines.

  • Exegete (noun)

    A person skilled in exegesis; an interpreter.

  • Exegete (verb)

    To interpret; to perform an exegesis.

  • Eisegete (noun)

    A person who places meaning on a text which is not originally or inherently present in the text itself.

  • Eisegete (verb)

    To place meaning on a text which is not originally or inherently present in the text itself


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