Guidelines for Writing an Exegetical Article - Trinity College (2023)

Exegesis is a word for the systematic process by which a person comes to a reasonable and coherent understanding of the meaning and message of a passage of Scripture. A good exegete has learned what questions to ask a text to get at that meaning and how to find the answers. Since the right types of questions will vary depending on the type of literature in question, and finding them is more of an art than a science, a guide like this is not definitive, just a rough guide.

The goal of an exegetical paper is to infer the meaning of the text in a coherent, concise, and sensitive way that reflects the details (eg, "feeling", plain meaning, issues, ambiguities, context, theological potential).a fuller feelingetc.) of this text alone. The reader of the work should not have the impression that the student has done something new or different with the text, but rather that they have understood it well, including reflecting on aspects such as its aesthetics (or lack thereof) and problems.

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type of request

What you are looking for is the meaning of the text, not yours, so go slowly. When asking questions about the text,let me tell you what it means. The correct method is not mystical or devotional, but careful and methodical. They are really looking for meaning and coherence.EsThere. To use an analogy, letters are the main partner in a dance of meaning; Their task is to follow, observe and interpret the dance with sensitivity and precision.

The nature of the article should always determine the nature of the investigation. In the case of the Bible, the type of study must reflect the fact that it is the word of God as well as the word of man. Given the character of the Bible as divine revelation, the exegete must approach the text with the conviction of its implicit sensitivity and with a sense of humility, perseverance, faith and, above all, reverence. Since the Bible is also the word of man, the type of study must also include the same methods used to understand other types of literature.

preliminary method

1. prayer

Begin (and continue) with prayer, asking God for wisdom and insight.

2. Identify a significant entity

Compare several English translations to make sure they reflect a unit of meaning, such as a whole paragraph. In general, the paragraph divisions in the UBS Greek New Testament or New International Version or New Revised Standard Version are reliable guides.

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3. Study the passage

  1. Text

    Look for differences across multiple translations as to which words, phrases, or even verses are in the "original" text. If there are differences, please refer to the critical apparatus (if you speak Greek and/or Hebrew) or modern detailed comments like thatmust[BS 491.2 W67] ohermeneiaSerie.

    Subtle differences in wording should be overlooked; The concerns here are obvious, such as very different wording and missing/additional wording, etc. Usually there are few problems and the differences are minor. A good source for the New Testament is Bruce Metzger.A textual commentary on the Greek New Testament(United Bible Society, 1978).

  2. context

    To orient yourself briefly in the passage, use secondary sources to determine only the date, the historical background, and (in detail) the purpose and message of the entire section in which the passage is found. (This may be the book itself, or it may be several books such as the Pentateuch, or both.)

    • In what literature does your section appear?
    • How does the literary form of the book and its section affect your understanding of the passage?

    do not lookstillto what secondary sources say specifically about your particular unit. This prematurely channels your own thinking about the passage and blocks important insights.

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  3. Content

    Using a photocopy or printout of the contextual passage and various colored pencils, graphs, and diagrams, highlight any contrasts, similarities, repetition of key words or phrases, developments in reasoning, etc. within and between your unit.severalUnits that precede and follow your unit. Write the unit itself in a way that makes grammar, syntax, and structure clear. Consider what it is and what is's noton the unit (and context) and the possible meaning of what you find strange or confusing. Use your analysis to assess the purpose and message of your unit in relation to the units that precede and follow it, and more importantly, also in relation to the purpose and message of the larger context you mentioned in B above. .

    A good source that illustrates the method recommended here is Oletta Wald.The New Joy of Discovery in Bible Study. (Minneapolis: Augsburgo, 2002). [BS 600.2 W28].

  4. Argument Analysis

    Go as far as you can beyond what is said (and how) in the passage and evaluate it.Becauseit establishes it and even explains why it establishes it at that particular point within the general "reasoning" of the larger section.

    • What meaning would your unit's argument have had for the original audience?

    Your analysis should be at least approximately capable of answering such questions. If not, you should probably read more about the larger entity's historical background, purpose, and theological message, and re-examine the text in its larger context. It is true that even in the Psalms you must see your unity as a single frame in a film; It matters in its larger context, which is a story or a plot. To find out its meaning, match the frame with the order in which it is found.

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  5. Consult secondary sources

    consult severalgravemodern comments. Older works (eg, Calvin, Luther, 17th-19th century commentators) should not be discounted, especially with regard to theological understanding of the text. Use his work in Steps C and D to appreciate the value of the exegetical and theological insights offered, and use the insights offered in the commentaries as inspiration for your own reflection and further research (see Step F below). If necessary, consult encyclopedias for word meanings, Bible atlases for geographical landmarks, Bible dictionaries for entries on relevant topics or questions, etc.

    Be sure to assess (and collect in this context) any important ideas that you may have missed in your own analysis or in important discussions that contribute to or influence understanding of the text and its message.

    As a general rule of thumb, a "respectable modern" commentary has been published in the last 30 years and is most likely from one of the following publishers (plus a university press): Abingdon, Augsburg (and/or Fortress), Baker , Brazos, T & T Clark, Continuum, Doubleday, Hendrickson, Eerdmans, Michael Glazier, The Pontifical Institute, Westminster (and/or John Knox), IVP, Word, and Zondervan.

  6. Selected Additional Research

    Use your best judgment to decide which two or three open-ended questions are likely to contribute the most to your understanding of each unit. Carry out the necessary research to answer these questions.

    (Video) Writing Quality Exegesis Papers & Citing Scripture

Write the exegetical essay.

  1. The previous steps related to the study of the passage should not be repeated or included in their entirety. Rather, previous explorations should be integrated in a way that opens the text with freshness and sensitivity to its various dimensions (including role in context and even ambiguities). The essay must be a presentation of the conclusions reached in the previous phases (but with clear and sufficient support). It must go far beyond the historical background and literary peculiarities of the theological meaning of the passage, but not become a sermon.
  2. The exegetical work must include at least a brief consideration of hermeneutical aspects.
    • What theological questions of contemporary relevance does the passage raise?
    • How does the passage agree with other parts of Scripture and the gospel itself?
  3. The method of citing footnotes and bibliography must be consistent and appropriate.Das SBL Manual of Style(Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2014) or a similar standard reference, such as K. Turabian, Wayne C. Booth, and Gregory C. ColombA Handbook for Authors of Research, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, 8. Aufl. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013).
  4. If word study is required as part of the exegetical exercise, the word chosen should be decisive and the standard instructions for conducting the word study should be followed.

the reverend dr. glen taylor
Colegio Wycliffe
Revised November 2012.


What are the guidelines for exegetical paper? ›

Write the Exegetical Paper

It should clearly move beyond historical background and literary features to the theological meaning of the passage, but should not become a sermon. The exegetical paper should include at least brief consideration of hermeneutical aspects.

What is the format for writing exegesis? ›

An exegesis can be structured like any other essay, with an introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each paragraph explores a single idea. For example, how a certain work inspired you to characterise your protagonist in a certain way, or, how you used symbolism to explore a certain theme.

How long should an exegesis be? ›

An exegesis paper offers a close, thoughtful analysis of one passage of scripture. The passage should generally be less than a chapter in length with an identifiable beginning and ending. Although you are offering interpretation of the passage, an exegetical paper is different from a sermon or Bible study.

How do you write a thesis statement for an exegetical paper? ›

A thesis statement focuses your ideas into one or two sentences. It should present the topic of your paper and also make a comment about your position in relation to the topic. Your thesis statement should tell your reader what the paper is about and also help guide your writing and keep your argument focused.

What is the four fold method of exegesis? ›

Thus the four types of interpretation (or meaning) deal with past events (literal), the connection of past events with the present (typology), present events (moral), and the future (anagogical).

What are the key components of exegesis? ›

The following are several factors that can be considered in exegesis: textual criticism (original wording of text, beginning and ending points of passages); historical context (events before and at the time scriptures were written, also includes social settings and culture);

What are the 4 modes of exegesis? ›

There are four major types of biblical hermeneutics that have arisen throughout history, although only the first is widely accepted today amongst evangelical churches.
  • Literal Interpretation. ...
  • Moral Interpretation. ...
  • Allegorical Interpretation. ...
  • Anagogical Interpretation.
Jan 4, 2022

What are the four levels of exegesis? ›

There, he reflected the traditional medieval understanding that interpretation can take place on four levels: the literal, the allegorical, the moral, and the anagogical. The literal represents the most obvious reading.

What is the two step process for biblical exegesis? ›

a. Determine then define the literary genre of the book. b. Determine then define the literary genre of the selected passage.

What are the steps of exegesis? ›

Biblical Exegesis: Step Six: Application
  • Home.
  • Step One: Establish the Text.
  • Step Two: Examine the Literary Context.
  • Step Three: Examine the Historical-Cultural Context.
  • Step Four: Establish the Meaning.
  • Step Five: Determine the Theological Principle(s) in the Text.
  • Step Six: Application.
Mar 17, 2023

What is an example of an exegesis? ›

One example is Romans 12:2, where Paul instructs readers to "not be conformed to this world." This passage can be interpreted through exegesis to mean that believers should avoid allowing the prevailing values and temptations of the world to affect their faith.

What is a exegetical outline? ›

Page 1. What is an Exegetical Paper? The word exegesis means “to lead out of.” Exegetical papers should be written to communicate both an explanation of a text and the writer's interpretation of its meaning.

What 3 things must a thesis statement have? ›

A thesis statement generally consists of two parts: your topic, and then the analysis, explanation(s), or assertion(s) that you're making about the topic.

What is the difference between exegesis and essay? ›

Whereas an argumentative essay centres upon a thesis or idea, the central focus of the exegesis is a creative work or works, for instance a painting, installation, photomedia portfolio or film script. These works will be the student's own creative product.

What is the difference between a thesis dissertation and exegesis? ›

Thesis is either for a doctoral or a master's degree. Dissertation is either for a master's or a bachelor's degree with honours. Exegesis is the written component of a practice-based thesis where the major output is a creative work; e.g., a film, artwork, novel.

What is hermeneutics exegesis? ›

Nature and significance

Biblical exegesis is the actual interpretation of the sacred book, the bringing out of its meaning; hermeneutics is the study and establishment of the principles by which it is to be interpreted.

What is the fundamental goal of exegesis? ›

The definition of exegesis is the critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of scripture. Put simply, it is the process of discovering the original and intended meaning of a passage of scripture.

What are the roots of exegesis? ›

English speakers have used the word exegesis—a descendant of the Greek term exēgeisthai, meaning "to explain" or "to interpret"—to refer to explanations of Scripture since the early 17th century.

What is the difference between exegetical and exegesis? ›

Adjectives are exegetic or exegetical (e.g., exegetical commentaries). In biblical exegesis, the opposite of exegesis (to draw out) is eisegesis (to draw in), in the sense of an eisegetic commentator "importing" or "drawing in" their own subjective interpretations into the text, unsupported by the text itself.

What is the difference between exposition and exegesis? ›

Exegesis is technical and grammatical exposition, a careful drawing out of the exact meaning of a passage in its original context. While the term exposition could be used in connection with any verbal informative teaching on any subject, the term is also used in relation to Bible preaching and teaching.

What is a master of biblical exegesis? ›

The M.A. in Biblical Exegesis program requires 45 credit hours and can be completed either on-campus or online in two to three years. Whether you desire to strengthen your preaching and teaching or are preparing for further study toward a doctoral degree, the M.A.

What are the 3 spiritual senses of Scripture? ›

Indeed, at times these terms were used interchangeably by the early Church Fathers. By the medieval period, three distinct spiritual senses emerged: the allegorical sense (which included typology), the tropological or moral sense, and the anagogic or future sense.

What are the five spiritual senses in the Bible? ›

You can touch it. Not to mention see it, hear it, smell it, and taste it. The invisible realm of the spirit is as real as the visible world. In fact, the Scripture tells us that it is even more real (Hebrews 11:3).

What does God say about interpreting the Bible? ›

(Matthew 28:18). We are therefore obligated to let the Bible interpret itself. The faith has been one time, for all time, delivered to the saints and we must accept and obey it to become “united” followers of Christ. (Jude 3).

What is a four step process to interpret scripture? ›

Use this simple four-step Bible study method to: read, reflect, respond, and rest in God's Word. This can be applied in your own time with God and in small group Bible study.

What are the three types of biblical criticism? ›

The major types of biblical criticism are: (1) textual criticism, which is concerned with establishing the original or most authoritative text, (2) philological criticism, which is the study of the biblical languages for an accurate knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, and style of the period, (3) literary criticism, ...

What are two ways to correctly interpret Scripture? ›

7 Principles of Biblical Interpretation
  • Identify the kind of literature your text is for insight into its meaning. ...
  • Consider the context of the passage for a better understanding of its meaning. ...
  • Read the text for its plain and obvious meaning. ...
  • Try to discern the writer's intentions when he wrote the text.
Mar 12, 2014

What is exegesis John 2 17? ›

Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” The disciples were with Jesus during His cleansing of the temple. Having watched in amazement how Jesus attacked the merchants in the temple, His disciples saw justification for this in the Bible.

What is literary context in exegesis? ›

When looking at the literary context for your exegetical paper, you want to keep in mind the immediate context and the larger literary context. How does the current passage relate to the section right before it and after it? How does the current passage relate to a larger section of literature?

What is a simple sentence for exegesis? ›

Exegesis in a Sentence

1. The student's exegesis of the novel was one of the best summaries the professor had ever read. 2. Because the youth minister wanted the children to easily understand the scripture, he wrote a simple exegesis of the passage.

What is a short exegesis? ›

An exegesis is an essay that focuses on a particular passage in the Bible. A good exegesis will use logic, critical thinking, and secondary sources to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the passage.

What is an example sentence for exegetical? ›

How to use exegetical in a sentence. Such is the historical basis which we seem to be able to lay for the study of the exegetical problems of the book. The Talmudical, exegetical, and philosophical writings of Jews were also ethical treatises.

What is an exegetical question? ›

The systematic process of asking questions of a text to understand its meaning is called exegesis. In biblical studies, the systematic process of asking questions of a text as a way of understanding its meaning is called exegesis (pronounced ek-sc-0j'-scs; from the Greek ex'geomai, meaning “to lead out of”).

What are the 3 C's of a thesis statement? ›

Your thesis is one statement at the end of your introduction and should be clear, concise, and arguable.

What is one thing that makes a bad thesis statement? ›

A weak thesis statement is vague (identifies a topic but does not specify an argument), offers plot summary or is a statement of fact, is un-provable, or does not give the reader a sense of why the argument is important.

What are the things to avoid in writing a thesis statement? ›

  • Thesis statements should not be more than one sentence long.
  • Thesis statements should not be questions.
  • Thesis statements should not state mere facts.
  • Thesis statements should not be too broad.
  • Thesis statements should not be too narrow.
  • Thesis statements should not be announcements of what you will do.

Are hermeneutics and exegesis used interchangeably? ›

The terms hermeneutics and exegesis are sometimes used interchangeably. Hermeneutics is a wider discipline which includes written, verbal, and non-verbal communication. Exegesis focuses primarily upon the word and grammar of texts.

Is a thesis harder than a dissertation? ›

Is a dissertation harder than a thesis? Some students may find a dissertation harder than a thesis. A dissertation requires students to develop an original research idea, which can sometimes be harder than building upon existing ideas.

What is the minimum word count for a PhD? ›

Word count

Science: 40,000 words (MPhil); 80,000 words (PhD) Social Sciences: 40,000 words (MPhil); 75,000-100,000 words (PhD)

Which is higher thesis or dissertation? ›

The main difference between a thesis and dissertation is the level at which you complete them. A thesis is for a master's degree, and a dissertation is for a doctoral degree.

What are the steps of the exegetical process? ›

Biblical Exegesis: Step Six: Application
  • Home.
  • Step One: Establish the Text.
  • Step Two: Examine the Literary Context.
  • Step Three: Examine the Historical-Cultural Context.
  • Step Four: Establish the Meaning.
  • Step Five: Determine the Theological Principle(s) in the Text.
  • Step Six: Application.
Mar 17, 2023

What are 3 criteria for reading scripture? ›

1. Be especially attentive “to the content and unity of the whole Scripture”; 2. Read the Scripture within “the living tradition of the whole Church”; and, 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith.

What 3 contexts must be considered as we read scripture? ›

In written texts there are levels of context that should be considered. The three levels that are important in scripture study are the immediate setting, the context of a chapter or book, and the context within the gospel. Immediate Setting.

What guidelines should be followed in the study of the Bible? ›

Let's go through my routine in steps:
  • Start off with prayer. ...
  • Read through once without highlighting or taking notes. ...
  • Read through a second time and highlight, circle, underline, and make note of any observations. ...
  • Look into Bible study tools. ...
  • Pay attention to the historical context.
Jun 12, 2019

What is the methodology of exegesis? ›

Exegetical method is a tool to help interpreters hear the passage and not impose inappropriate notions upon it. As with any other useful tool, exegesis takes time to learn how to use. It may at first seem awkward and time-consuming.

What are the three styles of writing in the Bible? ›

One story, many styles.

Roughly 33% of the Bible is poetry, including songs, reflective poetry, and the passionate, politically resistant poetry of the prophets. The remaining 24% of the Bible is prose discourse, including laws, sermons, letters, and even one essay.

What are the 3 main literary styles in the Bible? ›

Tim and Jon discuss the three literary styles used in the Bible: narrative, poetry, and prose discourse. In this episode, Tim introduces us to the three main times of literature styles found in the Bible: narrative, poetry, and prose discourse.

What are 3 materials that were used in the writing of the Scriptures? ›

Writing Materials Used for the First Holy Bible
  • Papyrus. The use of papyrus as a writing material originated in Egypt and has been traced back to A.D. 2500. ...
  • Vellum and parchment. Animal skins used as writing material are known as vellum and parchment. ...
  • Pens. ...
  • From Scrolls to Books.

What are two major types of context in the Bible? ›

There are at least three different contexts that are important when studying the Bible: the historical context, the literary context, and the personal context.

What are the three stages of Scripture? ›

The development of the Gospels consisted of three stages: the first stage being the period of Jesus' life, the second stage being the period of Oral Tradition and the third stage being the period of the Evangelists (16).

What is the SOAP method of Bible study? ›

stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. It is a way of getting more out of your time in God's Word. The S.O.A.P method of Bible Study (for individuals or small groups) does not require a theology degree or special leadership skills.

What are the most important Bible rules? ›

New Testament accounts

He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."


1. 10. A simple Approach to Exegesis-part 1
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6. how to find your SPIRIT NAME✨ #shorts
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