Good Exegesis Is Not Optional

There are numerous valid reasons for doing good exegesis, but two stand out as being exceedingly important. First, there are many in today's world that have little regard for finding the true meaning of the biblical text. Second, there is an abundance of false teaching circulating in Christian circles that are the direct result of bad exegesis. Often times, these misinterpretations are the result of ignorance and not of bad intentions. If one is to give the Bible the value it deserves as sacred/divine text, then proper exegesis is a matter of utmost importance. A common question among many students of the Bible today is "What does this mean to me?" The emphasis on reader-response methods of biblical interpretation and deconstructionist approaches to the Bible are pandemic in our postmodern world. If the meaning of the biblical text can vary from one person to the next (relativism) then how can we possibly use the Bible as a guideline for Christian living? Fee states that "if 'meaning' lies only with the reader, not in the text or with the (unknowable) author of the text, then from this view the possibility of the Christian community's hearing from God through its sacred texts is rather thoroughly negated."

Applying good exegesis is not optional for anyone interested in discovering what the biblical text really means. The Bible was written by specific people who had specific messages for specific audiences, and only when we understand these components can we properly understand the Bible. As is stated in "The Importance of Good Exegesis," if we are to believe God's word, we must know God's word. If we believe it has "God for its author" then there is no book more important for us to understand.

[Read the rest of the article at Reasons for Hope.]