Hermeneutics and Exegesis

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Though I personally don’t share an interest in reviewing films I do have a keen interest in the Bible, especially inductive Bible study methods and Biblical Hermeneutics.  Hermene… what? You might ask.  Hermeneutics can be defined as “The branch of theology that deals with the principles of Biblical exegesis”.  Exege… what? You might be thinking, what does hermen-whatever and exe-whatever  have to do with Christian organizations reviewing Rated R movies?
 
It has everything to do with it when an organization is making a claim to be operating with a Biblical worldview.  Let me back up a little and provide some definitions. 
 
Worldview:  the following explanation comes from Jerry Solomon of Probe ministries.  He says, “World views act somewhat like eye glasses or contact lenses. That is, a world view should provide the correct “prescription” for making sense of the world just as wearing the correct prescription for your eyes brings things into focus.” 
 
If we insert “Biblical” in front of the word “worldview” then we are giving the idea that the lenses being used to understand the world is the Bible.  Essentially the Bible is bringing the world into the correct focus.
 
If a ministry claims to be reviewing Rated R films because of a Biblical worldview then the claim itself is subject to the scrutiny of the Bible to either defend the action or reprove it. How we understand the Bible correctly is a matter of responsible Bible study.
 
Hermeneutics:  The definition that was given earlier may not be very helpful if you don’t understand the word “exegesis”.  Think about hermeneutics as a set of appropriate tools for studying the Bible responsibly.  One of those tools is to have an understanding of Biblical exegesis and eisegesis.  (Gk. hermeneutikos “interpreting”)
 
Exegesis:  One dictionary gives this definition, “an exegesis is the interpretation and understanding of a text on the basis of the text itself.”  It is about coming to a right understanding of the Bible by discovering what it was intending to say and mean, not what you intend it to say.  The word technically means “to draw the meaning out of”.  (Gk. exegeisthai “explain, interpret,” from ex- “out” + hegeisthai “to lead, guide.”)
 
Eisegesis: A simple definition is “an interpretation of Scripture, that expresses the interpreter’s own ideas, bias, or the like, rather than the meaning of the text.”  Basically it is inserting personal ideas that are foreign to the text, while overlooking its intended meaning.  (Gk eisgesis, equiv. to eis- into + (h)ēge- (s. of hēgeîsthai to lead) + -sis)
 
Inductive Bible Study: There are several ministries that encourage inductive Bible study and one in the forefront is Precept ministries which give the following explanation: “Observation: Specially designed skills for busy lives in an age of speed, noise and endless distractions, the inductive study method will help you slow down to focus on God’s Word, and see what it really says. Interpretation: Careful observation enables students to discover what the text means in its context. Since the Bible is its own best interpreter, the more accurate your observation, the greater will be your understanding of God’s Word. Application: The Creator and Author of life has shown us how to live a satisfying, eternally significant life. Intentional, disciplined observation and interpretation lead you to the profoundly applicable Truth of the Bible.”
 
You can download an free overview from their ministry using the following link…  Inductive Bible Study Overview
 
Here’s my conclusion based on the above information.  It is misleading for any organization to claim to be operating from a Biblical worldview if it promotes its cause by taking Scripture out of context and inserting ideas into Scripture other than its intended meaning.  It is a shame to manipulate the Bible in an attempt to justify compromise.
 

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