Building an Exegesis

Webpage designed by Kevin Hatcher ('07) in consultation with the Biblical Studies Department in June 2007.

Fire Overview

Introduction

Once you finish the research steps in the Building Materials section you should understand the context that your passage was written in. You are now ready for the most intense portion of exegesis research - the "Fire" section. The next several webpages will help you understand the specific data that you will need to extract from your sources. You will probably be buried waist deep in books, but once you understand the pattern of the research, you will find it is not too hard.

Many students discover that there is much more to their passage than meets the eye. Because Scripture has to be understood cross-culturally (our culture and Biblical culture), the research from the "Fire" section brings light on the true meaning of your passage. After you are finished with the whole section, you will understand that a quick skimming of a passage does not do justice to the depth of meaning found in the passage; although, it is possible to still gain insight from even light readings of Scripture. Begin your research for this section with an open mind. Even if you find that you disagree with scholars on the message of passage. If you keep an open mind and look up the original, cultural, meaning, you will be able to look at your passage with new understanding.

In the following outline, you will see some of the new tools and sources that you will be using.

Outline

1. Completing a Word Study

This section guides you in the steps for an indepth study of a particular word
  • Difficulties of word studies
  • Beginning a word study
  • Now how the word is used
  • Apply what you found

2. Analyzing a Passage Verse-By-Verse

This section explains how to create a verse-by-verse analysis
  • What is a verse-by-verse analysis
  • Look at word choice and writing style
  • Watch for cultural and historical references
  • Note similarities and differences between other verses and manuscripts
  • Deduce the significance of the verse to the passage

Interpreting the Passage

This section discusses how to compile all of the information you have researched
  • Review the information specific to your book
  • Review the information specific to your passage
  • Write your focal point
  • Compare the focal point to your original notes about the passage