Eisegesis vs. Exegesis
Why Do Different People Interpret The Bible Differently?
Why do people attend different churches when the Bible only mentions one church?
Why do so many people who read the same New Testament come away with different interpretations?
With all the confusion taking place in the religious world it is no wonder that people have coined the phrase: “Well, that is just your interpretation”.
According to Peter the Apostle of Christ we learn this:
“But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
A person by the name of G.H.Schodde wrote:
A person has interpreted the thoughts of another when he has in his own mind a correct reproduction or photograph of the thought as it was conceived in the mind of the original writer or speaker.
It is accordingly a purely reproductive process, involving no originality of thought on the part of the interpreter.
Think of it this way:
Your boss asks you to copy something.
You do one of two things.
You go to the copy machine and get an exact reproduction of the original, or
2) You re-type the entire document yourself.
The problem of the second option is that perhaps the wording is not as you might say it, and the temptation to correct or adjust the document is there.
Not saying that you would, but the possibility exists.
To explain the difference between Eisegesis and Exegesis.
The second letter in Eisegesis is the key.
“I” means what I want.
It is all about me.
It is all about what I want.
It is all about what I feel.
The second letter in Exegesis means: X marks the spot.
If you are looking for treasure on a treasure map, you follow the directions that lead to a place usually marked by an “X”
The purpose of interpretation is to discover what was in the mind of the original author when he wrote it.
The moment the Bible student has in his own mind what was in the mind of the author or authors of the Biblical books when these were written, he has interpreted the thought of the Scriptures. G.H.Schodde (1854-1917)
Why All The Division?
Because somewhere in the past whether a thousand years ago or a few years ago, someone decided that God’s word need to be adjusted to meet their desires.
Rather than conform to God’s standards, they decided to conform to the world’s standards or their own standards.
These people were able to convince others that their interpretation was better than God’s message.
So that is why there are thousands upon thousands of denominations teaching variations of the truth, yet not possessing the whole truth.
They and their followers are heading for damnation. Here is why:
God’s Word Is Truth
First of all, God is a God of truth. (Deuteronomy 32:4).
Psalm 86:15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
Psalm 119:160 declares that “the entirety of Thy word is truth”
His Son prayed that God’s word IS Truth (John 17:17).
Jesus also told us that what He said, was not his own words, but the words God wanted spoken (John 12:49)
When people turn their ears from the truth, they turn to something else.
2 Timothy 4:4 tells us that “they turn aside to myths”.
We are commanded to believe the same things and have the same thoughts and instead of trying to reconcile our thoughts with others, we have been given God’s thoughts.
1 Corinthians 1:10 exhorts us to be of the same mind and judgment.
God never intended for us to have different interpretations.
If I interpret the Bible differently than you, it is either because God was incapable of giving us a book that we could agree upon,
or because there is a problem in how one (or both) of us is studying it.
I choose to believe the latter is the case.
So if there is differences, we must decide to see if it is because of eisegesis or exegesis.
“Come now and let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18)
If God is the author of the Bible, (and He is) then all diligent students who read the Bible correctly will eventually come to the same conclusion.
God does not in one place teach that baptism in essential to be saved, while in another place teach that baptism is optional.
God does not teach in one place that we can choose to obey Him, and then in another place teach that He nebulously predestines to save us individually.
God does not in one place teach that a Christian can “fall from grace,” while in another place teach that a Christian can never lose his salvation.
How could we have confidence in a man – let alone a God – who so contradicts himself?
The idea that there are equally valid different interpretations of Scripture has caused many to disbelieve that the Bible is the Word of God (John 17:20-21).
If the Bible is really the Word of God, then we must believe that the problem of different interpretations rests not with the Bible, but with the people doing the interpreting.
Reasons For Different Interpretations.
Without going into a lot of detail, here are some reasons why there are different interpretations out there:
Not loving the truth
Bad attitudes toward God or His Scripture
We have not really dwelt upon motives or attitudes by these people who have interpreted the Bible differently from us.
While many are honest in their interpretations, it is still possible that they are honestly mistaken.
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6.
Let the Bible speak to us and not make it say what we want it to say.
By Carey Scott
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