The pointlessness of exegesis

I went to College to learn Greek so that I could do an excellent job of exegeting the Bible.  I believed that if I did that I would get right to the the meaning of the text, making me a better teacher of the Bible.  That has certainly happened.  I expected that when others read my exegesis they would be enabled to clearly see the meaning of that passage.  

The fact that that has so often not been the case has led me to reassess the value of exegesis.  I have come to the conclusion that most Pastors and theologians prefer to read theology to doing exegesis, and that they have the greatest difficulty following an exegetical argument.  Why?  Because it is very hard work, and most Pastors are allergic to the hard work of reading closely, exegeting, and assessing the exegetical work of others, never mind doing it for themselves.

Is it a total waste of time then?  Of course not.  But it is nowhere as influential as I had once hoped it would be.  The people who benefit the most from my exegesis are my congregants, and in the end they are the ones whom Christ has appointed me to serve.


2 thoughts on “The pointlessness of exegesis

  1. Roger

    I think you are right that so many ministers do not treat exegesis as seriously as we should. Part of the problem seems to be connected to the way in which exegesis is presented, usually as part of a forum discussion. I think many who take part just dip in and out, react to what they (think they) have read, but never actually engage with what has been written.

    Perhaps you could take some comfort from those situations where some people say nothing; perhaps they are the ones who have read the exegetical argument and are giving it some thought!


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