Not in Heaven

13 10 2009

My new post at Galus Australis deals with the difference between exegesis and eisegesis, with the example of a reappropriated Biblical quote. There are innumerable quotes that I might have chosen, but I picked this one for its non-tendentious nature. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Update: It has come out, in the last few comments, that I have been using the word “eisegesis” incorrectly. I was mistakenly under the impression that the word denoted the leading into a text, which is done by somebody who imports ideas derived elsewhere. It would seem, however, that the word has a narrower definition than that, that it specifically denotes importing ideas of one’s own construction, and that it has a mildly pejorative nuance.

If anybody is familiar with this word having been reappropriated in recent years with a more relativistic nuance (ie: that ideas might have been read into texts, but that they were derived from older oral traditions and were therefore equally valid), please do speak up – either here or on Galus Australis. It is entirely possible that I have been using the word incorrectly for years (I’ve done that often enough with others), but it would be lamentable if the only word I know to describe rabbinic hermeneutics was disparaging.

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