Friday, November 15, 2013

Isogete or Exegete

     When dealing with interpretation of scripture we must be careful how we arrive at what we believe and practice. "What saith the scriptures?" (Romans 4:3a) is the final authority. It is not, 'What saith the commentaries? (though often helpful), "What saith the college I graduated from? fellow alumni, a noted Pastor or Evangelist, a fundamental voice from yesterday, my Aunt, Uncle, Mother, Brother, Father, Hammond, Powell, Pensacola, Lancaster, Long View, or any other geographic reference point. Seems to me we have surrogate authorities out there that, at times, are competing with (against) the very words of God. Just saying.
    So how do teachings come about that have no home in scripture? It begins with an interpretation of 'isogesis' (eisegesis) instead of an interpretation of 'exegesis'. Just saying.
The word isogete simply means "to lead into" which means a person is reading something "into" a passage based on their personal preference, bias or predetermined conclusion. We could write it as "I"/"So"/"Getes" with an emphasis on 'I'. It is the proverbial pounding of a square block into a round hole. I know what I believe now let me find something to prove it. The word exegete means "to lead out of" which means someone is interpreting the words of scripture based on what they actually say in a literal grammatical historical setting...the Bible is telling "me" what it says, not the other way around.
     Dr. R. B. Ouellette wrote a book several years ago that was titled, "Things That Aren't So" in which he showed several commonly held beliefs in IFB circles that have no scriptural footing. I think the book needs a Volume II. There are still nice quiet doctrines of men that are embraced, shouted over, given Amens!, and held dear across a spectrum of men who hold the KJV dear. But they still have no weight in a careful exegetical approach to scripture. I'm afraid some of what we believe we believe only because some other man told it to us and not because we have studied the Bible ourself to see if it was so. This is such a widespread problem that we have even come up with cute little titles to describe those that isogete such as, "cafeteria Christians", "buffet Christians" (which indicates they eat only what they want), "cherry pickers," or "misquoters of scripture".
(More next week. I'm still learning to blog and my time is up.)

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