What Faithful Exegesis Means

I have chosen Faithful Exegesis as the title for my rebooted blog, reflecting what I want to accomplish in my scholarly ministry. In essence this is what I want to be known for—my brand, so to speak. It’s worthwhile to explore what this title means and how I believe they explain the goals of my scholarly work and output.

The second word is the focus of what this blog is about, so let me begin there. Exegesis is the art and science of working with an ancient text, most usually a sacred one, to learn and explain its meaning. In my Christian context this text is the Bible, and more specifically in my scholarly context this is the Greek New Testament. In my work I want to devote my energy to working with the text of the Greek New Testament to understand its meaning and explain it to others. Personally I wish to move beyond that to application as well, so that those who read my exegetical writing will have a clear understanding of how to apply the biblical text, too.

The first word addresses the character I want my work to have. Faithful has a wide range of meaning in the English language, but two meanings which apply here are “steadfast in affection or allegiance” and “true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original.”[1] Both of these definitions imply an object for the faithfulness, and I actually see multiple objects in play:

  • Faithful to the Lord Christ
  • Faithful to the text
  • Faithful to his church

Essentially my exegesis begins from and is directed to a position of faith. I make no claim to be a disaffected, objective observer of the text. The text is dear to me, and the Lord who is its subject is my own. My prayer is that this will not make me a biased exegete but a better one.

The subjective aspect of being faithful is also important. This implies that my exegesis will exhibit certain key qualities:

  • Faithful in attitude
  • Faithful in implementation
  • Faithful in outlook

I pray that my scholarly output would reflect a character that is formed by love for the Savior both in content and method. It will take me a lifetime to get this right, but the effort and expense will be worth it if the Lord is honored and glorified by what I do.

μόνῳ σοφῷ θεῷ, διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ᾧ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, ἀμήν. (Romans 16:27)

  1. These definitions are taken from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.; Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).  ↩