By Mark Molina
“Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are You a king then?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’ Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’ And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, ‘I find no fault in Him at all.” (John 18:37-38 NKJV)
What is truth? This is the prevailing question for most of Christendom today. Last week we outlined the process of “exegesis.” This week we are going to look at the word “eisegesis.” What does this word mean?
Eisegesis is the interpretation of a passage based on a subjective, non-analytical reading. The word eisegesis literally means, “to lead into,” which means the interpreter injects his own ideas into the text, making it mean whatever he wants.
Unfortunately, this approach is being widely used in an increasingly and terrifying amount of churches here in America. The church has become so incredibly biblically illiterate and as such she falls prey to deception.
To know the Bible one must spend time reading it. It is the same with any other discipline in life. To properly understand the Bible more thoroughly there are resources like a concordance to assist. Biblical syntax refers to how words, clauses, and sentences relate to each other.
Eisegesis is a mishandling of a Biblical text and often leads to a misinterpretation. On the other hand exegesis is concerned with discovering the true meaning of a text, respecting its grammar, syntax, and setting. Eisegesis however is concerned only with making a point, even at the expense of the actual meaning of words.
Beloved, it is our individual Christian duty and responsibility to ensure that the person we are learning from is preaching and teaching truth. Attaching a good idea, a positive statement or positive emotional appeal to a verse from scripture can seem credible. But it if it is not based on truth then it is deception.
I hear all of the time from people who are living a life contrary to Biblical truth. “The Bible says there is no condemnation,” they declare, failing to quote the entire verse, which actually says: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1 NKJV)
There is a legitimate place for condemnation when we, as Christians, are living a sinful lifestyle. The Holy Spirit of God does convict us and bring us to a place of sorrow, which can lead us to repentance. If one has no true desire to repent but rather wants to “feel” like a Christian without having to truly live like one then only quoting half of the verse can feel like a justification for the sin. This is an example of “eisegesis.”
What is eisegesis? I repeat: eisegesis is the interpretation of a passage based on a subjective, non-analytical reading. The word eisegesis literally means, “to lead into,” which means the interpreter injects his own ideas into the text, making it mean whatever he wants.
Eisegesis had absolutely nothing to do with Biblical truth. It has nothing to do with understanding proper Biblical syntax. It is merely taking an idea and twisting the scripture to mean what we want it to mean for our own sake and to serve our own agenda.
This has become the predominant practice in the church here today in America. How many times have you heard other Christians say, “I don’t believe that!” Even when scripture is put up before them they will not submit their wills and lives over to its scrutiny.
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (John 17:17 NKJV). All of His Word is truth. Be an exegete. Refuse to be led by half-truths or scriptures taken so far out of context that they completely lose their intended meaning. Accept the full counsel of God as found starting at the first verse of Genesis and ending with the last verse of Revelation.