Eisegesis vs. Exegesis
Knowing these "big words" isn't important, but we should know:
- Starting with Scripture and molding our beliefs to fit is right.
- Starting with our beliefs and molding Scripture to fit is wrong.
Some Christians teach that studying the Bible topically is also wrong because topical studies don't use the "inductive method."
But this is a misunderstanding. Any study is "inductive" if it's based on sound study of the text. Jesus often taught topically, using Old Testament passages in his instructions, commands, and parables about specific subjects.
If we don't know the "whole counsel" of Scripture on subjects (Acts 20:27), we can miss important points. I discuss this in my Bible study Pieces Parts, showing our need for both topical and book studies to understand Scripture accurately and avoid error.
I've dedicated a section of Bible Love Notes to what I call "Myth Busters" dealing with some common misconceptions among Christians, most of which are based on incorrectly studying God's Word.
Acts 17:11: The Bereans are a great example of "polite skeptics." They listened to Paul and tested what he said against Old Testament teaching until they were comfortable that his message was from God.
Colossians 2:8 is a good warning. We must base our beliefs on God's Word, not the teachings of man. Even trusted teachers can make mistakes or hold incorrect views, so we need to test everything.
1 Corinthians 1:18-20: When something is so readily accepted by the secular world, we have good reason to question its validity. Is it possible for a Christian principle to be extremely popular in secular society? It's possible but not probable.
1 Corinthians 15:33: Bad company can include more than people. TV, magazines, books, music, hobbies, and activities can draw us away from the message of Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:15: Paul warned the Thessalonians to remember the words He spoke to them and the letters he wrote (many of which were divine Scripture).
What insights did you gain from working this study? I'd love to have you leave them in a comment.
copyright 2013, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted