Letting the Bible Change Our Thoughts

The Fascinating, Life-Altering Word of God - Part 5

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We’ve probably all heard a person claim that the Bible says something that it clearly doesn’t. How does this happen? In this episode, Gary Wilkerson and Joshua West discuss the difference between exegesis and eisegesis. Exegesis is searching for the Bible’s meaning, regardless of what we wish it would say instead. Eisegesis is imposing our thoughts and desires onto our interpretation of the Bible. Reading scripture correctly requires great humility because we must allow God to correct our thoughts about him and his commands.

Key Points from the Podcast

• The Bible has many descriptive and prescriptive passages. Descriptive portions of the Bible are not telling us to do certain things; they are simply narrating what happened during certain events or with certain fallen individuals. Prescriptive portions are specifically for instruction.

• Exegesis is drawing out what scripture means in its context of the larger book but also in history and the certain literary styles used. Good exegesis is remaining humble while we read scripture and being willing to have our perspective changed by the Bible.

• Eisegesis is pulling passages out of context or reading them with a very particular view so that we can make the scriptures mean what we want them to say.

• Every reader of the Bible brings eisegetical thoughts into our study of the Bible, and it takes purposeful effort to clear away those assumptions about our beliefs and the scriptures.

• We have to have a degree of self-awareness in order to be aware of what false lens or pain we are sometimes bringing to our interpretation of the Bible.

• The common means of eisegesis in our culture today comes from the way that they communicate the scriptures. A church may have correct doctrines, but its preachers will treat the Bible as if it’s all allegory to some degree.

Bible Verses Referenced in the Podcast

Revelation 20:1-2

Episodes in this Podcast Series

About Joshua West

Joshua West serves as the Church Leadership Network Director at World Challenge helping equip and empower pastors all over the world. Joshua’s desire is to raise up ministers who will correctly and boldly preach the word with passion and integrity. The point of all his work and writings is to preach the gospel, glorify God and to teach sound doctrine.

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About Gary Wilkerson

Gary Wilkerson is the President of World Challenge, an international mission organization that was founded by his father, David Wilkerson. He is also the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church, which he launched in 2009 with a handful of people. He has traveled nationally and internationally at conferences and conducted mission ventures such as church planting, starting orphanages, clinics, feeding programs among the poorest of the poor and the most unreached people of the earth. Gary and his wife Kelly have four children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.

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