Exegetical Method?

I was ordained and installed to the pastorate in January, 2014, but my ordination examination took place the prior year. The written exam addressed exegetical method: “Briefly describe your exegetical methodology.” My answer from 2013 is below. It is virtually the same weekly spadework I continue to do for expository preaching.

Note: This exegetical method is generally what I was taught by my NT/OT profs at Indiana Wesleyan University and my pastor at Trinity Evangelical Church’s pastors college, and is heavily influenced by standard works I’ve read on OT or NT exegesis — see Fee, Stuart, et al.

  1. Select the pericope and verify English divisions are supported by the Hebrew/Greek text.
  2. Conduct my own translation of the text, check variants, LXX if needed, etc.
  3. After I have a translation make sure it has the same feel as the English version, and I follow up on things that demand follow up, e.g. words emphasized through repetition, symbolism, other Scriptural allusions, themes, narrative flow, etc.
  4. Consult each of the telescoping contexts – immediate, the [rest of the] book, OT and/or NT, and then consult historical-cultural context, and sometimes will consult how book has been utilized in church history.
  5. Typically jot down a “sermon use list” and from there I start to outline my sermon, eventually massaging it into a manuscript.
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