Exegesis or Eisegesis...
Are you an Exegete or an Eisegete?

The investigation and study of Sacred Scripture through tradition,
history, archaeology, and criticism, to find the true meaning.

Is the antonym for exegesis, which means reading into a text something that
simply is not there.

So which are you, an Exegete or an Eisegete?
Scripture warns us in so many verses,
That is a good definition of Exegesis, and here are several verses which back it up: 
Deut 4:2, 12:32, Psa 12:7, 33:4, 50:16-17, 107:10-11, 119:57, 139-140, Prov 5:7, 30:5-6,
Eccl 3:14, Jer 23:36, Gal 1:8-9, 1Pet 1:24-25, 2Pet 3:15-16, Rev 22:18-20.

Eisegesis would apply to all of those who ignore those listed verses and would omit
knowing or unknowingly the warning above by deleting that little word NOT.

So which is the honest and truthful person here, the Exegete or the Eisegete?

Here is a good example of what an Eisegete would say that Holy Scripture says:

Revelation 17:1-9:
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who is seated upon many waters, (2) with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the dwellers on earth have become drunk." (3) And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. (4) The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication;(5) and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth's abominations."(6) And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her I marveled greatly. (7) But the angel said to me, "Why marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. (8) The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is to ascend from the bottomless pit and go to perdition; and the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will marvel to behold the beast, because it was and is not and is to come. (9) This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated.

Ahh yes, that last line. I like the first part, "This calls for a mind with wisdom".
Let us see if it is the Exegete or the Eisegete who has that "mind with wisdom"?
The second part of verse 9 contains the false charge made by some non-Catholic Eisegetes that verse 9 "proves" that the "Whore of Babylon" could be none other than the Catholic Church, since it is situated in Rome the city of seven hills. Eisegetes have written books trying to tie the Catholic Church to the "Whore of Babylon". Not one of those authors used exegesis, but merely their usual practice of eisegesis, which is no more than their personal opinion.
What a great example is this verse 9 for showing the error of, and proof of the existence of Eisegetes.
Let us delve into this one and see how many errors we can find with this sort of thinking, and we will be using Exegesis and common sense and not Eisegesis.
1. The city of Rome is not mentioned anywhere in the book of Revelation. Eisegetes reply?
2. The Catholic Church is not mentioned by name anywhere in the book of Revelation. Eisegetes reply?
3. Rome does indeed sit upon seven hills, and all at the time of writing of the book of Revelation were encompassed by the Servian wall erected in 387 B.C., and all are east of the Tiber river.
Go here for a map and a more detailed explanation. Eisegetes reply?
4. However there is an eighth hill in Rome appropriately called "Vatican Hill" where the seat of the Catholic Church is located.
Unfortunately for the eisegetes, that hill is west of the Tiber river and was not encompassed by Rome until 275 A.D., when the Aurelian wall was constructed hundreds of years after the book of Revelation was written.
Eisegetes reply?
5. But interestingly, there is one very well known city that sits upon seven hills and that city is Jerusalem. Eisegetes reply?
The word "Whore" has no Biblical connection whatsoever to the city of Rome, and here is the proof, as on that link there is a listing of every verse in the Bible that mentions Rome by name. Eisegetes reply?
6. Wow! But let us look at Jerusalem and see how many verses there are regarding it to being less than honorable.
Check that same link as above to see those verses. Eisegetes reply?
7. Now that you have seen all of the pertinent verses that apply to Jerusalem and those of Rome, which city seems to better fit the description that St. John presented in Revelation 17:1-9?
Eisegetes reply?

Written by Bob Stanley, June 22, 2009
Updated January 22, 2010

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