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Eisegesis Unplugged

Eisegesis:  the interpretation of a text (as of the Bible) by reading into it one’s own ideas — compare exegesis (Merriam—Webster Collegiate Dictionary 11 Edition).

Exegesis and eisegesis are two conflicting approaches in Bible study.  Exegesis is the exposition or explanation of a text based on a careful, objective analysis.  The word exegesis literally means “to lead out of.” That means that the interpreter is led to his conclusions by following the text.

The opposite approach to Scripture is eisegesis, which 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.

Obviously, only exegesis does justice to the text.  Eisegesis is a mishandling of the text and often leads to a misinterpretation.  Exegesis is concerned with discovering the true meaning of the text, respecting its grammar, syntax, and setting.  Eisegesis is concerned only with making a point, even at the expense of the meaning of words. (Got Questions Ministries—

The purpose of “Eisegesis Unplugged” is to encourage readers and lovers of Scripture to focus first and foremost on what it actually says and means, as written by those whom God inspired.  And since the Holy Spirit is the actual author, ultimately we are talking about the authority and integrity of God’s Book and the Honor of His Name.

This example of reading into Scripture was, until today, unheard of by this old soldier.

The Passage

 “…but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. . .” – Luke 22:32a

The suggested meaning was that since Jesus told Simon that he had prayed that Simon’s faith would not fail, it necessarily means that genuine faith originates in men, and can be repudiated (fail), sending a person who had genuinely believed into eternal Hell.

The first thought that came to mind was, “Wait a second, WHO did the praying?” followed by “If the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16), how much more will the prayer of the perfect God-man ‘avail’?”

We’ve heard it said that God answers all our prayers by either “Yes,” “No,” or “Wait”; and we know it’s because our prayers are at best still imperfect. The perfect prayers of the perfect Savior, and our mediator, will always be answered “Yes!”  How could it be otherwise?

The Passage in Context

"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."

Peter said to him, "Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death."

Jesus said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me." – Luke 22:31-34

The man who told me that Simon’s faith could fail, completely forgot to mention that Jesus also said, “And WHEN you have turned again…”!  One has to wonder if he even read it, because the simple use of the word WHEN, signals the certainty of turning back and blows the implied possibility of faith that fails completely out of the ocean!

Then when Peter said he was ready to go to prison and die with his Lord, Jesus (knowing Peter’s heart) in effect called him a liar!

Well, we know the rest of the story. Peter denied Christ, later “turned again” and became a leader in the apostolic church.

So What?

 We are told in Scripture:

 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” - 1 Tim 2:5

Just as Jesus was the mediator between Simon and God, and the guarantor that Simon’s faith would not fail, He is also the guarantor that in the end, our faith will not fail either.  Jesus Christ, mediating before the Throne of Grace 24/7 on our behalf, guarantees that genuine believers WILL persevere.

How comforting a truth, knowing that even when we feel the weakest in our faith, we have the perfect Intercessor!

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