Where Do You Read the Bible?

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A shout out to John Deacon over at A Visitor’s Guide to the Homeless for clipping my Sojourners’ column Loving the World. Here’s a nice quote from John’s site:

“Exegesis is the exercise of studying the scriptures with the intent of finding their original meaning and context. It is to interpret based on what the writer would have meant rather than to interpret based on what the reader subjectively ‘reads into’ the text. (i.e. ‘eisegesis)

Hermeneutics is the meaning a community finds in scripture which becomes evident in the way they live. As I reflected back on this morning’s study, I thought of how context does affect how the Bible is understood. How much closer we are to its original meaning (i.e. exegesis)  when we are among people for whom ‘imprisonment’ is something more than merely imagined (i.e. eisegesis). Which hermeneutically speaking, means we can’t experience the real meaning of the scriptures without the poor.” —John Deacon