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  • Noun

exegesis

ek-si-JEE-sis

Context
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The scholar spent his whole life writing a powerful exegesis or critical explanation of the sacred text. Dr. Scrimshaw’s book was used in college courses across the country because his exegesis of the religious work helped students understand modern interpretations of the ancient document. The exegesis or written analysis was 250 pages longer than the original document, but students still liked it because it explained its difficult concepts in a simple and clear fashion.

Quiz: What is exegesis?

  • A text that is widely accepted as worth studying.
  • The longest work of a scholar’s career.
  • An in-depth explanation that makes another piece of writing understandable.

Memory Hook
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Examining Jesus Many religious scholars have done their exegesis (or exegetical) work on examining the writings about Jesus.

Examples
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  • 'Now if my husband were sitting here,' Clinton continued, 'he would give you a very long exegesis as to why one team was better than the other. —CNN
  • The exegesis of Mark is by Episcopal Professor Frederick C. Grant of Union Theological Seminary, and the exposition by Methodist Professor Halford E. Luccock of Yale Divinity School. —TIME
  • Each week the pulpit at Union is alive with story and exegesis of text, with cultural diagnosis and calls to action, with counsel for souls and flashing wit — all interwoven in the best tradition of black sacred oratory. —The Atlantic
  • The most fascinating aspect of 'Little Ashes' is the, er, exegesis it offers for the 1929 film 'An Andalusian Dog.' —The Washington Post

Word Ingredients
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ex- out of, from, off
eg lead, bring

Exegesis is the “bringing or leading” of clarity “out of or from” a difficult or confusing text.

Word Constellation
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Exegesis

Word Variants
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exegetical adj of or pertaining to the critical analysis of a text