This is a fancy word that bears some discussion. Am I guilty of eisegesis? Is the Watchtower? What’s this $20 word even mean?
eis·e·ge·sis [ahy-si-jee-sis] noun, plural -ses
An interpretation, esp. of Scripture, that expresses the interpreter’s own ideas, bias, or the like, rather than the meaning of the text.
So that’s the definition. At the end of this post some of the Wikipedia entry has been included. Do we do that? Am I doing that with this site? Trying to fit a scripture into a preconceived idea or notion is something condemned in more than one Watchtower, and rightly so. A good example is the Trinity doctrine. An unbiased, sincere Bible reader would never in a million years “come up” with the trinity teaching
of his own accord. Eisegesis must be used to make the doctrine fly.
Interestingly, the antonym of the word is exegesis, which means to read a text without bias and seek the author’s intent alone.
What percentage of topics have elements of eisegesis when you do a Watchtower library search and pull an article up? 0%? 5%? 10%? Or more? This topic could spin off into a dozen places from here so I’ll quit while I’m ahead…
Eisegesis (from Greek εἰς “into” and ending from exegesis from ἐξηγεῖσθαι “to lead out”) is the process of interpreting a text in such a way that it introduces one’s own ideas, reading into the text. This is best understood when contrasted with exegesis. While exegesis draws out the meaning from the text, eisegesis occurs when a reader reads his/her interpretation into the text. As a result, exegesis tends to be objective when employed effectively while eisegesis is regarded as highly subjective. An individual who practices eisegesis is known as an eisegete, as someone who practices exegesis is known as an exegete. The term eisegete is often used in a mildly derogatory fashion.