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Conquer the exegesis process (Part I)

The following images and text were created by Katie Hynd, the Post-Graduate Teaching Intern for the Religion Department in the fall of 2013. Use them as a starting point and a reference when you begin writing your exegesis paper. Good luck, and have fun!

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Welcome to the Library! Come prepared. Bring a mug and sweater, along with your computer and notebook.
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This section of the library, the Reference Room, is going to become your new home. The first step in the process of writing an exegesis is to become very familiar with your passage. Read it in the NRSV along with all its footnotes, the chapter’s introduction, and the book’s introduction. This will help you question the passage and become familiar with your passage’s controversies and/or significant points. In terms of writing, don’t worry about the introduction right now. Move straight into the section “Translations and Word Study.”
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Now it’s time to compare various translations of the Bible. Since we are reading the passage in English, and not the original Hebrew or Greek, the translation of any one Bible is not necessarily the closest to the source text. It is significant to look at how different translators interpret the Bible. We can gain a different understanding of the text if we read how different people translated it. It also helps you with the next task which is…
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…to compare words! It will help if you also make a chart of different translations of your text
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Now it’s time to understand why different translators interpreted a word differently. Start by looking up a word from your passage in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. This concordance only corresponds to the KJV. The word you look up will list the different passages in which your word is referenced. Look for your passage and then the number to the right of that passage. Then, in the back of the book (in the Hebrew section if your passage is in the Old Testament, or in the Greek section if your passage is in the New Testament), your word’s number will correspond to a Hebrew or Greek term and its definition.

Stay tuned for Part II!

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