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Word of the Day : February 23, 2012

exegesis

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noun ek-suh-JEE-sis

Definition

: exposition, explanation; especially : an explanation or critical interpretation of a text

Examples

For his senior thesis, John wrote an exegesis of the novels of D. H. Lawrence.

"Were it not for another mini-exegesis hanging alongside 'Witness,' uninitiated viewers might have trouble interpreting this large-scale painting as a response to Ethiopia's drought and famine of the 1980s." -- From a review by Kevin J. Kelley in Seven Days (Burlington, Vermont), October 5, 2011



Did You Know?

Theological scholars have long been preoccupied with interpreting the meanings of various passages in the Bible. In fact, because of the sacred status of the Bible in both Judaism and Christianity, biblical interpretation has played a crucial role in both of those religions throughout their histories. English speakers have used the word "exegesis" -- a descendant of the Greek term "exegeisthai," meaning "to explain" or "to interpret" -- to refer to explanations of Scripture since the early 17th century. Nowadays, however, academic writers interpret all sorts of texts, and "exegesis" is no longer associated mainly with the Bible.

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