Guide to Literary Terms

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What is the definition of exegesis?

The definition of exegesis is an explanation or interpretation of a text, especially a passage from a religious text or from another text that is particularly difficult or confusing.

Exegesis

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Last Updated on February 25, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 90

Exegesis - a critical interpretation and explanation of a literary work, but usually applied to an analysis of an unusually difficult passage in poetry or prose. Exegesis refers especially to the interpretation and explanation of a selection from the Bible.

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The word comes directly from the Greek and evolved from exegeesthai, meaning “to explain.” That term was formed by combining ex, meaning” out,” and hegeesthai, meaning “to guide.”

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In Roman times, exegetes were professional and official interpreters of charms, omens, dreams, sacred law, and oracular pronouncements.

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Latest answer posted December 31, 2009, 6:36 am (UTC)

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