Student Question

What kind of relationship exists between homiletics and biblical exegesis?

Expert Answers

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Biblical exegesis strongly informs homiletics. The most obvious example of this is that most preachers begin their sermons with a Scriptural reading, followed by a commentary. Jonathan Edwards's famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is a wonderful example. The sermon takes its inspiration from Deuteronomy 32:35, which reads "Their feet shall slide in due time." In many ways, the entire sermon, an undisputed masterpiece in homiletics, is based on an exegesis of this passage. The message derived from an exegesis informs the tone, the imagery, and the structure of the sermon, all of which are encompassed by homiletics. Another way in which they are related is in the sense that the New Testament features sermons, by Jesus and Paul, for instance. Homiletics is the study of these sermons as sermons. Exegesis involves the study of their message. So the two approaches are often applied to the same texts. 

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