The Nature of Exegetical Teaching


Exegetical teaching is one where the teacher takes a passage of scripture and teaches it verse by verse.  There are two ways to do this.  1.) From a scholarly point of view and, 2.) From a scholarly point of view with an equal emphasis on personal application.

A scholar’s approach is to take a subject, pick it apart and research it, then give a treatise on the topic.  Many  Sunday sermons are characterized by this process.  This kind of  pastor sees it as his duty and privilege to teach the Word, only.  The person listening does not feel, at the end of the sermon, that he knows his shepherd any better because of the sermon.  The goal of this person’s teaching was not to reveal anything personal.  It was educationally driven.

The second style of teaching is to be scholarly while being personal by way of application.  This is my calling.  I am not a scholar, per se, but I do know how to dig into a text and, with wonder, proclaim my findings.  While it is important to know the context of the passage, the meanings of words in the scripture’s original language, and even the life story of the person who wrote the text, this is only half effective.  What puts teaching over the top is when a teacher personalizes the text.  Each morning, I may do this from my own present experience, my past experience, or my many experiences with others over the years.

I am currently teaching the 34th chapter of the book of Genesis.  Each morning, I study the next verse in order to write about it.  Exegetical study means that the topics are chosen for me, I do not choose them.  If the next verse talks about money, that must be my topic.  I appreciate your prayers, more than I can express, that I would be true to the integrity of the scriptures while being authentic as I share personal experiences.  My goal, always, is to make much of God so that He may be lifted high.

2 thoughts on “The Nature of Exegetical Teaching

  1. Exegetical teaching is one of the things I greatly appreciate about teachers like John Macarthur, who takes the time to disect the Bible and explain it, one verse at a time.

  2. This is awesome! I totally agree that it isn’t enough to speak about the passage. We MUST challenge change in their lives, as well as my own. Thank you!

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