Help!  I have to write an exegesis paper?

So, your professor wants you to write a scholarly biblical exegesis paper... don't sweat it, it's not as hard as it sounds.  Intended for beginners, this site will show you:

what goes into a scholarly exegesis paper and how to lay it out

what to do before you start writing your exegesis paper

give you some helpful research resources

what your professor is looking for in an A paper and some examples

Hang on... what is exegesis?

It's a scholarly research methodology.

For millennia people have read and interpreted Biblical text.  Some methods of interpretation were rigorous and insightful, but some were rather questionable and neglected to take into consideration a number of relevant factors.  

To remedy this, modern Exegesis aims to provide a standardized, scholarly, critical interpretation, and explanation of written text.  Its purpose is to present a case for how the original author intended their text to be understood by using a methodology that incorporates a number of vital considerations. 

An Exegesis paper is a specified process that demonstrates how an Exegete (like yourself) went about his/her exegesis and the factors they took into consideration in doing so. Because of its standardized format, the process allows scholars (also like yourselves) to read the exegesis of others and comment on their evidence based merits/shortcomings in your own papers and publications.  This provides a strong element of accountability, rigor, and peer review, which minimizes misuse of the text to achieve an agenda. 

Exegesis is important to Biblical scholars because it allows us to critically interpret and attempt to explain the meaning of Biblical text - and be rigorously accountable for that interpretation.  Exegesis provides modern persons an evidenced based, scholarly approach to reading Biblical text.

Jan A. Sigvartsen Ph.D.

This site was developed by Dr Jan A. Sigvartsen who specializes in teaching Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Period Literature, Jewish Studies, Archaeology, and Theology/World Religion classes.  He currently teaches at the Theologische Hochschule Friedensau, Germany and is associated with the Balu'a Regional Archeological Project, a major Iron-Age archaeological site in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. 

His favorite research and teaching area is the multiple death and resurrection beliefs in the Second Temple Period - basically  angels, demons, hellfire, and chaos.  He was born in Norway and has Viking ancestors, so that may explain a few things... his students love this stuff too. 

Jan originally created this website in 2012 for his students to use, but, quite by accident, over 100,000 students from more than 190 countries, started using it too.