The Difference Between Hermeneutics and Exegesis

The Difference Between Hermeneutics and Exegesis

When it comes to the interpretive process, it is essential to understand the four main terms used in the field of study.

The four terms we need to grasp the meaning of are: hermeneutics, exegesis, exposition and preunderstanding.

1. Hermeneutics is a set of principles that is used to determine the meaning of the biblical text under investigation.

2. Exegesis is the skilful application of sound hermeneutical principles to the biblical text under investigation in order to determine the author’s intended meaning.

3. Exposition is the communication of the meaning of the text of Scripture along with its relevance to present-day hearers.

4. Preunderstanding is the body of assumptions and attitudes the exegete brings to the text under investigation.

In other words, the interpretive process involves a set of principles (hermeneutics) that can be applied to a text of Scripture in order to find the author’s intended meaning (exegesis) so that the meaning and relevancy of the text can be communicated to the present-day hearers (exposition) with total objectivity (repressing of one’s preunderstanding).

Hermeneutics is a set of principles or guidelines; whereas, exegesis is the application of those principles or guidelines.

I learned hermeneutics in my formal training; however, it was not until I did further study that I completely understood the the four main terms in the interpretive process.

How did you learn and develop your understanding of hermeneutics in your ministry experience?

I would love to hear your feedback to this importance process in the preaching of God’s word.


Rev. David Blackburn BA GDM

Sermon Preparation Tips

Sermon Preparation Tips

I have created this blog in order to discuss sermon preparation tips. In my many years as a preacher of the Word of God, I have deliberately defined the process of sermon preparation or what we often called homiletics – the science and art of preaching.

When you write two or three sermons a week, you need to have a process in place so that you can confidently produce sermons for your congregation.

I learned the basics of sermon preparation in my formal training. However,  it was in my ministry experience that I really developed and  defined my personal paradigm for sermon preparation.

In my early years of preaching, I tended to write deductive sermon outlines in my sermon preparation.

That is, I started with the main preaching point followed by sub-points and incidental points.

Later in my ministry experience, I had the opportunity to learn how to write an inductive sermon outline, especially with the narrative Scriptures.

Over the years I have continued to develop and define these methods of sermon preparation. In fact, I find it absolutely fasinating the process of writing and preparing sermons.

In light of all that I have said thus far, I would like to hear from other preachers their sermon preparation tips or how they developed and defined the science and art of preaching in their ministry.


Rev. David Blackburn BA GDM