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

About The Preacher Man


One Response to “The Difference Between Hermeneutics and Exegesis”
  1. Hermeneutics says:

    The four different terms – hermeneutics, exegesis, exposition and preunderstanding – in the study of interpretation are fundamental to good preaching. If our hermeneutical methodology is not consistent, then our interpretation of the Scripture will be all over the place. Hermeneutics

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