Definition of exegete in US English:



  • An expounder or textual interpreter, especially of scripture.

    • ‘It should dominate the study of John as exegete for the next generation.’
    • ‘Instead of attempting to reconcile the verses by contextualizing them in time and in the full qur'anic text, many exegetes have employed the principle of abrogation as a blunt instrument.’
    • ‘However, in the hands of a skilled preacher and exegete (which I'm not claiming I am), it is still very serviceable.’
    • ‘The manner in which the story is revealed is sometimes new even for Ben Jelloun, who uses the device of an ‘autodidacte,’ a sensitive, trained clerical exegete who dies of grief.’
    • ‘The only sort of training I had as any kind of exegete or glossator was being taught for A-level how to read Shakespeare, Milton and Dickens.’
    • ‘It is with the ‘time-grid’ that is wholly integral to the new creation that exegetes have the greatest difficulties, yet that is precisely the reality they are expected to interpret.’
    • ‘So the jobs of the theologian, the interpreter of history, the counselor, the preacher, the cultural critic, and the scriptural exegete all converge.’
    • ‘If the moral resourcefulness of Scripture was obvious to medieval exegetes, it was even more so to Protestants.’
    • ‘Though he was a highly accomplished student and exegete of Aristotle, he wrote no commentaries on Aristotelian works.’
    • ‘Blaser's text is an exegete's paradise, or nightmare, simply because both theological and dramatic certainties are so difficult to distill from it.’
    • ‘He writes as a New Testament exegete but seeks to cross the line for conversation with those in the church responsible for worship and for outreach.’
    • ‘Since the opponents argument depended on Scripture, Paul - an expert exegete - replied in kind.’
    • ‘Nowadays scholarly exegetes frown on such readings of Scripture, insisting that the particularities of a text must take priority over any generalizations that can be brought from that text.’
    • ‘Venema noted he was unaware of any reformed exegete in the 16th or 17th centuries who embraced this interpretation.’
    • ‘The problem, which is simply not being addressed, represents a challenge to exegetes, theologians, and historians of religion.’
    • ‘Most exegetes and translators conclude that the second interpretation is the most likely but readily admit that certainty is not possible.’
    • ‘Biblical exegetes intent on recovering historical origins treat the text as an object on which to practice methodical procedures when they should instead be acknowledging the traditions to which they themselves belong.’
    • ‘These particular cases exhibit the fine balance Childs practices as a passionate Christian interpreter and as a restrained exegete who listens attentively to the texts.’
    • ‘Maulana Akhlaq Qasimi is a distinguished Islamic scholar and exegete of the Qur'an.’
    • ‘Earlier exegetes had attempted to do so by distinguishing precepts for ordinary Christians from counsels of perfection, intended only for advanced or perfect Christians.’
    • ‘The issue of divorce and marriage continues to be a difficult one, for real people in the real world and their pastors and for exegetes as well.’
    • ‘No, but certainty is translated by Muslim exegetes throughout the ages as death, and so the only moment of absolute certainty that we have is death.’
    • ‘At the same time, a smaller number of exegetes and commentators have attempted to interpret these metaphors, but have imported ideas and assumptions foreign to the world of Paul and the first Christians.’
    • ‘There is no doubt that von Rad's exegesis is clearly Christian, but that is what Christian exegetes do.’
    • ‘I paraphrased it as referring to damnation, which is the way that most exegetes seem to understand the text.’
    • ‘No word of any traditionist or exegete can be regarded as authentic in opposition to it - i.e. to the word of the Glorious Quran.’
    • ‘When attempting a topical decoding of any complex allegorical work, the exegete runs the perpetual risk of reading into the text and committing what Quentin Skinner has termed the mythology of doctrines.’
    • ‘Though the exegetes believed the texts were records of eternal truth, the ritual manuals and Upanisadic treatises were compiled over a vast period of time - possibly more than a millennium.’
    commentator, observer, monitor, pundit, expert, authority, arbiter, interpreter, exponent, expounder
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[with object]
  • Expound or interpret (a text, especially scripture)

    ‘I am able to exegete the scriptures in ways that make sense’


Mid 18th century: from Greek exēgētēs, from exēgeisthai ‘interpret’.