The first most important reason for doing good exegesis is the Bible’s command for it. The scriptural reference for the biblical command for good exegesis is found in 2 Timothy 2:15 written in the 21st Century KJV “study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” This admonition is a result of the mission given by God for preachers and teachers to subvert hearers to the gospel of Jesus Christ and not things which vainly puff up the minds of the hearers.
Jesus leaving words were “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).” The preaching of the gospel is of most importance and rightly dividing the word for the subverting of hearers is extremely important. I recall one day while my friend and I were witnessing on division street in Biloxi Mississippi, him badgering this one guy about the gospel of Jesus Christ and he went into arguing and the situation escalated and I was angry, because I recalled the scripture in Titus 3:9-11“But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.”
We spent considerable time with someone who was not worthy of our time and took this time away from someone who would have been more profitable to preach to. Notice how Jesus spends quick moments with the Pharisees and considerable time with the people he healed, delivered and set free, like the multitudes at the mount.
The second most important reason for doing good exegesis is the nature of the Bible demands it. Recorded in the instructor notes “Peter tells us himself that Paul’s letter “contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). A verse that I struggled with personally and not something I taught was Romans 13:8 “Own no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” I do not like debt. Many individuals say they do not like debt yet they have no trouble sleeping with $2000 dollars’ worth of credit card debt. The amount mentioned is not a lot but I had this amount and it disrupted my sleep. I used the above verse to mean that I was living in sin with this debt over my shoulders. Did I pay the requested amount every month? Yes I did with a little extra, but it still bothered me. The Holy Spirit convicted me about the verse that my interpretation was in error, so I began looking into what others had gleaned from this verse. I found many hold to the view I held as this appears to be the best interpretation looking at the text out of context and literally.
Good exegesis showed me that the text refers to paying government taxes and that the obligation of a contract is what is required in this passage and that the debt of love is so high that the payoff compared to what Christ did on the cross is not possible while on the earth. This gave me peace at night and the power of condemnation was broken and I was no longer imprisoned by incorrect understanding. As the instructors notes mention “misunderstanding the Bible can be damaging to your own faith, and others whom you teach and or influenced by your ministry.” So because the text is filled with things hard to understand we should take seriously our study of the contents in the original language as well as use other English translations of the Bible, so that while we preach to others we may save ourselves and those who hear us.