What is the Difference
Dr. Milton Terry in Biblical Hermeneutics states that hermeneutics is the establishment of the principles, methods and rules which are needful to unfold the sense of what is written.
Dr Milton Terry goes on to say that exegesis is the application of these principles and laws, the actual bringing out into formal statement, and by other terms, the meaning of the author's words.
Terry continues by stating that exegesis is related to hermeneutics as preaching is to homiletics, or, in general, as practice is to theory.
If I were to summarize Dr. Miltion Terry's understanding of hermeneutics and exegesis, I would summarize it like this: Hermeneutics is a set of principles that is used to determine the meaning of a text of Scripture. Exegesis is the skilful application of sound hermeneutical principles to the text of Scripture under investigation in order to determine the author's intended meaning.
In simple terms, hermeneutics is a set of principles and exegesis is the skilful application of those principles to the text of Scripture in order to determine the author's meaning.
To maintain a consistent interpretation of Scripture, the student of God's word must formulate or at least understand his hermeneutical paradigm. In fact, once you have established your hermeneutics (set of principles), your hermenetics will force you to interpret the text of Scripture consistently with your hermeneutical paradigm.
Sadly, very few people really take the time to grasp the principles of hermeneutics or at least understand the principles of hermeneutics.
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