I am indebted to the author of a post on www.gotquestions.org for a penetrating and succinct answer to the question: "What is the
difference between exegesis and eisegesis?"
Answer:Exegesis and eisegesis
are two conflicting approaches in Bible study. Exegesis is the exposition or
explanation of a text based on a careful, objective analysis. The word exegesis
literally means “to lead out of.” That means that the interpreter is led to his
conclusions by following the text.
The opposite approach to Scripture is eisegesis, which is the
interpretation of a passage based on a subjective, non-analytical reading. The
word eisegesis literally means “to lead into,” which means the interpreter
injects his own ideas into the text, making it mean whatever he wants.
Obviously, only exegesis does justice to the text. Eisegesis is a mishandling
of the text and often leads to a misinterpretation. Exegesis is concerned with
discovering the true meaning of the text, respecting its grammar, syntax, and
setting. Eisegesis is concerned only with making a point, even at the expense
of the meaning of words.
An honest student of the Bible will be an exegete, allowing the text to speak
for itself. Eisegesis easily lends itself to error, as the would-be interpreter
attempts to align the text with his own preconceived notions. Exegesis allows
us to agree with the Bible; eisegesis seeks to force the Bible to agree with