Elements of Biblical Exegesis, Revised and Expanded Edition

A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers

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"This widely used guide provides students, teachers, and ministers with a practical approach to biblical exegesis that is built on a strong theoretical foundation. This revised and expanded edition addresses more fully the meaning of theological interpretation that attends to the biblical text as a vehicle of divine revelation and address."--Interpretation

In this revised and expanded edition of Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers, Michael J. Gorman presents a straightforward approach to the complex task of biblical exegesis.

Designed for students, teachers, and ministers, this hands-on guide breaks the task down into seven distinct elements. For each of these, Gorman supplies a clear explanation, practical hints, and suggested exercises to help the reader develop exegetical proficiency. The new edition addresses more fully the meaning of theological interpretation and provides updated print and internet resources for those who want to pursue further study in any aspect of exegesis. Appendixes offer three sample exegesis papers and practical guidelines for writing a research exegesis paper.


"'Exegesis' is not only a strange word, but it can also be a daunting assignment for the newcomer to formal biblical studies. Equally, teaching exegesis can challenge even the seasoned instructor. For both student and teacher, Michael Gorman is a dependable guide and patient companion along the way. My only question is: Where was Elements of Biblical Exegesis when I was a student?"--Joel B. Green, professor of New Testament interpretation, Fuller Theological Seminary

"No one ever became an exegete by reading a book on exegesis. The gift of Michael Gorman's book is that he knows that exegetes are born through practice, practice, and more practice. And he invites his readers into just the practice they need, providing them with a rich array of helps along the way. Beginners and improvers alike will benefit from this revised and expanded edition."--Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Helen H. P. Manson Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis, Princeton Theological Seminary

The Author

  1. Michael J. Gorman

    Michael J. Gorman

    Michael J. Gorman (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is the Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland. He formerly served as dean of the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St....

    Continue reading about Michael J. Gorman


"This widely used guide provides students, teachers, and ministers with a practical approach to biblical exegesis that is built on a strong theoretical foundation. This revised and expanded edition addresses more fully the meaning of theological interpretation that attends to the biblical text as a vehicle of divine revelation and address. Updated print and Internet resources are also provided."--Interpretation

"First appearing in 1994 under the title Texts and Contexts, this book was revised in 2001 under the present title and is now revised again and expanded. The need for revision and expansion in such a short period of time is evidence of the great and diverse strides that have been made in the field of biblical exegesis. Gorman states that the most important development has been the return to theological interpretation. While he carefully treats various aspects of both diachronic and synchronic approaches, theological interpretation is always in the back of his mind. This is clearly a guide to exegesis. The steps that comprise each approach are explained and elucidated by helpful tables. A step-by-step guideline for writing an exegetical paper as well as sample research papers are found at the end of the book. This is the kind of guide all serious biblical students should study."--The Bible Today

"[Gorman] provides a practical page-by-page outline of what a 15-page exegetical paper should look like, gives good pointers on constructing an outline, and literally walks the student through the process with key questions, summaries, and hints. The three papers in the third appendix also faithfully replicate the author's process."--The Master's Seminary Journal

"Gorman gives practical hints on how to discern the genre, structure, and movement of a passage of Scripture. . . . He helpfully differentiates between different types of ambiguity and draws a distinction between polyvalence and unconstrained interpretation. . . . The book closes with annotated bibliographies of different types of resources for exegesis and three sample exegesis papers. This book is an advance on some other guides that only think in terms of classic types of criticism and fail to reflect the rediscovery of theological interpretation and stop short of practical application. Gorman scores well on these points."--Gregory Goswell, Reformed Theological Review

"Perhaps the author's most valuable philosophical contribution to the task of exegesis . . . is his threefold view of exegesis as investigation, conversation, and art. . . . The book may appeal to general audiences who want to master the basics of biblical exegesis or who wish to explore Scripture from a sound platform. Pastors would benefit by adopting basic principles of exegesis to inform their weekly sermons. Perhaps the strength of the book, however, lies in the time it spends defining the task of exegesis and preparing the student to understand the implications of exegesis. . . . [Gorman's] methodology . . . provid[es] an insightful guide that can inspire students, laity, and ministers to take the study of the Scriptures more seriously by applying solid elementary principles with effective scholarly skills that can, finally, lead to sound conclusions."--Victor M. Reyes-Prieto, Andrews University Seminary Studies

"The present edition has benefited from new developments in the field and feedback from those who have used the earlier edition in a variety of contexts. One distinctive of Gorman's approach is an emphasis on theological interpretation. . . . This has become even more prominent in his revised edition. . . . Each chapter's value is enhanced by a concluding bullet-pointed chapter summary, practical hints, and questions labeled 'For further insight and practice.'. . . This book is a welcome contribution to the literature on exegesis. Its straightforward 'elements' sections make it an easy method to follow. Its emphasis on theological interpretation or application is helpful and provides important direction. . . . Following this method will be beneficial to Bible students."--Joseph D. Fantin, Bibliotheca Sacra