Exegesis of Ephesians 4:25-32
This paragraph should gain the reader’s attention and introduce the main idea of your passage. This really should be composed only after you have completed the research and even the rough draft of the content of the paper so as to be able to introduce what you are going to say.
While you will briefly summarize what you will do in the paper, don’t narrate the value of biblical exegesis. For example, don’t say, “In order to interpret the Bible one must follow appropriate steps” or the like. This assignment assumes this. Simply indicate the passage, the main idea, and then state what steps you will follow in determining the meaning of the text. The introduction prepares the reader for what is to come.
This part consists of two sections. First, include a brief discussion of the historical-cultural context of the book. What do your readers need to know about the biblical author, the original audience, and their world in order to grasp the meaning of the passage? As Duvall and Hayes state, this section will be between 1 and 2 pages long.
In doing this, again, don’t narrate (“In order to understand the passage, the reader must know the historical-cultural background”). Simply report the relevant information. In researching this information you will find that there are debates at times. Don’t get caught up in the debates in the paper itself. There is not space to do this. Besides, you don’t want to get caught up in the pitfall of focusing background studies for background studies alone. Remember that you are establishing the context for the passage. Report what you are convinced to be the pertinent information. Footnote the sourceswhich are the basis for your view.
Second, discuss the literary context of your passage. Describe the author’s flow of thought in the book and discuss how your passage fits into and contributes to the flow of thought. Pay particular attention to how your passage relates to the passage that precedes it and the one that follows it. Naturally, this means that you will have to read the book in which the passage is found. But you will find in your research that sources often address these issues as well.
For researching both aspects of this section, you will find the following sources helpful: surveys and introductions; Bible handbooks; books on backgrounds, and commentaries. Consult Appendix 3 in the book for the types of resources available. You will not want to limit yourself to these representative sources. The categories are provided to help you identify types of sources.