I just picked up a copy this week of Gordon Fee’s New Testament Exegesis, and read through the preface, and the introduction. In his introduction he writes:
The term exegesis is used in this book in a consciously limited sense to refer to the historical investigation into the meaning of the biblical text. The presupposition lying behind this task is that the biblical books had “authors” and “readers,” and that the authors intended their readers to understand what they wrote. Exegesis therefore answers the question, What did the biblical author mean? It has to do both with what he said (the content itself) and why he said it at any given point (the literary context) – as much as that might be discovered, given our distance in time, language, and culture. Furthermore, exegesis is primarily concerned with intentionality: What did the author intend his original readers to understand? p1
It is this next section that gripped me as a teacher, and pastor. Our understanding of the scriptures must in turn communicate to our culture and generation in a manner that is both relevant and applicable to our lives today.
Exegetical essays put forward as “sermons” are usually as dry as dust, informative, perhaps, but seldom prophetic or inspirational. Therefore, the ultimate aim of the biblical student is to apply one’s exegetical understanding of the text to the contemporary church and world. p2
Gordon Fee “New Testament Exegesis”