Exegesis an explanation or interpretation and is often applied to biblical studies. In Roman times, exegetes interpretered "charms, omens, dreams, sacred law and oral pronouncements” Cuddon,(315). A variorum edition (q.v), for example, contains a great deal of exegesis. Variorum can be defined as an edition or text of a work containing notes by various persons or variant readings of the text.
According to Baldick, exegesis "covers critical analysis", unpacking a text for explanation (294). An example of exegesis is when Christ takes a piece of bread and offers it to his disciples. The bread is symbolic, meaning Christ's crucifixion, in which his body will be broken on the cross.
- Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. 4th ed. London: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 1998.
- Baldick, Chris. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.