Exes and Eyes :: By C. Gray Adams

The exegete ‘ex-tracts’ from God’s Word what God intended the reader or hearer to receive. Said another way, the exegete examines the text to determine the point God is making. The eisegete ‘eyes (sees)’ into the text what they want or need it to say in order to prove their point. One does not have to be a biblical scholar to understand that exegesis provides greater understanding of God’s Word than eisegesis. Perhaps, the simplest way to look at the difference in the ‘Exes and Eyes’ is to consider this: An exegete reads any written material for the purpose of discovering what the author intended to say. Conversely, the eisegete reads material for the purpose of validating what they themselves have to say.

Differentiating between the ‘Exes and Eyes’ is crucial because eisegesis is one of the main factors contributing to the successful procreation of many false teachings which plague the last days church.[1] As a matter of fact, many false teachers and teachings have become engrained in the church because the average Christian does not examine the content they are taught in order to determine if it was exegeted or eisegeted. However, this trend could be halted if every Christian would study God’s Word as an exegete. Then false teachers and false teaching would not stand a chance because the student would recognize the counterfeit immediately by comparing it to the original author’s intent.

To prove this point, consider this: Banks deal with currency every day. The way they do so provides a good example of the importance of the principle of exegesis in that banks are keenly aware of the value of being able to ascertain the validity of currency instantly. To ensure this happens, banks do not have their employees study all of the potential false notes they may encounter. Instead, they simply have them study the authentic so they will immediately recognize the false. Therefore, knowing the true eliminates being fooled by the false. This is why it is so important to study God’s word from the perspective of an exegete. With this in mind, the proof text for this study is:

2 Timothy 2:15

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Having established why exegesis is so important, let us examine Isaiah 53 through the lens of the exegete in order to ascertain the truth about the healing spoken of in this incredible prophetic passage of Scripture. For the sake of brevity, this examination will only cover the healing aspect of Isaiah 53. In the process of this examination, the handiwork of the many false teaching eisegetes that have corrupted the understanding of God’s Word about this most important passage will become evident. Along the way, it will also become obvious why proper exegesis is so crucial to the study of the entirety of the Bible.

Isaiah 53

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

“And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (emphasis mine)

The entirety of Isaiah has been included in order to provide the context of the passage. This is very important because context is key to ensuring proper exegesis. Additionally, Peter’s teaching about this same subject is quoted below for the purpose of providing thorough understanding of the true nature of the healing spoken of in Isaiah 53.

1 Peter 2:21-25

“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”

[Notice the healing here is associated with Jesus intervening in order to bare our sins so that we could live unto righteousness, and this then led to returning the sheep that had gone astray to the Shepherd. Therefore, these stripes are about sin – not physical healing]. (emphasis mine) [author’s comments]

The Battle of the Exes and Eyes

Great battle has been waged over whether or not physical healing is provided for in the ‘atonement.’ In Isaiah 53, Isaiah is describing the benefits bestowed upon man because of the atoning work of Christ. Because this subject is very broad in scope, it is important to limit the discussion to the question posed here: does the atoning work of Christ include physical healing?

When looking at the highlighted sections of the passage above, one could easily assume the position of the eisegete and ‘see’ physical healing in the terms, “by His stripes we are (ye were) healed” (Is 53:5; 1 Pet 2:24). However, the context, provides the proof that the healing involved in the atonement is of a spiritual nature. In other words, the stripes Jesus received were for the purpose of healing the worst ailment mankind suffered from ‘sin.'[2] Let us examine the context more closely.

Vs 5: “But he was wounded for our transgressions [sins], he was bruised for our iniquities [sins]: the chastisement of our peace was upon him [discipline which brings about correction]; and with his stripes we are healed [By His stripes we are made whole].” [author’s comments]

Properly exegeted, this passage indicates that what Jesus did on the cross made it possible for man to once again have fellowship with God through Him. Therefore, the atonement had everything to do with forgiveness of sin and nothing to do with physical healing. Remember, sin has always separated man from God. Paul clarifies this:

Colossians 2:13-14

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” (emphasis mine)

Some turn to verse four to argue that physical healing is included in the atonement:

Vs 4: “Surely he hath borne our griefs [other translations read infirmities], and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”

The eisegete latches on to the term ‘infirmities’ as proof that Jesus intended to provide physical healing in the atonement. However, the context repudiates this idea as one needs only read the rest of the verse, the immediate context, to see that Isaiah is not setting forth a universal principle. Instead, he is prophesying what Jesus will do while on earth. Matthew proves this:

Matthew 8:14-17

“And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” [Matthew considers the actions of Jesus to be fulfillment of the prophetic utterance of Isaiah in Is 53:4]. (emphasis mine) [author’s comment]

With this in mind, it is important to note that Isaiah is making the point that even though Jesus would demonstrate, through healings and miracles, who He was, the Jews would reject Him and miss the fact that what He did, including being stricken, smitten, and afflicted, He did for them. Here is the context proving this statement:

Isaiah 53:1-4

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Clearly, the infirmities spoken of here are not to be considered something that Jesus took to the cross and removed from mankind through the atonement process. If this were the case, no one would ever be sick or die again. Unfortunately, many have attempted to read into this most amazing passage of Scripture something that is simply not there. Indeed, more than a few have created formulas and creeds based upon a faulty, eisegeted understanding of Isaiah chapter 53. Sadly, those doing so exhibit a desire to rely on formulas rather than faith.

Formulas vs. Faith

Men love formulas. Perhaps this is because it is easier to believe in an established method than to place faith in a God who man cannot see or touch. Maybe this is why men desire to believe that the stripes Jesus received were for physical healing. After all, the alternative is that men must pray and ask God for intervention when sickness overtakes them or loved ones. This would mean that man would have to rely on God’s will, and that seems to be a very unpopular position as of late. No, to many, it is much easier to rely on a formula that the powers that be affirm to work rather than turn to God who will always do His will rather than man’s.

The chief problem with trusting in formulas is they have nothing whatsoever to do with prayer, and prayer is how men get anything supernatural; meaning things done by power above that of the natural human being. Thus, the term supernatural. Healing, beyond what doctors can do, is one of these supernatural interventions, and whether or not one is healed is completely up to God. Even though many have attempted to force God to heal by way of formulas and incantations, if you will. In other words, some attempt to force God to do something they wish done by forcefully speaking His Word back to Him. The only problem is most are speaking words that do not actually apply to their situation because they have been eisegeted rather than exegeted. Secondarily, and perhaps more importantly, those acting this way have made themselves superior to God by their actions.

Think about this for a second: men, in their desire to assure they have ready access to healing by stating and restating…the formula based on eisegesis, ‘By His stripes I am healed,’ have actually rejected faith in God as the proper way to obtain the supernatural healing they seek. Put another way, men have decided to trust in formulas rather than trust in God. The problem is, formulas do not move God. If they did, God would no longer be God. Instead, the creator of the formula would be god because they now, supposedly, with their formula, control the supernatural. Can you see how ludicrous this is? Worse yet, can you see the connection between formulas and doctrines of demons? Remember, the devil always attempts to get man to trust in himself, which results in the decline of true faith. After all, authentic faith is simply believing that God is.

James said, “Ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2). Later, he said, “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:13-16).

By now, it should be clear that faith is far superior to formulas. After all, the prayer of faith is the process of making one’s petitions known to God who is in full control, and trusting that His will is the perfect solution to any problem encountered by man.[3]


Since the beginning of man’s time on earth, a battle has been waged between the ‘Exes and Eyes.’ In fact, the serpent in the Garden of Eden was the first eisegete in that he inserted the word ‘not’ in restating God’s warning to man that they would surely die if they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:15-17; 3:1-5).[4] Now, just as it did with the fall of man, the process of eisegesis twists Scripture which brings about deception, and the result of building doctrines upon deception is always greater deception.[5] However, properly exegeted Scripture reveals the truth that God intended for man, and we know that truth sets us free:

John 8:31-32

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue [abide, continue, dwell, remain] in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” [author’s comment]

***Special Message… If you are wondering why the topic of ‘exes and eyes’ is so important, the simplest answer is: Properly understanding this topic safeguards students who engage in Bible study. Those who endeavor to study God’s Word through the lens of an exegete will grow exponentially as the Holy Spirit leads them through the truths of God (John 14:26; 1 John 2:27). However, exegetes must be willing to set aside every preconceived idea, as they lead to eisegesis.

The primary reason eisegesis is so difficult to detect and eradicate is the fact that the professing church has been operating under the system of eisegesis for a very long time. In fact, most sermons are now topical in nature, and this type of biblical examination is fraught with peril because, as the teacher/preacher attempts to validate their topic with Scriptures, it is very easy to eisegete instead of exegete a particular verse or passage. Sadly, many ministers that make this mistake are not false teachers on purpose. However, the end result is the same as if they willingly chose to be one: the body of Christ is taught false teaching when God’s Word is twisted and taught out of context because the teacher is trying to prove their point instead of God’s point.

The impact of eisegesis is truly devastating because layer upon layer of falsehood can be developed without understanding that the initial premise is actually askew, making all that is built upon it faulty. Therefore, instead of the sheep being fed a healthy diet of rightly divided Scripture, as Christ instructed Peter to do (John 21:15-17), they are fed a diet of deception which can only bring sadness and defeat, as the faulty principles and precepts never work.

With all of this in mind, let us exegete our way to proper understanding of God’s Word, and always remember, you do not learn just to grow more wise. You learn in order to teach others. Therefore, make sure to fully explain this principle to new pupils so that they, too, may teach others. The Apostle Paul spoke about this very thing:

2 Timothy 2:2

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

Finally… Even though we are not promised to walk in divine health in the here and now, we do have great hope because the removal of sickness and death does come to the Christian at the moment of the rapture when this immortal takes on immortality.[6] Paul wrote about this when he taught the Corinthians about the rapture:

1 Corinthians 15:50-57

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (emphasis mine)

Website: In His Commission

[1] For greater understanding, see the article, “The Rise of Many.”

[2] For greater understanding, see the article, “Sin.”

[3] For greater understanding, see the article, “Thy Kingdom Come – Thy Will Be Done.”

[4] For greater understanding, see the article, “The Greatest Lie Ever Told: The Origin of All Lies.”

[5] For greater understanding, see the article, “Dealing with Deception.”

[6] For greater understanding, see the article, “Not Yet.”