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Psychology and the Bible: Three Worlds of the Text

Abstract

While biblical scholars have all too often remained skeptical, preachers and pastoral counselors have always known, consciously or not, that the Bible is a richly psychological document. Until recently, psychological biblical criticism has been one of the hidden avenues of biblical interpretation, made more inaccessible due to the lack of organization and coherence within the literature. Recent shifts in the discipline of biblical studies, along with the increasing influence of psychological perspectives on the culture in general have made psychological approaches to the Bible more visible. It is useful to identify three dimensions or levels of the biblical text: the world behind the text, the world of the text and the world in front of the text. Such a division can help to identify the goals of a particular psychological approach and the appropriateness of its aims.

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Kille, D.A. Psychology and the Bible: Three Worlds of the Text. Pastoral Psychology 51, 125–134 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1020054613578

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  • psychological biblical criticism
  • hermeneutics
  • Ricoeur