Brian J. McVeigh

The Psychology of the Bible

Fire and brimstone, bellowing prophets, and a good dose of old-fashioned sermonizing — these are the images the Bible brings to mind. But this assortment of sacred writings, in particular the Old Testament, is more than a collection of colorful allegories or miracles-and-morals mythology. Though written in the first millennium BCE, these holy writings are a nostalgic recounting of a lost 'super-religious' mentality that characterized the Bronze Age. The Psychology of the Bible explores how the Old Testament provides perspective into the tumultuous transition from an earlier mentality to a new paradigm of interiorized psychology and introspective religiosity that came to characterize the first millennium BCE. By examining the Old Testament’s historical background and theopolitical context, utilizing linguistic analysis, and applying systems and communication theory, this book interprets biblical passages through a new lens. It analyzes divine voices, visions, and appearances of heavenly messengers — angel and prophets — as neurocultural phenomena and explains why they were so common. This book also answers why definitions of God changed so radically, illuminates the divinatory role of idols and other oracular aids (e.g. the Ark of the Covenant), provides a framework for appreciating why ‘wisdom literature’ became so significant, and clarifies the linkages among music, poetry, and inspiration.
342 printed pages



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