Summary: We live in the age of modern psychology. The study of modern psychology has been around for the past one hundred and fifty years. The Bible is the greatest textbook ever written on the subject. This study attempts to set forth a biblical foundation.
1. Definition of a Biblical Hebrew/Christian Psychology
“Jesus knew all men and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man” (John 2:25).
“A biblical Hebrew/Christian psychology is the study of the individual in fellowship and dialogue with God about God Himself, the individual, the relationship of the two, the situation the individual is in, and the earthly and eternal consequences of the choices that the individual makes.”
Secular psychology studies the individual on the bases of a denial of God and the soul of the individual. Secular psychology from c. 1900 to c. 1990 studied the behavior of the individual and it environment in its research for descriptive explanations of the individual. About 1990 to the present time Secular Psychology has added the dimension of studying the cognitive or reasoning processes of the individual, but still with the denial that an inner person exist. The 1990's were declared to be the decade for studying the physical brain and the nervous system. Christian psychologists broke away from secular psychology c. 1955. From that time several movements within the Christian faith have evolved. Yet, even at this time, 2016, the professional Christian movement has not established a biblical ontology of being, which is the foundation of a Christian psychology. Nor has it been able to determine a biblical model of the Christian for developing the New Testament message of the gospel. It is the contention of this study that the creation account sets forth the biblical patterns of ontology of being and the personality of being. It is the contention of this study that the tabernacle is the physical/earthly model of the same. It is the contention of this study that the Mt. Zion literature is built upon the pattern of the creation account. It is the contention of this study that the New Testament writers understood those patterns and model; and that they were the source of the biblical theology of the New Testament. It is also the contention of this study that only God knows how man was designed and put together and how that structure was meant to operate. The writer John makes that declaration in the Gospel of John 2:25, "Jesus knew what was in man."
This definition of a biblical Hebrew/Christian psychology is built upon the foundation of the creation account of man and the tabernacle at Mt. Sinai. It is used for developing an understanding of the individual from a biblical perspective.
“A biblical Hebrew/Christian psychology” is a study of the individual from an Old Testament and New Testament perspective.
“is the study of the individual” The study of the individual has been a driving force in society down through the ages. Some of the more identifiable moments are the time of King David and King Solomon; the time of the first century church; the second and third centuries after Christ; the reformation; and the modern day age. It is the modern day age (1850-2012) wherein the biblical study of the individual has been replaced by secular or pagan psychologies.
“in fellowship and dialogue with God” This is where secular and Christian psychology part company. The existence of the concept that God is in touch with the individual goes back to the Garden of Eden. That concept carried on and became the foundation of the Hebrew or Jewish mind-set. This is where Abraham begins. God called Abraham to come out of the Ur of Chaldee. God was in dialogue with Abraham. Abraham knew that he did not exist apart from God.
This is the heart of the New Testament message. The believer is in “fellowship and dialogue with God.” The triune Godhead is the teacher of the believer. God uses the written word, the Bible, to teach the believer the meaning of the individual’s life.
“about God Himself” Sometimes the teaching is about God Himself. There are many gods in the world, but only one God who reveals Himself to the heart of the individual. The message in the Bible is a revelation from God about Himself. This message cannot be found in any other source in history or life, whether it be a message from a human or nature. Only the Lord God of Israel and the body of Christ knows and understands Himself.
“the individual” Sometimes the teaching is about the individual. Only the Creator, Jesus Christ the Lord God, knows how the individual was designed and created. Only this God knows how man operates psychologically, physically, and spiritually. Only this God understands man to be a sinner. It is at the point of sin and being a sinner that God first gets our attention. He convicts the individual of their sin, of the judgment upon their sin, and the salvation that is offered in Christ Jesus by being forgiven of that sin. The spiritual blindness that saturates the mind of the individual is the result of being dead. That death was given to every person coming into the world through the transgression of Adam. No one escape death. It is the work of the Holy Spirit pointing to the death of Jesus Christ that brings the individual back to life to fellowship and communicate with God.