For several years a team of Christian mental health professionals in Latin America has dedicated itself to an integrated reading of Scripture in conjunction with professional practice. A project emerged from that commitment, The Therapeutic Bible, supported by the Brazilian Bible Society and by the Brazilian Body of Christian Psychologists and Psychiatrists. The first integrated Portuguese publication was on the Gospel of John in 2008, soon followed by an integrated Portuguese commentary on the entire New Testament in 2011.
College of Bible and Ministry alumnus Matt Rehbein (BA '99, MA '02) became friends with several of the writers of The Therapeutic Bible commentary while serving as a missionary in Porto Alegre, Brazil from 2002 to 2011. His own experiences with depression in Brazil and the relationship he developed with a Christian counselor during that time led him to a broader circle of "psycho-theologians.” This group of friends included counselors, ministers, and graduate psychology students who regularly met to read the works of James Loder, a professor of the philosophy of Christian education at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Matt was contacted last June by Karl Kepler, editor of The Therapeutic Bible. The contributors he had known in Brazil wanted an English version of their commentary for the upcoming CAPS (Christian Association for Psychological Studies) conference in April 2015. Matt and his wife Waleska took on the challenge and spent the next eight months translating The Therapeutic Bible for the English-speaking world.
Matt and Karl attended the 2015 CAPS conference in Denver to present The Therapeutic Bible in English for the first time. The Brazilian Bible Society provided a free copy to each of the nearly 500 people in attendance and the feedback was very positive.
Matt had this to say about The Therapeutic Bible commentary: "To our knowledge, there is not another study Bible like this in the English language that intentionally comments on Scripture with an integrated view of theology and counseling theory. The writers come from the most varied backgrounds with their training: clinical, educational and social psychology, psychoanalysis, psychiatry, medicine, sociology, and marriage and family therapy. The commentary is laced with principles and concepts from all of these disciplines, but is not overly technical. It is instead highly relational."
Matt Rehbein is the Director of Institutional Research at Lipscomb University. Matt holds a BA and MA from the College of Bible and Ministry at Lipscomb, and holds a master's in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Northcentral University. Matt completed a thesis while a graduate student at Lipscomb entitled “The Believers’ Church: A Model of Ecclesiology as Social Ethics for Mission in Contemporary Brazil.”