I teach different biblical interpretation skills at All Nations Leadership Institute. This post on the worlds of text, reflects the first in a series of scriptural analysis methods to help you gain a fuller understanding of Scripture.

January 19, 2013/Jan Paron

Three Worlds of Text Cover.2


Studying Scripture requires a person to do more than surface read text; rather, you seek an in-depth study of text to fully grasp its orthodoxy. You gain a rich understanding of Scripture by studying it from different angles, along with the Holy Spirit’s illumination. One way to study it is through the three worlds of text:

  • Reader Centered world in front of the text, when the reader brings his or her perspective to Scripture
  • Author Centered world behind the text, comprises the social, political, cultural and ideological aspects from the author’s world and his intent (Tate, 1997)
  • Text Centered world within the text, relates to the literary elements of Scripture

The three worlds support deep understanding by working in tandem with the processes of exegesis and interpretation for orthopathy and orthopraxy. When you exegete text you determine what its first readers understood it to mean; after which, you interpret this same for implications to contemporary settings and situations.


In most of my theological writings, I incorporate the three worlds as a means of exegesis and interpretation of scriptural text. Oftentimes, I go back to the same passages to glean more, and then pray and meditate on them. Truly, the process enriches what I take away from Scripture and apply Christian walk. You can read examples of behind and within text analyses below.


Do view the power point below on the three worlds of text. You can download it through Slideshare for personal use. (Please cite me and credit All Nations Leadership Institute!)

SLIDESHARE LINK:  The Three Worlds of Text

To Ponder

  • How do the three worlds of text help you better understand Scripture?
  • In what ways does application of this method impact RIGHT meaning of scriptural text and then internalizing its RIGHT attitude in your heart and practicing its RIGHT action in ministry?


  • Cox, D. (2013). The gospels. Alsip,  IL: All Nations  Leadership Institute.
  • Cox, D. (2011). The gospels: A portrait of Jesus Christ. Alsip,  IL: All Nations  Leadership Institute.
  • Paron, J. (2012). “Hermeneutics and the cultural iceberg model.” PerSpectives 12, Retrieved on January 11, 2013, from https://specs12.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/hermeneutics-and-the-cultural-iceberg-model/
  • Tate, W. R. (1997). Biblical interpretation: An integrated approach. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

Photo credit: Power Point background—Sharefaith.com — Powerpoint by Jan Paron from All Nations Leadership Institute.org.