The ungainly title serves notice that something is askew here. Meves, a German psychologist, adopts a promising line of interpretation--translating Biblical images and mythology into the processes and conditions of personal psychological development--but all too often makes the enterprise into a kind of reductive algebra in which rich symbols are depreciated into analytical abstractions and therapeutic platitudes. She does offer some fresh perspectives on Biblical meaning, and her expertise in depth psychology and mythology pays off (as in the interpretations of Job and of Revelation) when exposition is allowed to prevail over exhortation. But do we really need to be told that the snake in Genesis represents the renegade in us, that the sea symbolizes the power of chaos, that ""in each of us there lives the masculine and feminine,"" or that ""animals can be understood as symbols of instinctive nature""? And who could think, anent the story of Babel, that scientists' ""inability to make their theories understandable is a precaution of the Creator against their own potential for power-grabbing""? The preachy tone and strait-laced attitude make the labor of ferreting out the useful ideas irksome.