This article endeavours to evaluate an integrated understanding and interpretation of the Bible, which simultaneously takes cognisance of the "self-understanding" of the Bible, complies with academic standards, and is helpful to the church in its service to bring the Word of God to the (post)modern world. Therefore a "3-circles-model" has been developed, tested in the classroom and is here presented for discussion and further refinement. In this model the task of biblical exegesis is, in accordance with the three dimensions found in the Bible itself, explained as interpretation of the literary, historical and theological dimensions of the text(s). The three dimensions are hermeneutically and methodologically investigated. Some final considerations are given to the integration of the three dimensions into the whole process of interpreting the Bible.