Interpreting the Psalms: Issues and Approaches, Edited byPhilip S. Johnston and David G. Firth alt
Interpreting the Psalms
  • Length: 345 pages
  • Published: March 05, 2013
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 8411
  • ISBN: 9780830884117

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The book of Psalms has been precious to countless people in many languages and countries over many centuries. It has expressed their hopes and fears, inspired their faith, and renewed their trust in God. Through the Psalms, the spiritual insight and religious heritage of ancient Israel have had a profound and lasting impact on the human race.

The book of Psalms is also of great interest to biblical scholars, and scholarly study of the Psalms is in the midst of a sea change. A generation ago, the dominant tendency was to study individual psalms in relation to their literary forms and cultural functions. However, in recent years, studies have increasingly emphasized Hebrew poetry, the structure of the entire Psalter, and its development from earlier collections to a unified canonical book.

In exploring these and other facets, this volume aims to bridge the gap between general introductions to the study of the Psalms and specialized literature. Written by members and guests of the Tyndale Fellowship Old Testament Study Group, it offers the insights of internationally recognized Old Testament scholars into the world of the Psalms.This volume will be a treasure to both students and scholars alike.

For those who treasure, love and pray the psalms, this book will be a sheer delight, and, if used in the classroom, it will offer up so much for lay people that they will . . . say "Hallelujah!"

Reed Lessing in Concordia Journal, April 2007



A. Psalms Interpretation in Context
1. The Psalms and Current Study
2. The Psalms and Ancient Near Eastern Prayer Genres

B. The Psalms and Key Themes
3. The Psalms and Distress
4. The Psalms and Praise
5. The Psalms and the King
6. The Psalms and the Cult
7. The Psalms and Cult Symbolism: The Case of the Cherubim-Ark

C. The Psalms and Interpretation Issues
8. The Teaching of the Psalms
9. The Ethics of the Psalms
10. Body Idioms and the Psalms
11, Torah-Meditation and the Psalms: The Invitation of Psalm 1

D. The Psalms and Interpretative Traditions
12. The Structure of the Psalter
13. Qumran and the Psalms
14. The Evangelists and the Psalms
15. The Targum of Psalms

1. Index of Form-Critical Categorizations
2. Index of Selective Psalm Commentaries


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Philip S. Johnston is director of studies in theology and religious studies and senior tutor at Hughes Hall, Cambridge. He has taught at Belfast, St. Andrews and Oxford. He has published studies of Israelite afterlife beliefs, and has an interest in Israel past and present--along with a commitment to reconciliation. His other books include Les Psaumes, Interpreting the Psalms (coeditor with David Firth), Shades of Sheol and The Land of Promise (coeditor with Peter Walker).

David G. Firth is tutor in Old Testament at Trinity College, Bristol. He is the author of 1 and 2 Samuel (Apollos Old Testament Commentary), The Message of Joshua, and Including the Stranger, and the coeditor of Interpreting the Psalms, Interpreting Isaiah, Words and the Word, and Presence, Power and Promise.