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Discovering Psalms: Content, Interpretation, Reception

Discovering Psalms: Content, Interpretation, Reception

by Jerome F D Creach


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This compact introduction to the interpretation of the book of Psalms encourages in-depth study of the text and genuine grappling with related theological and historical questions by providing a critical assessment of key interpreters and interpretative debates. It draws on a range of methodological approaches (author-, text-, and reader-centered) and reflects the growing scholarly attention to the reception history of biblical texts, increasingly viewed as a vital aspect of interpretation rather than an optional extra.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802878069
Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date: 09/24/2020
Series: Discovering Biblical Texts (DBT) Series
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 961,517
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Jerome F. D. Creach is the Robert C. Holland Professor of Old Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xii

Abbreviations xiv

Introduction: The role of the Psalms in the life of the Church 1

The nature and purpose of this book 5

A preview of the book 7

Part 1 Issues in Reading the Psalms and the Psalter

1 What is a psalm? 11

Titles for the book 11

How many psalms? 13

Anatomy of a psalm 14

Collections and clusters of psalms 22

The structure of the book 24

2 It's poetry! 28

What is poetry and why is it important? 28

Important terms 31

What makes the Psalms poetry? 32

3 Did David write the Psalms? 48

Claims of Davidic authorship 48

Questioning David as author of the Psalms 52

Psalm 72 as turning point in Davidic authorship 54

Figurative readings of David in the Psalms 55

If not David, then who? 56

Recovering David in the Psalms 58

4 A psalm for every occasion: types of psalms 61

Psalms study in the twentieth century 61

Hermann Gunkel and the rise of form criticism 63

Types of psalms 64

Conclusion 79

5 Settings for performance of the Psalms 80

Cultic setting of the Psalms 80

Imagining the Psalms in worship 87

Specific theories of cultic settings 92

Re-use of cultic psalms 96

Part 2 Reading the Psalms Together

6 Going by the book: the Psalter as a guide to reading the psalms 101

Signs of coherence 103

Going further: the theological shape of the Psalter 105

Conclusion 119

7 The theology of the Psalms, Part 1: The Lord reigns!' 120

God's kingship as the centre of the Psalms 121

Administration of the LORD'S reign 128

8 The theology of the Psalms, Part 2: What is the human being? 135

One who trusts 137

Right behaviour: Psalms 15 and 24 141

David as righteous 144

Part 3 The Psalms as Prayers

9 The tradition of psalmic prayer, Part 1: Opening fully to God 149

Neglect of the. Psalms in Christian prayer 150

The nature of psalmic prayer: out of the depths 152

The identity of those who pray the Psalms 155

The elements of psalmic prayer 158

A broader identity in prayer 162

Conclusion 164

10 The tradition of psalmic prayer, Part 2: Psalms that pray for vengeance 165

Why do we need prayers of vengeance? 166

Guidelines for praying psalms of vengeance 167

Three 'model' prayers 168

The imprecatory psalms and the meaning of 'vengeance' 179

Conclusion: The Psalms and Jesus Christ 183

Jesus' identity as Son of God and Messiah 184

Baptism, Transfiguration and trial 184

Suffering and death 186

Resurrection of the 'son of David' 188

Works cited 190

Copyright acknowledgements 199

Index of Scripture references and ancient authors 201

Index of modern authors 209

Index of subjects 211

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