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Psalms

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This text introduces the book of Psalms and provides an exposition of each psalm with attention to genre, liturgical connections, societal issues and the psalm's place in the book of Psalms as a whole. The treatments of the psalms feature a close look at particular issues raised by the text and the encounters between the world of the psalm and the world of contemporary rea This text introduces the book of Psalms and provides an exposition of each psalm with attention to genre, liturgical connections, societal issues and the psalm's place in the book of Psalms as a whole. The treatments of the psalms feature a close look at particular issues raised by the text and the encounters between the world of the psalm and the world of contemporary readers. The exposition of each psalm provides a reader's guide to the text in conversation with relevant theological issues.


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This text introduces the book of Psalms and provides an exposition of each psalm with attention to genre, liturgical connections, societal issues and the psalm's place in the book of Psalms as a whole. The treatments of the psalms feature a close look at particular issues raised by the text and the encounters between the world of the psalm and the world of contemporary rea This text introduces the book of Psalms and provides an exposition of each psalm with attention to genre, liturgical connections, societal issues and the psalm's place in the book of Psalms as a whole. The treatments of the psalms feature a close look at particular issues raised by the text and the encounters between the world of the psalm and the world of contemporary readers. The exposition of each psalm provides a reader's guide to the text in conversation with relevant theological issues.

30 review for Psalms

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andy Hickman

    “Psalms (New Cambridge Bible Commentary)” by Walter Brueggemann, William H. Bellinger Jr. Much clunkier than Brueggemann’s other works on Psalms, most likely because this book was a collaboration. *** PSALMS: THE RHYTHM OF LIFE AS ORIENTATION, DISORIENTATION, REORIENTATION The basic movement in everyone’s life is: • Firstly the move “into the pit”, when our world collapses around us • Secondly the move “out of the pit” into a welcome place Walter Brueggemann suggests that our life consists of moving w “Psalms (New Cambridge Bible Commentary)” by Walter Brueggemann, William H. Bellinger Jr. Much clunkier than Brueggemann’s other works on Psalms, most likely because this book was a collaboration. *** PSALMS: THE RHYTHM OF LIFE AS ORIENTATION, DISORIENTATION, REORIENTATION The basic movement in everyone’s life is: • Firstly the move “into the pit”, when our world collapses around us • Secondly the move “out of the pit” into a welcome place Walter Brueggemann suggests that our life consists of moving with God in terms of: • being securely oriented - in which everything makes sense in our lives; • being painfully disoriented - in which we feel we have sunk into the pit; and • being surprisingly reoriented - in which we realize that God has lifted us out of the pit, and we are in a new place full of gratitude and awareness about our lives and our God Brueggemann says that the Psalms offer a framework for engaging God First Movement- Orientation • Songs of Creation – God’s gifts (Ps 8, 33, 104, 145) • Songs of Torah - God’s purposes (Ps 1, 15, 19, 24, 119) • Songs of Wisdom – God’s certainty (Ps 14, 37) • Songs of Well-Being - God’s goodness (Ps 131, 133) Second Movement- Disorientation • Songs of Personal Complaint (Ps 13, 35, 86) • Songs of Communal Complaint (Ps 74, 79, 137) Third Movement: Re-Orientation • Personal Thanksgivings- God’s rescue (Ps 30, 34, 40, 138) • Communal Thanksgivings- God’s salvation (Ps 65, 66, 124, 129) • Kingly psalms – God’s leadership (Ps 29, 47, 93, 97, 98, 99, 114) • Hymns of praise – God’s newness (Ps 100, 103, 113, 117, 135, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150) Psalms are for people who are living at the edge of their lives, sensitive to the raw hurts, the primitive passions, and the naive elations that are at the bottom of our life. For most of us, liturgical or devotional entry into the Psalms requires a real change of pace, to listen as well as speak. It asks us to depart from the closely managed world of public survival, to move into the open, frightening, healing world of speech with the Holy One. The speech of the Psalms is abrasive, revolutionary, and dangerous. It announces that our common experience is not one of well-being and equilibrium, but a churning, disruptive experience of dislocation and relocation. These Psalms are a sufficient resource to enable robust faith and provides a model in which we may challenge established consensus, raise true and hard questions about theology and society, and emerge with a truer picture of the nature of God and society. PSALMS AS SPIRITUALITY This movement is most clearly played out in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. For example Philippians 2:5-11 Orientation: “Though He was in the form of God…” Disorientation: “He emptied himself.” Re-Orientation: “Therefore, God has highly exalted him…” We see this in Christian baptism “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4 (NIV) “Sharing in his death by our baptism means that we were co-buried and entombed with him, so that when the Father’s glory raised Christ from the dead, we were also raised with him. We have been co-resurrected with him so that we could be empowered to walk in the freshness of new life.” Romans 6:4 (TPT) The psalms of negativity, the complaints of various kinds, the cries for vengeance and profound penitence are foundational to a life of faith in this particular God.” (W.B. SofP, page xii). Hope is rooted in the midst of loss and darkness. The Psalms are profoundly subversive of the dominant culture, which wants to deny and cover over the darkness we are called to enter. PSALMS AS SEASONS OF LIFE Human life consists of: Satisfied seasons of well-being that evoke gratitude for the constancy of blessing (orientation) Anguished seasons of hurt, alienation, suffering and death. These evoke rage, resentment, self-pity, and hatred (disorientation) Surprise when we are overwhelmed with the new gifts of God, when joy breaks through despair. Where there has been only darkness, there is light. From nomos (order) to anomie (chaos). From plea to praise, and the kingly psalms are further emphasised in Mark 1:14-15; Luke 4:18-19; 7:22; Matthew 6:10. To preach that ‘everything is awesome’ is not true because life is marked by incoherence and loss of balance. Christian praise songs about God’s order and reliability are at best only partly true. It is not faith or defiance of the devil or resistance to secular worldliness, but a frightened numb denial and deception that doesn’t want to acknowledge, admit or experience the savage disorientation of life. It is an odd inclination for passionate Bible users because the large portion of Hebrew Scriptures are liturgies of lament, poems of protest and cries of complaint about the angst in the world. I think religious people dismiss lament as negativity as if that is ‘unfaith’ and implies God’s loss of control. To cling to an insistence that everything is in order and rightly orientated is to completely miss the point of Jesus’ life, betrayal, murder and resurrection. “I must be betrayed and handed over to death.” But his disciples implored him to not go that way, unable to cope with such a threat to our sense of sage, assured orientation. Jesus gave his sharpest rebuke to his friends who tried to stop the process (Matthew 16:21-26). It is re-orientation that Jesus is leading them to. It is being lead from the green pastures to descent into the valley of the shadow of death in order to ascend and enter the house of the Lord (Psalm 23). Similarly, on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24: “(v17) They stood still, with sadness on their faces… (v21) ‘But we were hoping He was the One..’ (v25) Then Jesus said to them, “O foolish ones, how slow are your hearts to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then to enter His glory?” The point I am making is that psalms of darkness are not failures but acts of bold faith. Bold because it exposes pretend superficiality to acknowledge reality, and bold because it insists that disorder is something that we can actually talk to God about. Nothing is out-of-bounds or inappropriate to say to God. Here’s the deal: everything we experience can and must be turned into speech and addressed to God. This is why psalms of darkness are crucial because God is present in, participating in, and attentive to darkness, weakness and displacement. After all, the Saviour is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). A religion of secure orientation is terrified by the honest, even visceral, speech that it has always censored, denied and forcibly quenched, because it offends proper and dignified religious sensitivities. But when a desperate plea is addressed to God (in the form of complaint, petition and unguarded language) the divine breakthrough comes and the plea is then transformed into praises of assurance of being heard, new vows and promises made, and expressions of adoration.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ethan

    A thorough but approachable commentary on Psalms. After introducing the Psalter, the authors provide the NRSV translation and comment on each Psalm. The commentary aspects provide a basic idea of what each individual psalm is about, some of its history or the history of interpretation, and similar matters. For most Psalms there are additional thoughts provided to explore more deeply or to consider applications: short discussions of theology, use in Christendom, connections with other Psalms, and A thorough but approachable commentary on Psalms. After introducing the Psalter, the authors provide the NRSV translation and comment on each Psalm. The commentary aspects provide a basic idea of what each individual psalm is about, some of its history or the history of interpretation, and similar matters. For most Psalms there are additional thoughts provided to explore more deeply or to consider applications: short discussions of theology, use in Christendom, connections with other Psalms, and many of the thoughts on the Psalms that one could expect to hear especially from Brueggemann. A forthright commentary that primarily attempts to make the best sense of the Psalms as can be done in context with good theological considerations and applications. Highly recommended when studying Psalms.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrew McNeely

    This is a really insightful commentary by two well-known biblical scholars. History, psychology, theology, philosophy, science - it’s all in here.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paul Newbould

    An excellent commentary. Readable, theological yet devotional. It enhances my devotional prayer/ reading of psalms.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  6. 4 out of 5

    Verner Drost

  7. 5 out of 5

    Domenic A Ciraulo MD

  8. 5 out of 5

    Philip Worrall

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dale Schaeffer

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

  12. 4 out of 5

    Philip Barbier

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pastordiana Brevan

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mwangi Muchiri

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ray Calvert

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rusty Bullerman

  17. 4 out of 5

    Todd Eldred

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jamey Yadon

  19. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brian Fraser

  21. 4 out of 5

    David

  22. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Sutter

  23. 5 out of 5

    Loren

  24. 5 out of 5

    Garby Elmore

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth P

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Flaherty

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aaron and Megan Massey

  28. 4 out of 5

    Steve Farson

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kat Armstrong

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Molock

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