The psalms are masterful poems that echo the tenors of community life and worship as they project the scope of the human drama from lament to praise. They chart a profound and vital relationship with God, with al the ups and downs that this relationship implies. Konrad Schaefer's concise commentary on the psalms relates their poetic elements while respecting their historical context and traditional use in the liturgy and, more importantly, their ultimate value as a springboard to private and communal prayer. In Psalms, Schaefer focuses on the structure of each psalm, its dramatic plot, the modes of discourse, the rhetorical features, and the effective use of imagery to portray theology and the spiritual life. Schaefer portrays each poem's inner dynamic to acquaint readers with the poet and the community which prayed and preserved the composition, allowing the believer to transpose it in the contemporary situation. Psalms is for those who would like to pray the psalms with more intensity of meaning; for those willing to touch the biblical world and taste of its fruit in the Word of God; and for devoted readers of the Bible to become more expert as it helps experts become more devoted. Chapters are Introduction," "Book One (Psalms 1-41)," "Book Two (Psalms 42-72)," "Book Three (Psalms 73-89)," "Book Four (Psalms 90-106)," and "Book Five (Psalms 107-150)." Konrad Schaefer, OSB, SSD, is a monk of Mount Angel Abbey, Oregon. He currently teaches at Our Lady of Angels in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Focusing on a dozen psalms, J. Clint McCann Jr. leads readers through some of the church's favorite psalms as well as some lesser-known gems. Each chapter lets the reader understand the original meaning of the psalm and considers ways that our life of faith today can be enriched through these scriptural treasures. McCann is an international expert on the Psalms, and here he presents his insights with a passion for the church and its life today. This book contains study questions for group or individual use.
There is generally no common material that binds together the works of the individual prophets that comprise the Twelve, but through Sweeney's commentary they stand together as a single, clearly defined book among the other prophetic books of the Bible. The Book of the Twelve Prophets is a multifaceted literary composition that functions simultaneously in al Jewish and Christian versions of the Bible as a single prophetic book and as a collection of twelve individual prophetic books. Each of the twelve individual books - Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi - begins with its own narrative introduction that identifies the prophet and provides details concerning the historical setting and literary characteristics. In this manner each book is clearly distinguished from the others within the overall framework of the Twelve. By employing a combination of literary methodologies, such as reader response criticism, canonical criticism, and structural form criticism, Sweeney establishes the literary structure of the Book of the Twelve as a whole, and of each book with their respective ideological or theological perspectives. An introductory chapter orients readers to questions posed by reading the Book of the Twelve as a coherent piece of literature and to a literary overview of the Twelve. Sweeney then treats each of the twelve individual prophetic books in the order of the Masoretic canon, providing a discussion of each one's structure, theme, and outlook. This is followed by a detailed literary discussion of the textual units that comprise the book. Marvin A. Sweeney is professor of Hebrew Bible at the school of theology at Claremont and professor of religion at the Claremont Graduate School.
Romans 1:18–2:11 and the Substructure of Psalm 106(105)
Author: Alec J. Lucas
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
This study proposes that both constitutively and rhetorically (through ironic, inferential, and indirect application), Ps 106(105) serves as the substructure for Paul’s argumentation in Rom 1:18–2:11. Constitutively, Rom 1:18–32 hinges on the triadic interplay between “they (ex)changed” and “God gave them over,” an interplay that creates a sin–retribution sequence with an a-ba-ba-b pattern. Both elements of this pattern derive from Ps 106(105):20, 41a respectively. Rhetorically, Paul ironically applies the psalmic language of idolatrous “(ex)change” and God’s subsequent “giving-over” to Gentiles. Aiding this ironic application is that Paul has cast his argument in the mold of Hellenistic Jewish polemic against Gentile idolatry and immorality, similar to Wis 13–15. In Rom 2:1–4, however, Paul inferentially incorporates a hypocritical Jewish interlocutor into the preceding sequence through the charge of doing the “same,” a charge that recalls Israel’s sins recounted in Ps 106(105). This incorporation then gives way to an indirect application of Ps 106(105):23, by means of an allusion to Deut 9–10 in Rom 2:5–11. Secondarily, this study suggests that Paul’s argumentation exploits an intra-Jewish debate in which evocations of the golden calf figured prominently.
The last chapters of the book of Isaiah offer a vision of new hope at the dawn of the postexilic period. The dense and complex imagery of light, espousal, and victory gives expression to the joyful reality of a return to Jerusalem and to the as-yet-unrealized dreams of rebuilding and repopulating what has been laid to waste. Trito-Isaiah's proclamation of God's salvation or victory appears both as a brilliant light and a terrible darkness in these chapters. For while Yahweh's triumph means rejoicing for his righteous servants, it portends unspeakable horror for those who rebel against him. Far from a remotely related appendix tacked on to the prophetic text, Niskanen examines Isaiah 56–66 within the broader context of the entire book of Isaiah, revealing the stylistic and thematic connections between these and earlier chapters and the significance of the poetical structures and imagery employed in Isaiah 56–66.
There be dragons all over the Bible. From the great sea monsters of Genesis to the great dragon of Revelation, dragons appear as the Bible opens and closes, and they pop their grisly heads up at various junctures in between. How did they get there and what on earth (or indeed in heaven) are they doing there? This is a book for those who find standard discussions of faith and suffering frustrating. Andy Angel opens up the rich biblical tradition of living with God in the midst of suffering. He takes the reader on a journey of exploration through biblical texts that are often overlooked on account of their strangeness--texts about dragons. He shows how these peculiar passages open up a language of prayer through suffering in which people share their anger, weariness, disillusionment, and even joy in suffering with God. Angel explores how such weird Scriptures open up a whole new way of praying and reveal a God who approves of honest spirituality, a spirituality that the Bible holds open but too many of its interpreters do not.
A Close Reading and Intertextual Analysis of Selected Exodus Psalms
Author: David Emanuel
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
A cursory glance through the Psalter reveals numerous allusions to events in Israel's literary history. While a range of literary and oral sources were obviously available to psalmists, the relationships between these sources and the psalmists' final work are more obscure. Concerning these relationships, numerous questions remain unanswered: • How strictly did the psalmists replicate their sources? • What kinds of alterations did they make (additions, omissions, etc.)? • Did they alter the meaning of their sources in their own compositions? Departing from the more classical approaches to researching the psalms--engaging in the determination of Sitz im Leben and Gattungen--this intertextual study addresses the aforementioned issues by focusing on a group of psalms associated with Israel's exodus tradition (105, 106, 135, and 136). Through a detailed comparison of lexical correspondences between the psalms and other biblical texts, together with a relative dating of each psalm, the study identifies literary sources employed by the psalmists. It additionally includes a close reading of each psalm to establish the unity and meaning of each composition. Emanuel then analyzes and categorizes lexical variances between each psalm and its sources, providing potential explanations for alterations found between the two, and revealing how the psalmists reinterpreted their biblical sources.
This is the first of a two-volume bible commentary covering the Psalms and examining the role of these biblical poems throughout Jewish and Christian history. Provides a fascinating introduction to the literary, historical, and theological background of psalmody Examines the psalms through liturgy and prayer, study and preaching, translation and imitation, and musical composition and artistic illustration Includes illustrations of significant psalms, helpful maps, and an extensive bibliography; an expanded bibliography to accompany the book is also available at www.wiley.com/go/gillingham A forthcoming second volume is planned, which will take an alternative psalm-by-psalm approach Now available in paperback, and published in the innovative reception-history series, Blackwell Bible Commentaries
This valuable resource introduces readers to the Old Testament books of wisdom and poetry--Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs--and helps them better understand each book's overall flow. Estes summarizes some of each book's key issues, offers an exposition of the book that interacts with major commentaries and recent studies, and concludes with an extensive bibliography. Now in paperback.