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How to Read the Psalms (How to Read Series) Paperback – July 20, 1988


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Product Details

  • Series: How to Read Series
  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (July 20, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877849412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877849414
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He is also Visiting Professor of Old Testament at Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and adjunct of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He lectures regularly at Regent College in Vancouver and the Canadian Theological Seminary in Calgary. Longman is the author or coauthor of over twenty books, including How to Read Genesis, How to Read the Psalms, How to Read Proverbs, Literary Approaches to Biblical Interpretation, Old Testament Essentials and coeditor of A Complete Literary Guide to the Bible. He and Dan Allender have coauthored Bold Love, Cry of the Soul, Intimate Allies, The Intimate Mystery and the Intimate Marriage Bible studies.

More About the Author

Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies and the chair of the Religious Studies department at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, where he lives with his wife, Alice. He is the Old Testament editor for the revised Expositor's Bible Commentary and has authored many articles and books on the Psalms and other Old Testament books.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
I believe that this book is a good tool to help one understand the Psalms. It is easy to read and it uses language that the common man can understand. I like how the book starts off with showing how the Psalms fit in the Bible. I like how it explains them as a mini Bible in itself. I think that Longman does a good job explaining the different types of psalms that are in the book of Psalms. I like the way that Longman explained parallelism and the other elements of poetry that are visible. I was always afraid of poetry and all the different things that it included but it makes more sense. It is very good for Longman to provide some psalms in the back and give an example of what he just wrote about in his book. It makes it easier to understand when there is an example provided. At the end of each chapter it also provides a psalm study of things that were just explained in the chapter. This helps the reader practice what they are learning and I think that that is a good idea. I think that the author did a good job of showing how the psalms relate to the common man. He showed how people could use them to worship and how they can learn from them. Longman did a good job of getting his purpose across and helping one to read the Psalms better.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Brian G Hedges on November 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How to Read the Psalms by Tremper Longman III is a helpful and accessible guide for pastors, students, and lay persons desiring to study the Psalms. The book, divided into three parts, begins with an invitation to study the Psalms. Recalling Calvin's words that the Psalms are "an anatomy of all the parts of the soul," Longman urges us to read the Psalms, because they "appeal to the whole person . . . they inform our intellect, arouse our emotions, direct our wills, and stimulate our imaginations."

Part one of the book focuses on "The Psalms Then and Now." The first chapter discusses the genres of the Psalms, dividing the psalms into seven types: the hymn, the lament, thanksgiving psalms, psalms of confidence, psalms of remembrance, wisdom psalms, and kingship (or royal) psalms. Chapter two examines the origin, development and use of the Psalms, including some helpful reflection on the titles, authorship, and historical events behind some of the psalms. Chapter three investigates key Old Testament themes (covenant, law, kingship, blessing and curse, forgiveness etc.) with the assertion that the Psalms are "the heart of the Old Testament," a "microcosm" of the Old Testament's message and theology. Chapter four, on the other hand, focuses on "a Christian reading of the Psalms," thoughtfully exploring how the Psalms relate to Jesus. Longman concludes, that "two errors need to be avoided. The first is that we neglect a psalm's original setting . . . the second . . . is to miss the anticipation, the expectation of the Psalms." The fifth chapter is my favorite: "The Psalms: Mirror of the Soul." In this chapter, Longman discusses how the Psalms function in our lives to inform our intellect, arouse our emotions, and direct our wills.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By michael warnock on October 18, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me by a theology professor who has yet to steer me wrong in his assessments of informative reading, based on my less than advanced study of scripture. Longman disects the Psalter as no commentary does. The various genres and purposes (uses) of the Psalms are explained in an easy to understand fashion similar to his "Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind". He concludes each chapter with a short exercise and list of recommended readings specific to that chapter. Acknowledged as an elementary how-to-understand guidebook on the Psalms it is, nevertheless unparalled for its informative content. Combined with Derek Kidner's commentaries, I have found new blessings in the often misunderstood and overlooked Book of Psalms.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Biblio Phile on July 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How to Read the Psalms (How to Read Series)

Tremper Long is a great teacher. Perhaps you already know that Halleluyah, or Hallelu Yah(weh) means Praise the Lord in Hebrew. It' a tidbit that makes this How To book ever so readable.

If Psalms is your favorite book of the Bible, read "How to Read the Psalms" in order to gain greater appreciation for them.

If unfamiliar with most of the Psalms read "How to Read the Psalms" in order to gain appreciation for the book in the middle of the Bible, which is referenced -everywhere--more than any other in the Bible.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on August 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`How to Read the Psalms' by Professor of Biblical Studies, Tremper Longman III is possibly just a bit misnamed, in that it is may be more properly be called `How to Study the Psalms' or `How to Understand the Psalms'. With that and one other minor caveat, I consider this a superior book for introducing lay Bible readers to one of the most important books of the Old Testament. I devalue the book's proper title only because it does not mention the classic `lectio divina' method of reading scripture, which is more appropriate to the Psalms than to virtually any other book of either Testament.
I repeat the fact that this is a book for lay readers. It is fine for solitary reading, but with its exercises and references, it is also excellent for a lay Bible study class of between 10 and 12 weeks or over a two week period as an `Adult Vacation Bible School'.
The book is divided into three parts, dealing with 1) the Psalms' genres, how they were used in their original settings, and how they may be used today; 2) the poetic elements of the Psalms, primarily their use of parallelism and imagery (metaphor and simile); and a study of three basically different types of Psalms.
While this is a book for lay readers, it makes very few compromises. It is not a `Psalms for Dummies'. Often, references are made to the difficulties in translating Hebrew words used in the Psalms. For someone just beginning to come to grips with New Testament Greek, this is a challenge; however none of the author's points rely on any knowledge of Hebrew whatsoever.
The author's comments for further reading are excellent, as far as they go for a book published in 1988.
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