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On the Book of Psalms: Exploring the Prayers of Ancient Israel [Kindle Edition]

Nahum M. Sarna
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.00
Kindle Price: $11.84
You Save: $6.16 (34%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

This book is the result of a lifetime of study of the Hebrew Bible by a mature scholar whose love of the Tanakh, and especially of the Psalter, shines through on every page.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book is the result of a lifetime of study of the Hebrew Bible by a mature scholar whose love of the Tanakh, and especially of the Psalter, shines through on every page. It is a beautiful book written in a poetic style worthy of the psalms themselves."

-- James A. Sanders, Professor of Biblical Studies, The School of Theology at Claremont, and President of the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center

"A towering scholar elucidates not only the scholarly issues involved in the psalms, but also the way these powerful religious texts impart their emotional and spiritual message. Sarna leaves us with a fresh understanding of the Psalter that will inspire Jew and Christian alike."

-- Hershel Shanks, Editor of Bible Review and Biblical Archaeology Review

"The psalms speak to every aspect of the human condition, and are as timely today as when they were first written. Their message comes through with strength and beauty in Nahum Sarna's work."

-- Robert McAfee Brown, Professor Emeritus of Theology and Ethics, Pacific School of Religion


From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

This book is the result of a lifetime of study of the Hebrew Bible by a mature scholar whose love of the Tanakh, and especially of the Psalter, shines through on every page.

Product Details

  • File Size: 584 KB
  • Print Length: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken (December 29, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004G606OY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,455 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
(4)
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars new wine in old bottles August 26, 2002
Format:Paperback
Another reviewer has already described the book's format and brilliance, so I won't do that. But what struck me as unique about this book is how Sarna compares Psalms and pagan equivalents -- that is, how Jews took the old bottles of pagan concepts and figures of speech, but filled them with the new wine of monotheistic theology. For example, Sarna points out that Mesopotamian prayers speak of pagan sun gods as resting at the end of the day, and as a runner traversing heaven and earth. Psalms 19:5-7 similarly describes the sun, but makes it clear that the sun's "running" and "resting" is one of the miracles of God's creation rather than the behavior of an independent sun-god. Reading Sarna, I could almost imagine the lights going on in Hebrew heads as they thought: "Well, it's all very well and good for my sun-worshipping neighbors to say that the sun runs around the sky -- but who created the sun?"
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If it were any better, it would be Scripture July 28, 2001
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Believe it or not, it's hard to find a good commentary on the Book of Psalms. I screen for two things--books that are too "spiritual" and books that are too "Christian" ("Christological," to be more precise). As far as spirituality goes, I feel fully cabable of having my own spiritual or devotional response to the Psalms. I don't need books to tell me how to feel. (One of the truly amazing things about the Psalms is that they evoke different responses every time one reads them.) Nor do I need books that explain away the uglier aspects of the psalms, such as the powerful vengeance motif found in Psalm 137:8,9 ("Happy are those who pay you [Babylon] back for what you have done to us--who take your babies and smash them against a rock.") Similarly, while I enjoy hearing psalms read in church and understand that part of what Christians know and believe about Jesus Christ is based on the way the first Christians read and understood the Psalms, I do not have a compelling need to see every verse of every psalm as a one-way vector pointing to Christ.
Sarna's book consists of a short introduction (20 pages) and commentary on a mere ten psalms (1, 8, 19, 15, 24, 30, 48, 82, 93, and 94). But as limited as this selection is, Sarna is able to introduce us to a good range of biblical themes and to equip us to continue our exploration of the Psalms on our own. Sarna is an excellent biblical scholar and the author of the Genesis and Exodus volumes in the Jewish Publication Society's Torah Commentary Series. He appreciates the psalms as ancient texts that share traits with other writings from the ancient Near East.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the Book of Psalms May 15, 2007
Format:Paperback
I must study ps82.

This book was very good conference.

Thank you.
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4 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars On The Book of Psalms February 18, 2005
By Don
Format:Paperback
The content is likely written by an expert, but provided commentary on only selected portions of the biblical Psalms book. This was admitted to as well by the author - but one must read within the book to see this revealed. For the reason that it did not encompass the entirety of Psalm, the book was a disappointment to me.
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