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Psalms: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching Hardcover – April 1, 1994

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The psalms have been at the center of Christian faith and piety for centuries. Now, one of the foremost interpreters of the psalms explores how they can still claim that place today. In this commentary, James L. Mays sets forth what the psalms say about God, creation, humanity, and the life of faith. Mays proceeds with an awareness that the psalms were originally composed for worship, and so he provides an understanding of the psalms as praise and prayer. Individual psalms are treated in one of two ways: either in a concise, descriptive fashion or in the form of expository essays. Those receiving fuller treatment consist of psalms that are prominent in the practice of worship, those that are used in the New Testament, those that are most important to the theology of the church, and those that shed the most light on the Psalter as a whole. One of the few single-volume commentaries on the Book of Psalms, this commentary should remain a standard reference for pastors and teachers for years to come.

About the Author

James Luther Mays is Cyrus M. McCormick Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and Old Testament Interpretation at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. He was the general editor of the best-selling Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching series, and is author of many books, including Psalms in the Interpretation series and The Lord Reigns: A Theological Handbook to the Psalms.
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Product Details

  • Series: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary
  • Hardcover: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press (April 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080423115X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804231152
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A good commentary is one that gets used.

I have owned this commentary for a few years and after having read several dozen commentaries on the Psalms, I still find Mays consistently trust worthy and useful. Evangelical, Catholic and Orthodox readers should find this commentary palatable and without disappointment.

It is much easier to navigate than say the Word Biblical Commentaries, particularly due to both its brevity and minimized use of academic language. The individual who lacks familiarity with Biblical languages and academic bibliographies will be assuaged with the reader friendly quality of this series. Formal footnotes are lacking, however the commentator will occasionally reference sources within the text.

This is not an academic volume; it is for lay teachers and preachers as indicated on the back cover. If a person is serious about scholarship in the Psalms there is no one single commentary to help you. A good bibliography will then become essential as will access to a theological library.

Nevertheless, Mays is thoughtful and concise about sketching the literary structure, theological points and historical context within the short "essay" style presentations.

The brevity of time spent in each Psalm does not result in shallowness nor bring cause to believe the author had a lack of things to say, but is rather a mark of brilliance in writing and thinking. Subtle marks of scholarship are evident throughout. The author makes frequent reference to Ancient Near Eastern ideas or influences helping create context since most readers will not have this prerequisite knowledge or access to such resources.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
INTREPRETATION Volume on the Psalms is a very well researched and scholastic text. The book explains the nature, theology, and history of the Psalms with clarity. A highly recommended text.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I previously owned a copy of this commentary, that I had purchased while in seminary. I gave that copy away when I believed that I was retiring from active ministry. When it turned out that I returned to active parish ministry and would be doing active teaching, I realized that I needed a replacement, so I bought this one, as a "tested and true" product. It has lived up to my expectations and I have used it several times since it arrived.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent commentary organized with the teacher in mind. The text is thorough, accessible, and edifying.
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By Harry on July 13, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This will be helpful to anyone studying the Psalms.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this book for a class and really liked it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very helpful, interesting, amazing, and educational. A book with deep teaching and preaching to help anyone interesting in the clarity of the word of God.
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