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The Psalms: Strophic Structure and Theological Commentary Volume 2 (Critical Eerdmans Commentary) Paperback – January 1, 2003
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It has a 70-page introduction by Terrien. This looks at historical setting of the ancient Near East, origins of the psalter, growth of the psalter over time, ancient versions and linguistic issues with the text, music and poetic structures, literary genres of different types of psalms, theological considerations, and the relationship of the psalms to the New Testament. Overall this is rather well done, not a great deal of depth on any particular topic (as each could merit an entire book), but a good introduction. That said, there are generous footnotes and extensive bibliographic information for further study.
`The Psalter is unique in the history of Jewish and Christian spirituality. For twenty-five centuries it has been sung, chanted, recited, read, translated, and annotated by adherents of Judaism, and for two millennia by the disciples of Jesus Christ, more often and with more alacrity than any other collection of sacred canticles.'
The Psalms provide a seed-bed for inspiration and spirituality for many, if not most, Christians and Jews. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other prominent Christian thinkers worshiped using the Psalms; Maimonides and Jewish communities of the Ashkenazic and Sephardic persuasions worshiped using the Psalms. They are of a literary heritage that dates even farther back than the 2500 years of their own existence; their echoes fall back as much as 1500 farther back to ancient Sumerian and Akkadian hymns.Read more ›
Why is this long period of engagement with hermeneutical approaches important to readers of this commentary? Well, so often scholarship can be coloured by either a resistance to change, or the opposite problem, of a grasping after the latest fad. Terrien is well-placed to offer insightful wisdom on the merits of psalms interpretive paradigms, both old and new.
So often in biblical commentaries, the obligatory introduction, can be a bland rehearsal of the expected topics, but this is not the case here. Terrien’s introduction is detailed enough, and yet also concise and fresh enough, to allow the reader to quickly orient themselves on both the Psalms and Terrien’s approach to them.Read more ›