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Reading the Psalms Theologically

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The Psalms as Christian Scripture

Reading the Psalms Theologically presents rich biblical-theological studies on the Psalter. The essays interpret the Psalms as a carefully-composed book. Each study focuses on a biblical or theological topic, drawing insights from past interpreters and current scholarship.

Contributors include David M. Howard, Michael K. Snearly, Peter C. W. Ho, James M. Hamilton, David “Gunner” Gunderson, Seth D. Postell, Jill Firth, C. Hassell Bullock, May Young, Rolf A. Jacobson, Philip S. Johnston, Daniel J. Estes, Ryan J. Cook, Jamie A. Grant, Andrew J. Schmutzer, J. Clinton McCann, Jerome Skinner, J. Nathan Clayton, and David C. Mitchell.

Praise for Reading the Psalms Theologically

This collection of discerning studies is a most welcome offer. The scholar-authors are well versed in form critical study, and in the historical, cultural contexts of the Psalms. But they do not linger there. They boldly move beyond such conventional research questions to consider important and insistent theological issues that hover all around the Psalter. In moving in this direction, these scholars are faithful to the Psalter itself, for surely the framers and early users of the Psalter were focused on matters that pertained to real life. This collection will be an important reference point for future study.

—Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

Reading the Bible Theologically reflects on the significance of the Psalms as a book and explores issues like the laments and suffering, divine sovereignty and presence, as well as the nations and the gods. This book will deepen your understanding of the book of Psalms as well as God himself. I enthusiastically recommend this collection of essays for all serious students of this important biblical book.

—Tremper Longman III, Distinguished Scholar and Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

I commend this book to all who have enjoyed the Psalms over the years but have found little help thus far on the subject of what really unifies the message and theology found in these 150 psalms.

—Walt Kaiser

Studies in Scripture and Biblical Theology

Studies in Scripture and Biblical Theology is a peer-reviewed series of contemporary monographs exploring key topics and issues in biblical studies and biblical theology from an evangelical perspective.

Learn more about the other titles in this series.

  • Reading the Psalter as a Unified Book: Recent Trends by David M. Howard Jr. and Michael K. Snearly
  • The Macrostructural Design and Logic of the Psalter: An Unfurling of the Davidic Covenant by Peter C. W. Ho
  • David’s Biblical Theology and Typology in the Psalms: Authorial Intent and Patterns of the Seed of Promise by James M. Hamilton Jr.
  • A Story in the Psalms? Narrative Structure at the “Seams” of the Psalter’s Five Books by David “Gunner” Gundersen
  • Does the Book of Psalms Present a Divine Messiah? by Seth D. Postell
  • The Suffering Servant in Book V of the Psalter by Jill Firth
  • Excavating the “Fossil Record” of a Metaphor: The Use of the Verb nasa’ as “to forgive” in the Psalter by C. Hassell Bullock
  • The Art of Lament in Lamentations by May Young
  • The Psalms of Lament and the Theology of the Cross by Rolf A. Jacobson
  • “In Sheol, Who Can Give You Praise?” Death in the Psalms by Philip S. Johnston
  • Psalm 32: More Accurately a Declarative Praise than Penitential Psalm by Daniel J. Estes
  • Theology of the Nations in the Book of Psalms by Ryan J. Cook
  • Psalm 87 and the Promise of Inclusion by Jamie A. Grant
  • Yahweh Among the Gods: The Trial for Justice in Psalm 82 by Andrew J. Schmutzer
  • Reclaiming Divine Sovereignty in the Anthropocene: Psalms 93–100 and the Convergence of Theology and Ecology by J. Clinton McCann Jr.
  • A Theology of Glory: Divine Sanctum and Service in the Psalter by Jerome Skinner
  • Perceptions of Divine Presence in the Levitical Psalms of Book II: The Paradox of Distance and Proximity by J. Nathan Clayton
  • Psalm 110, Jesus, and Melchizedek by David C. Mitchell
  • Title: Reading the Psalms Theologically
  • Editors: David M. Howard Jr. and Andrew J. Schmutzer
  • Series: Studies in Scripture and Biblical Theology
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Pages: 344
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781683596523

David M. Howard Jr. is professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Bethel Seminary. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Structure of Psalms 93-100, and coeditor of The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul.

Andrew J. Schmutzer is professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute and coeditor of The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul.


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  1. Aaron Lee

    Aaron Lee


    Are the Psalms simple poems, or do they carry theological significance? Edited by David M. Howard Jr. & Andrew J. Schumtzer, Reading the Psalms Theologically presents integrative approaches to the Psalter. This book is an academic yet rich biblical-theological study. Deep and Meaningful The 18 chapters in this book are all different essays by an eclectic group of contributors. There are senior, midcareer, and junior scholars from seven different countries represented. They all seek to understand the Psalter in a deeper, more meaningful way. While many of us have our favorite Psalms, it’s easy to lose sight of the book as a whole. This book argues for the interconnectedness of the entire Psalter. Reading the Psalms in this way draws out its critical themes, giving a perspective on David that emphasizes his own understanding of typology, while helping you better understand the individual Psalms themselves as well as how they fit into the whole of Scripture. The Unfurling of the Davidic Covenant Peter C. W. Ho’s essay “The Macrosstructural Design and Logic of the Psalter: An Unfurling of the Davidic Covenant” is a critical entry. His understanding of the Psalter reveals a design that establishes a metanarrative tracing the establishment and fall of the historical Davidic kingship and Zion temple, followed by the reestablishment of the ideal (yet afflicted) Davidic figure and Zion temple built by God’s own hands. The underlying logic of the Psalter is the unfurling of the Davidic covenant, weaved into God’s larger purposes for his chosen people from creation to consummation. It is a fascinating and rather brilliant revelation, and a landmark work in critical biblical studies. James Hamilton Jr. continues builds off of this thought, writing “David’s Biblical Theology and Typology in the Psalms: Authorial Intent and Patterns of the Seed of Promise.” He argues that David understood himself as a type of the One to come. This sheds light on Christ’s use of the Psalms in the New Testament, while highlighting David’s trust in the faithfulness of God. Seeing the Psalms as a Unified Whole The book deviates from the Psalter with an essay by May Young on “The Art of Lament in Lamentations.” The study uses a matrix approach to analyze the correspondence of the literary devices of the acrostic structure, parallelism, enjambment, change in voice, and repetition of lexemes and images. From an attitude of despair to one of greater hope, the message of Lamentations is itself a work of art. Many themes are covered in this book, including a theology of the cross and death in the Psalms, as well as a theology of the nations in the Psalms and the promise of inclusion as revealed in Psalm 87. Seeing these themes emerge in the Psalms was compelling, especially in regards to emphasizing the Psalms as a unified whole. Delight in the Law of the Lord The book ends with a series on Divine Presence and Sovereignty, including a captivating essay by Jerome Skinner on “A Theology of Glory: Divine Sanctum and Service in the Psalter.” He shows that God’s glory is intrinsically linked to sanctuary settings, and this has significance when Jesus reveals himself to the world. This book is an incredible work of academic excellence, and will change the way you read the Psalms and see them as a whole. You will find yourself delighting in the Law of the Lord. I received a media copy of Reading the Psalms Theologically and this is my honest review.


Print list price: $29.99
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