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The Psalms-the longest and most complex book in the Bible-is a varied collection of religious poetry, the product of centuries of composition and revision. It is the most transcribed and translated book of the Hebrew Bible. Intended for both scholar and student, The Oxford Handbook of thePsalms features a diverse array of essays that treat the Psalms from a variety of perspectives. Beginning with an overview of the Psalms that touches on the history of scholarship and interpretation, the volume goes on to explore the Psalms as a form of literature and a source of creative inspiration, an artifact whose origins remain speculative, a generative presence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and a still-current text that continues to be read and appropriated in various ways. Classical scholarship and traditional approaches as well as contextual interpretations and practices are well represented. The Handbook's coverage is uniquely wide-ranging, covering everything from the ancient Near Eastern background of the Psalms to contemporary liturgical usage. This volume offers a dynamic introduction into an increasingly complex field and will be an indispensable resource for all students of the Psalms.
William P. Brown is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. Bill has also taught at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond and at Emory University. He is the author of several books and numerous essays in biblical studies, including The Seven Pillars of Creation: The Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder, Seeing the Psalms: A Theology of Metaphor, and Psalms.
Table of Contents
Preface Abbreviations List of Contributors
1. The Psalms: An Overview - William P. Brown
Part I. Ancient Near Eastern Backgrounds 2. Mesopotamian Parallels to the Psalms - Anna Elise Zernecke 3. Canaanite Backgrounds to the Psalms - Mark S. Smith 4. Egyptian Backgrounds to the Psalms - Bernd U. Schipper
Part II. Language of the Psalms 5. Poetry of the Psalms - F. W. Dobbs-Allsopp 6. The Psalms in Poetry - Peter S. Hawkins 7. Language of Lament in the Psalms - Carleen Mandolfo 8. Praise and Metonymy in the Psalms - Travis J. Bott 9. Wisdom Language in the Psalms - Diane Jacobson
Part III. Translating Psalms 10. The Aramaic Psalter - David M. Stec 11. The Septuagint Psalter - Joachim Schaper 12. Jerome's Psalters - Scott Goins
Part IV. Composition of the Psalms 13. The Levites and the Editorial Composition of the Psalms - Susan E. Gillingham 14. On the Ordering of Psalms as Demonstrated by Psalms 136-150 - Yair Zakovitch 15. Unrolling the Dead Sea Psalms Scrolls - Peter W. Flint
Part V. History of Interpretation and Reception: A Sampling 16. Some Aspects of Traditional Jewish Psalms Interpretation - Alan Cooper 17. Psalms in the New Testament - Stephen P. Ahearne-Kroll 18. Psalms in the Qur'an and in the Islamic Religious Imagination - Walid A. Saleh 19. Reception of the Psalms: The Example of Psalm 91 - Brennan Breed
Part VI. Interpretive Approaches 20. Psalms and the Question of Genre - William H. Bellinger, Jr. 21. Psalms of the Temple - Richard J. Clifford 22. Non-Temple Psalms: The Cultic Setting Revisited - Erhard S. Gerstenberger 23. The Shape and Shaping of the Psalter: Psalms in their Literary Context - J. Clinton McCann, Jr. 24. The Meta-Narrative of the Psalter - Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford 25. Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Psalms - Joel M. LeMon 26. Rhetoric of the Psalms - Robert L. Foster 27. Poetic Attachment: Psychology, Psycholinguistics, and the Psalms - Brent A. Strawn 28. Feminist Interpretation of the Psalms - Melody D. Knowles 29. Kingship in the Book of Psalms - Norman K. Gottwald
Part VII. Culturally Based Interpretations 30. Singing a Subversive Song: Psalm 137 and "Colored Pompey" - Rodney S. Sadler, Jr. 31. Rising from Generation to Generation: Lament, Hope, Home, and Dream - John J. Ahn 32. Psalms in Latin America - Edesio Sanchez
Part VIII. Theologies of the Psalms 33. Jewish Theology of the Psalms - Marc Zvi Brettler 34. Christian Theology of the Psalms - Rolf A. Jacobson
Part IX. Anthropologies of the Psalms 35. On "Being Human" in the Psalms - Walter Brueggemann 36. The Righteous and the Wicked - Jerome F. D. Creach
Part X. Practicing the Psalms 37. The Psalms in Christian Worship - Kimberly Bracken Long 38. Preaching Psalms - Thomas G. Long 39. Singing the Psalms - Michael Morgan 40. Psalms as Resources for Pastoral Care - Carol L. Schnabl Schweitzer 41. The Psalms: A Monastic Perspective - Edmée Kingsmill SLG 42. Ecological Use of the Psalms - David Rensberger
Appendix I "Apocryphal" Psalms in the Psalms Scrolls and in Texts Incorporating Psalms - Peter W. Flint Appendix II Contents of the Psalms Scrolls and Related Manuscripts - Peter W. Flint