How to Read the Psalms
The Psalms possess an enduring fascination for us. For frankness, directness, intensity and intimacy, they are unrivaled in all of Scripture. Somehow the psalmists seem to have anticipated all our awe, desires and frustrations. No wonder Christians have used the Psalms in worship from the earliest times to the present.
Yet the Psalms cause us difficulties when we look at them closely. Their poetry is unfamiliar in form. Many images they use are foreign to us today. And the psalmists sometimes express thoughts that seem unworthy of Scripture.
Tremper Longman gives us the kind of help we need to overcome the distance between the psalmists’ world and ours. He explains the various kinds of psalms, the way they were used in Hebrew worship and their relationship to the rest of the Old Testament. Then he looks at how Christians can appropriate their message and insights today. Turning to the art of Old Testament poetry, he explains the use of parallelism and imagery.
Step-by-step suggestions for interpretating the psalms on our own are followed by exercises for further study and reflection. Also included is a helpful guide to commentaries on the Psalms.
Here is a book for all those who long to better understand these mirrors of the soul.
Required FLBC textbook for Poetical Books course taught by Dr. Nathan Olson, Professor of New Testament and Systematic Theology.
You will need either this or How To Read Proverbs.