The Psalter Reclaimed [eBook]
Praying and Praising with the Psalms
Though frequently used in times of crisis or pain, the book of Psalms is often misread or misunderstood, seeming like a disorganized jumble of prayer, praise, and lament. To help readers get more out of the Psalms, renowned Old Testament scholar Gordon Wenham highlights its foundational place for all Christian worship and spiritual formation. This compilation of eight lectures delivered between 1997 and 2010 teaches the practices of singing, reading, and praying the Psalms, paying special attention to the Psalter’s canonical structure, messianic focus, and ethical goal. In drawing on his extensive academic and scholarly experience, Wenham has crafted a guide for discovering afresh the manifold wonders of this beautiful and surprisingly complex portion of the Bible.
Gordon Wenham (PhD, University of London) studied theology at the universities of Cambridge, London, and Harvard, taught Old Testament at Belfast and Gloucestershire Universities, and is now adjunct professor at Trinity College, Bristol. He has also authored a number of critically acclaimed Bible commentaries and books.
“It is hard to imagine a better introduction to the book of Psalms, whether for pastors, seminary students, or general readers. Gordon Wenham, one of the most respected Old Testament scholars of our time, makes a compelling case for the relevance of the psalms for both public and private worship. The Psalter Reclaimed is engagingly written, well informed, practical, and genuinely inspiring.”
—Gordon P. Hugenberger, Senior Minister, Park Street Church, Boston
“We are grateful to Professor Wenham for gathering in one volume many of his special studies on the Psalms, for many the favorite book of the First Testament. The essays included here not only introduce readers to the history of scholarship on the Psalter, but also provide us with hermeneutical guidelines for interpreting the book. And best of all, they make accessible to us its inspiring and transforming message.”
—Daniel I. Block, Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College
“This collection of essays is vintage Gordon Wenham. Taking seriously both the church’s tradition of using the psalms and the possibilities provided by the latest exegesis, he shows us what it means to make use of the Psalter and how this can be done. The result is a rich theological and exegetical brew that nourishes both heart and head.”
—David G. Firth, Lecturer in Old Testament, St John’s College, Nottingham, United Kingdom; author, Hear, O Lord: A Spirituality of the Psalms
“This book’s many virtues make it instructive and refreshing: I appreciate its stress on the psalms’ place in public worship, and the speech-act notion of self-involvement in singing. Wenham also offers helpful arguments for respecting the titles of the psalms. And the creative approach to ‘canonical reading’ allows us to view each psalm both as a composition for public singing and as a part of the canonical book (which may guide our interpretation). I heartily commend this work!”
—C. John Collins, Professor of Old Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary; author, The God of Miracles, Science, and Faith: Friends or Foes?
“As someone who comes from an Asian (Filipino) context, I find it heartwarming to read The Psalter Reclaimed. This book helps those of us in the majority world, where the church continues to grow, by showing us a way of reading the psalms that brings us closer to God.”
—Federico G. Villanueva, Associate Professor and Director of Biblical Studies, Alliance Graduate School, Manila, Philippines; author, It’s OK to Be Not OK: The Message of the Lament Psalms
“The Psalter Reclaimed is an absolute delight! This study takes us on a whirlwind journey through the book of Psalms, hitting all the high points along the way. Themes like the dynamic of singing our theology; reading the Psalms as a book, as prayers, and in the light of Christ; and dealing with the ‘nasty’ psalms are all considered with real exegetical insight and winsomeness. If your desire is to ‘reclaim the Psalter,’ then this is definitely the book for you.”
— Jamie A. Grant, Lecturer in Biblical Studies, Highland Theological College, Dingwall, Scotland; author, The King as Exemplar: The Function of Deuteronomy’s Kingship Law in the Shaping of the Book of Psalms