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The Psalms
An Introduction
POD; Published: 1/22/2001
ISBN: 978-0-8028-0854-7
Price: $ 23.99
200 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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This volume offers one of the best available introductions to the psalms literature of the Bible. Specially designed for use in a wide range of educational settings, James Crenshaw's new book will help beginning students read the psalms with understanding and appreciation.

Part 1 examines the composition and major features of the book of Psalms. Comparisons to other biblical psalms and to deutero- and noncanonical psalms are also made. Part 2 surveys the various approaches to the Psalter, illustrating with great clarity the various modes of interpreting the book. Crenshaw looks in particular at the types of psalms, their social settings, and the historical reconstruction of the Israelite experience, with special attention to ancient Near Eastern iconography. Artistic design and theological editing are also discussed. In Part 3 Crenshaw offers in-depth exegesis of four notable psalms — 24, 71, 73, and 115 — to show how one might fruitfully engage the text.
Hebrew Studies
"Crenshaw has a long record as a highly respected scholar in biblical studies, having published numerous books, articles and studies. An excellent teacher, Crenshaw has written this introduction out of years of teaching the book of Psalms in the classroom. . . . Crenshaw has developed his own approach to the Psalms, and his book would serve well as a textbook. . . . In his survey of the collections in the Psalter and of the psalms outside, Crenshaw gives skillfully written, brief summaries of individual psalms, written in fine English style. The reader could stop at many places for further study and reflection on the psalms summarized."
Internationale Zeitschriftenshau f?r Bibelwissenshaft und Grenzgebiete
"A readable, non-technical introduction. . . . This is a guide book for students and all those who not only love the Psalms, but want to know more about their poetic and theological backgrounds."
Clergy Journal
"A small book that packs a powerful punch. Crenshaw provides an excellent and compact introduction to the Psalms. . . . An ideal textbook for pastors who want to introduce the Psalms for a Sunday school class or other learning settings."
Walter Brueggemann
— Columbia Theological Seminary
"As usual, James Crenshaw has done his homework for this little book. And what homework it is, for he brings to this quite accessible introduction long years of pondering. As a result, an entire tradition of scholarship is on offer for the reader. In addition to presenting all of the 'necessities' of an introduction, the book offers peculiar gifts that only Crenshaw can give. These include his careful sorting of ‘wisdom psalms' and his exposition of specific psalms, most notably Psalm 73. Readers are introduced not only to substantive learning but also to careful method — Crenshaw's signature contribution."
Walter Harrelson
— Vanderbilt Divinity School
"This volume offers a study of the psalms as a collection of prayers and praises, as discrete efforts to plumb the depths of life's meaning, and as a central part of ancient Israel's theological achievement. What a rich and splendid interpretation of a rich and splendid portion of the Bible!"
Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter
"The clear presentation of ideas, the limpid style, and the absence of footnotes make this book a valuable addition to the library of the undergraduate student of any denomination."
Publishers Weekly Religion Bookline
"Crenshaw offers an introductory look at the Psalms and their place in the Bible's wisdom literature in this accessible, well-organized book. . . It's clear that Crenshaw wrote this with his students in mind, because it's an informative and friendly primer.“"
Patrick D. Miller
— Princeton Theological Seminary
"Out of his many years of teaching and studying the book of Psalms, James Crenshaw has given us the fruits of his wisdom. This book looks broadly at matters that have to do with composition, collection, types of psalms, and aspects of their poetry and imagery. But Crenshaw's close, detailed look at some particular and often ignored psalms is the best part of the book."
The Living Church
"A very fine overview of the structure and major themes of the Psalms, including a section on approaches to Psalms."