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Discovering Psalms
Content, Interpretation, Reception
PAPERBACK; Published: 9/24/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7806-9
Price: $ 22.99
240 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Series: Discovering Biblical Texts

This compact introduction to the interpretation of the book of Psalms encourages in-depth study of the text and genuine grappling with related theological and historical questions by providing a critical assessment of key interpreters and interpretative debates. It draws on a range of methodological approaches (author-, text-, and reader-centered) and reflects the growing scholarly attention to the reception history of biblical texts, increasingly viewed as a vital aspect of interpretation rather than an optional extra.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Role of the Psalms in the Life of the Church
Part One: Issues in Reading the Psalms and the Psalter
     1. What Is a Psalm?
     2. It’s Poetry!
     3. Did David Write the Psalms?
     4. A Psalm for Every Occasion: Types of Psalms
     5. Settings for Performance of the Psalms
Part Two: Reading the Psalms Together
     6. Going By the Book: The Psalter as a Guide to Reading the Psalms
     7. The Theology of the Psalms, Part 1: The Lord Reigns!
     8. The Theology of the Psalms, Part 2: What Is the Human Being?
Part Three: The Psalms as Prayers
     9. The Tradition of Psalmic Prayer, Part 1: Opening Fully to God
     10. The Tradition of Psalmic Prayer, Part 2: Psalms That Pray for Vengeance
Conclusion: The Psalms and Jesus Christ

“This introduction to the Psalms, by a scholar who has been studying them and praying them for decades, amply demonstrates their potential to feed our worship and revolutionize the way we pray.”
— John Goldingay
Fuller Theological Seminary
“Jerome Creach is an internationally known Psalms scholar, and the depth and breadth of his knowledge of the Psalms are on full display in this impressive volume. It is the best introduction to the Psalms that I have ever seen. Readers will find answers to virtually every question that they might bring to their study of the Psalms, ranging from possible Davidic authorship to how the Psalms influenced the New Testament writers. Creach’s book will certainly be useful in seminary classrooms and to church professionals, and its clarity and accessibility will also make it useful to lay readers who want to engage the Psalms intelligently, fruitfully, and faithfully.”
— J. Clinton McCann Jr.
Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri
“This book is the product of some thirty years’ experience of teaching and writing for both the church and academy. It enters a competitive market, but Jerome Creach’s passion for the Psalms has resulted in an eminently readable introduction.”
— Sue Gillingham
Worcester College, University of Oxford
“Jerome Creach offers more than a standard introduction to the Psalter. He offers an invitation for readers to discover the rhetorical and theological power of the Psalms. Creach engages the issues of Psalms research and interpretation with remarkable depth and breadth for such a lean introduction. I consider it ideal for the classroom.”
— William P. Brown
Columbia Theological Seminary
“In this lively and engaging book Jerome Creach introduces contemporary Christians to the book of Psalms and encourages them to use it for both study and worship. At a time when many churches are losing touch with the Psalms, he convincingly shows that they are at the spiritual heart of the Bible.”
— John Barton
Campion Hall, University of Oxford
“Jerome Creach’s book will be of great help and interest to Christians beginning study of the Psalms who are looking for a serious engagement with scholarship within a context of faithful reading. It is a valuable resource for ministry students and any Christian who wants to go deeper with the Psalms. It combines detailed discussions on the material itself, such as the discussion on what poetry is, with an attention always to the significance of the Psalter for its own time and for ours.”
— Jenni Williams
vicar of St. Matthew and St. Luke, England
Review of Biblical Literature
“The book is a useful bridge between church and academy that can be recommended
for scholars and lay people. This hybrid approach and the clear confessional perspective make the book an interesting contribution to Psalms research among the numerous introductions already available.”
“Creach possesses a remarkable ability both to distill complex scholarly arguments into their most salient elements and to convey the message of the Psalms into language that speaks directly to the Christian community. In sum, Creach has given his readers a useful handbook for discovering and praying the Psalms.”