The Vitality Of Worship

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Overview

For centuries the Psalms have been central to Jewish and Christian tradition and spirituality. In them can be found echoes of the whole range of human experience and need, from praise to protest, from ringing certainty to unanswered questions, from quiet confidence to the dark night of the soul.

This commentary by Robert Davidson shows how a contemporary critical approach to the Psalms can throw light not only on their meaning in their original context in the life of ancient Israel, but on their continuing relevance for worship today.

Taking primarily a theological approach to the Psalms, Davidson shows how the vitality and richness of the Psalms-a richness that reflects our own life experiences today-can be significantly more helpful to our private spiritual lives and our public worship than many of the hymnbooks currently being used.

In drawing on contemporary worship sources, both Jewish and Christian, this commentary will appeal as much to general readers and worship leaders as to scholars, students, and pastors.

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Editorial Reviews

Interpretation
After a brief introduction, Davidson comments on each psalm in canonical order. His comments are incisive, lively, and illuminating. Davidson regularly relates the psalms to other biblical passages; he often cites Calvin's or Luther's interpretation, as well as hymns of the church related to or inspired by a particular psalm; and he provides compelling conclusions that are vividly stated and illustrated....
The Bible Today
A useful tool for the general reader and a possible text for an undergraduate course.
Hebrew Studies
"A theologically-sensitive reading of the Psalms that grows self-consciously out of concern for the use of the Psalter in the community of faith.... Throughout the work Davidson clearly translates critical problems and scholarly proposals in a way that should be appreciated by both a scholarly and a general audience.... Davidson's work has much to commend it. Its greatest strength is the author's perpetual linking of psalm texts with passages that contain similar linguistic and theological features. Davidson gives a clear sense of how particular psalms are related to other psalms, other Hebrew Bible texts, and New Testament passages.... Since his primary goal is to offer a theological reading of the Psalms, to show how the Psalter contributes to contemporary Jewish and Christian faith, he seems to have accomplished his goal in remarkable fashion. His work is a welcome addition to recent efforts to reclaim the use of the Psalms in meditation and worship."
IZBG: Issues in Law & Medicine
Well-written and exegetically responsible, this is a commentary students and non-specialists will often consult.
Church Libraries
A fine, one-volume readable commentary for both the scholar and the layman, possessing a good blend of theology and application. It also strikes a good balance between head (scholarly precision) and heart (the passions and moods of the psalms).
Worship
"A readable and reputable commentary on the Book of Psalms.... A very useful one-volume commentary on the Book of Psalms. The information is solid and thorough; the prose is clear. The book is also written from the viewpoint of a lively faith. It is a handy reference tool for those who have the psalms at their fingertips and a good introduction for students."
Concordia Journal
Davidson's approach is to give introductory comments about each psalm (historical situation, liturgical usage) and then to proceed section-by-section through the psalm, incorporating into the flow of his commentary questions of translation, literary form, and historical context, and the meaning of key concepts. All of this is presented with clarity and economy of expression, so that, while 470 pages of comment for 150 psalms may not allow comment on each word, there is rich interpretive comment for each psalm. At times, there are strikingly perceptive applications that suggest in an engaging way a reverence for the text and a commitment to the Biblical faith. Though one may not agree with all his conclusions, isagogical or exegetical, Davidson does a superb job of taking the reader into the text and providing rich interpretive resources for the devotional, homiletical, or pedagogical use.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802842466
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 7/17/1998
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 1.11 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

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