Several books in the Bible are actually collections of the words to songs: Psalms, Lamentations, and Song of Songs. This study guide will help individuals and groups understand these books by explaining the different kinds of songs that were written in ancient times and how many of them have become part of the Bible. It will help readers appreciate how these songs capture the deepest human emotions and most vivid experiences of people like us who walked with God long ago.
The Understanding the Books of the Bible series helps readers understand the biblical story by not only talking about what the authors wrote, but also how they wrote. Quite often, recognizing whether a passage is poetry, proverb, or history and discerning how the author built his book will unlock its meaning for today's reader. Instead of following artificial chapter and verse divisions, these Bible study guides lead groups through whole books following their natural outlines, and pose engaging questions for discussion and personal application all along the way.
About the Author
The Rev. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is an author and biblical scholar who lives in East Lansing, Michigan. He served local churches for nearly twenty years in Massachusetts, Ontario and Michigan and is now a volunteer campus staff member with Graduate InterVarsity at Michigan State University. He was a consulting editor to the International Bible Society (now Biblica) for The Books of the Bible, an edition of the Scriptures that presents the biblical books according to their natural literary outlines, without chapters and verses. He was one of the translators for The Voice Bible.
Smith has a B.A. in literature from Harvard, a master's degree in theological studies from Gordon-Conwell, and a Ph.D. in historical theology and Bible from Boston College. He has taught visiting, adjunct and extension courses at Williams College, Regent College and the Ontario Bible College (now Tyndale University College). His articles have appeared in professional journals such as Novum Testamentum, New Testament Studies and the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, in periodicals such as Bible Study Magazine, and on websites such as The High Calling of Our Daily Work.
Table of Contents
How These Study Guides Axe Different 1
Session 1 Psalms Are the Words to Songs 9
Session 2 Psalms of Supplication: The Basic Form 17
Session 3 Psalms of Thanksgiving: The Basic Form 25
Session 4 Psalms of Praise: The Basic Form 31
Session 5 Psalms That Combine the Basic Forms 37
Session 6 Psalms That Expand One Element Within a Form 41
Session 7 Psalms of Supplication with an Expanded Statement of Trust (Psalms of Trust) 45
Session 8 Psalms of Supplication for Healing of Sickness 49
Session 9 Psalms of Supplication for Deliverance from Enemies 55
Session 10 Psalms of Supplication That Call for the Destruction of the Wicked (Imprecatory Psalms) 59
Session 11 Psalms of Supplication for the Forgiveness of Sin (Penitential Psalms) 65
Session 12 Psalms of Praise That Celebrate God's Reign (Divine Enthronement Psalms) Songs of Zion 71
Session 13 Psalms of Praise that Celebrate God's Care for Creation 75
Session 14 Psalms of Praise that Celebrate Gods Compassion 79
Session 15 Psalms of Praise That Celebrate God's Justice 83
Session 16 Wisdom Psalms 87
Session 17 Psalms of the Law 93
Session 18 Salvation History Psalms 97
Session 19 The Book of Lamentations 101
Session 20 Psalms for Special Occasions: Coronation 105
Session 21 Psalms for Special Occasions: Marriage The Song of Songs 111
Session 22 Psalms for Special Occasions: Pilgrimage Songs of Ascents 117
Session 23 Psalms for Special Occasions: Covenant Renewal 123
Session 24 Experiencing the Book of Psalms as a Whole 127