Psalms of the Faithful : Luther's Early Reading of the Psalter in Canonical Context
Psalms of the Faithful : Luther's Early Reading of the Psalter in Canonical Context  -     By: Brian German
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Lexham Press / 2017 / Paperback
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Psalms of the Faithful : Luther's Early Reading of the Psalter in Canonical Context

Lexham Press / 2017 / Paperback

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In Stock
Stock No: WW590484


Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Lexham Press
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1683590481
ISBN-13: 9781683590484

Publisher's Description

The Psalms forced Martin Luther to change how he read the Bible.

In Psalms of the Faithful Brian German shows us Luther's reappraisal of the plain sense of Scripture. By following the canonical shaping of the Psalter, Luther refined his interpretive principles into a more finely grained hermeneutic. Luther inspires us to read the Psalms empathetically with ancient Israelites and early church fathers. He stirs us up to join the “faithful synagogue” in praying to and praising the Lord our God.

According to many scholars, Luther established his approach to biblical exegesis on the claim that Jesus Christ is Scripture's content and speaker. While Luther used this formulation in prefaces, how did he really read the Bible?

German applies pressure not only to how Luther scholars understand Luther's interpretive method, but also to how modern biblical exegetes approach their task—and even to how we read the Bible.

Author Bio

Brian T. German (PhD, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto) is Assistant Professor of Theology at Concordia University Wisconsin and Director of the Concordia Bible Institute. His main area of research is the history of biblical interpretation, particularly how premodern interpreters understood the presence of Christ in the Old Testament.

Editorial Reviews

In this important work on the Psalter, Brian German deploys a fascinating marriage of twenty-first-century canonical-historical reading with an investigation into the sixteenth-century exegetical instincts of Martin Luther. A careful serial reading of the canonical shape of the Psalter "pressured" a remarkable theological and pastoral break-through for the Protestant Reformer. German's historically informed contribution opens up a fresh vista for theological exegesis in our day.


With a keen sense of Luther's fierce engagement with the biblical text, Brian T. German reconstructs the process by which the Bible came to vivid life in the embattled Reformer's readings and rereadings of the text. German pays particular attention to Luther's insistence on the subject matter of the Psalter as well as its rhythms. Psalms of the Faithful offers compelling insight into Luther's understanding of the Old Testament as Christian Scripture. It is a welcome study in this anniversary year!


This marvelous study of Luther's early reading of the Psalms discloses the power of the word at work on one of the church's most fertile and acute minds. German's careful, lucid, and groundbreaking reflections allow us to watch Luther as he permits himself to be "taken captive" by the Psalms, and to adjust his reading to conform to "the way the words go" in a manner that finally moves him to a new set of insights about the nature of both Scripture and human faithfulness. Challenging several recent trends in contemporary hermeneutics, German's nuanced analysis reveals especially the unique way Luther came to appreciate the depth and richness of an attuned literal reading of the Old Testament that can speak on its own terms equally to synagogue and church.


This exemplary study provides a well-organized, well-argued, and well-written contribution to the understanding of Luther as a Christian interpreter of the Old Testament. Like a good detective who carefully considers all the evidence of presentation in a court of law, German examines...Luther's inaugural First Lectures on the Psalms to show that the canonical shape of the Psalter determined how he read the actual text of these psalms as prophetic testimonies of things to come.


German's study…offers a helpful corrective to what nowadays might be styled a "christotelic" reading of Luther's early work on the Psalms, while also uncovering the importance of the Psalter's literal sense for Luther's approach to christology and ecclesiology. Engaging and brilliant.

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