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This commentary helps a modern "pray-er" of the psalms to understand the connections of each psalm to the rest of the Bible, and to discern how the great theological themes of covenant, divine mercy and justice, and human response play out through the psalms in prayer. It gives attention to Christian (and Jewish) reception of the psalms, and seeks to resolve such troubling ethical issues as ethno-centrism, hatred of enemies, and expressions of revenge that do occur in them. While interacting with classic and contemporary commentaries as it provides a literary, theological, and ethical analysis of each psalm, this work distinctively seeks to make the psalms available as a true book of prayer for contemporary believers.
Clifford differs from other commentators on the Psalms chiefly in his concern with the inner dramatic logic of the Psalms - how they organize the experience and desires of the "pray-er" and bring them to a proper conclusion. His primary concern is to help readers see the pattern and progression within the Psalms, while at the same time attending to the richness of their words and the texture of their imagery.
2008: Boston College School of Theololgy and Ministry
2007: RICHARD J CLIFFORD is Professor of Old Testament, Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambrdige, MA