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Most books on the Psalms are either overly technical or over-spiritualized. William Bellinger's organized, intelligent method of studying the Psalter rescues both preachers and laypeople from those unhelpful approaches. He first explains how three elements of a Psalm---setting, shape, and poetic nature---affect proper exegesis. Then he applies his interpretive method to five different types of psalms, giving readers a chance to see the method in action. Includes a glossary, questions for further study, and indexes.
"The Study of the Old Testament Psalter has undergone great changes during the twentieth century in an effort to recover a fuller awareness of their original setting and purpose . . . Bellinger's book admirably fulfils the task of exploring the many insights of modern scholarship on the psalms in order to clarify the faith to which they bear witness. It does this by showing the real-life situations which occasioned the formulation of prayers of complaint and praise, opening up a warm sense of the humanity and faith which they nurtured. Readers will find a great richness of scholarship here set out in vigorous and exciting language to make plain that the psalter retains a powerful challenge for the present day. These psalms explore the whole range of human experience and provide a vehicle by which faith can become articulate and sharply focused, even when faced with pain and doubt. The sheer honesty of these prayers challenges contemporary complacency."--Ronald E. Clements, professor of Old Testament studies, King's College, University of London "Bellinger has created an excellent primer for the Psalms. . . . I like his use of examples in each section and his references in each chapter to what has gone before."--Victor Matthews, professor of religious studies, Southwest Missouri State University
W. H. Bellinger Jr. (PhD, University of Cambridge) is the director of graduate studies in religion and a professor of religion at Baylor University.