The issue of the so-called Elohistic Psalter has intrigued biblical scholars since the rise of the historical-critical enterprise. Scholars have attempted to discover why the name Elohim is used almost exclusively within Pss 42–83, and in particular they have attempted to identify the historical circumstances which explain this phenomenon. Traditionally, an original Yhwh was understood to have been replaced by Elohim.
Frank-Lothar Hossfeld and the late, Erich Zenger propose that the use of the title Elohim is theologically motivated, and they account for this phenomenon in their redaction-historical work. Wardlaw here builds upon their work (1) by integrating insights from Dell Hymes, William Miles Foley, and Susan Niditch with regard to oral-traditional cultures, and (2) by following the text-linguistic approach of Eep Talstra and Christof Hardmeier and listening to canonical texture as a faithful witness to Israel’s religious traditions. Wardlaw proposes that the name Elohim within the Psalms is a theologically-laden term, and that its usage is related to pentateuchal traditions.
His reading of these Psalms in their canonical form is coherent and persuasive, if not comprehensive ... and he has made a valuable contribution to the debate.
—Journal of Theological Studies
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