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Products>Psalms, vol. 1 (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms | BCOTWP)

Psalms, vol. 1 (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms | BCOTWP)

ISBN: 9781441251343

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In this first volume of a three-volume commentary on the book of Psalms, Old Testament scholar John Goldingay provides a lucid introduction to the Psalter and fresh commentary on Psalms 1–41. Writing with a scholar’s eye and a pastor’s heart, Goldingay considers the literary, historical, and grammatical dimensions of the text as well as its theological implications. The resulting commentary will bring the Psalms to life for a new generation of students.

In addition to the commentary on Psalms 1–41, this volume contains Goldingay’s introduction to the entire book of Psalms. This thorough introduction provides unique perspectives on matters such as the purpose of the Psalter, Psalms and history, poetry in the Psalms, the Psalms and worship, the Psalms and spirituality, and the Psalms and theology. Each chapter of the commentary proper contains the author’s translation of a particular psalm, which shows in English some of the salient features of the Hebrew text. An interpretation of the psalm, section-by-section, follows. Also included is an extensive glossary section treating the vocabulary of Psalms 1–41 and noting how certain words are used to convey critical concepts. The discussion of each Psalm ends with a section on theological implications that will help readers discover the contemporary relevance of the message of the Psalms.

This resource is both scholarly and readable, presenting an historical, theological, and applicable survey of the riches of Wisdom literature.

Resource Experts
  • Provides commentary on Psalms 1–41
  • Contains Goldingay’s introduction to the entire book of Psalms
  • Includes an extensive glossary treating the vocabulary used

Top Highlights

“In light of Christ’s command to love our enemies, this might seem a prayer no Christian could pray. Erich Zenger relates the reaction any OT lecturer who manifests a ‘theological sympathy’ for the Psalms receives: ‘Do you really think that, as Christians (the question is never as Jews or as human beings, and certainly not as victims of rape) we can pray this way?’” (Page 66)

“It seems that the NT accepts the notion of praying against one’s enemies as well as the notion of praying for them.” (Page 66)

“It may also be that expressing our anger to God is better than denying that it exists, and also is calculated to make it less likely that we will act in anger (perhaps on people other than those who have wronged us—even on ourselves).” (Page 67)

“The trouble is that once people believe in a positive afterlife, they can easily cease to take this life seriously, as Christians often have. So another importance of the Sheol doctrine is that it had the capacity to get Israel to take this life with the seriousness it deserves.” (Page 75)

“In a quite literal sense, interceding or intervening on someone’s behalf involves putting oneself in another person’s place. It does not involve praying for someone so much as praying with them and even as them.” (Pages 65–66)

This commentary is a worthwhile addition to the library of every Old Testament scholar, theological student, and perhaps especially every minister who needs to prepare sermons from the Psalter. . . . It contains a treasury of learning and recent research into the Psalms.

—Philippus J. Botha, Review of Biblical Literature

This is a fine commentary on the first part of the book of Psalms, combining excellent scholarship and deep, practical spiritual reflection. Readers will find it to be an invaluable resource for their own life journeys, not least in the constructive challenge it presents to some modern Christian understandings of biblical spirituality.

Iain Provan, Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies, Regent College

John Goldingay has been at Fuller Theological Seminary since 1997 and currently serves as the David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament in the School of Theology. Before coming to Fuller, Goldingay was principal and a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at St. John’s Theological College in Nottingham, England. He is the author of several books, including Old Testament Theology vol. 1, After Eating the Apricot, and Models for Scripture, as well as commentaries on Daniel, Isaiah, and Psalms. He holds membership in the Society of Biblical Literature and serves on the editorial board for the Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies.


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  1. Scott Custer

    Scott Custer


  2. Pieter