The Psalms have long served a vital role in the individual and corporate lives of Christians, expressing the full range of human emotions, including some that we are ashamed to admit. The Psalms reverberate with joy, groan in pain, whimper with sadness, grumble in disappointment and rage with anger.
The church fathers employed the Psalms widely. In liturgy they used them both as hymns and as Scripture readings. Within them they found pointers to Jesus both as Son of God and as Messiah. They also employed the Psalms widely as support for other New Testament teachings, as counsel on morals and as forms for prayer.
Especially noteworthy in Psalms 51-150 was the church father’ use of Psalms in the great doctrinal controversies. The Psalms were used to oppose subordinationism, modalism, Arianism, Apollinarianism, Nestorianism, Eutychianism and Monophysitism, among others. More than fifty church fathers are cited in this valuable volume.
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“God’s hottest anger against sinners is when he shows no anger.” (Page 173)
“The just and wise person who keeps God’s commandments has no reason to fear any enemy whatsoever” (Page 170)
“You see, then, that the devil is the hunter, eager to lure our souls unto perdition. The devil is master of many snares, deceptions of all kinds. Avarice is one of his pitfalls, disparagement is his noose, fornication is his bait.” (Page 171)
“The title God is appropriate only to the persons of the Holy Trinity, but believers are called children and gods by the grace of God, not by nature (Cassiodorus).” (Page 145)
“Seeking refuge in God involves lifting our hearts to the resurrected Lord, not to ourselves, which is pride” (Page 165)
A valuable resource for those interested in the history of Christian interpretation of the Psalms.
—A.H.W. Curtis, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament