Invitation to the Psalms: A Reader's Guide for Discovery

Invitation to the Psalms: A Reader's Guide for Discovery and Engagement The Book of Psalms is perhaps the most cherished book in the Old Testament In this lively volume, two experienced teachers invite students to read and explore the Psalter and roam widely among its poems The book introduces the dynamics of the biblical text, helping students become careful and attentive readers It covers how to read Hebrew poetry, the Psalter s basic genres, the idea of the psalmist, the metaphorical world of the Psalms, and the theology of the Psalms Sidebars, discussion questions, and plenty of examples enhance the reading experience This clear and concise guide is accessible to all serious students of the Bible Rolf A Jacobson and Karl N Jacobson s Invitiation to the Psalms A Reader s Guide for Discovery and Engagement Is a lay level introduction to scholarly study of the book of Psalms and also for personal understanding of the form, function and theology of the Psalms.Invitation to the Psalms consists of 6 chapters The first chapter deals with an understanding of Hebrew poetry and how it differs from English poetry This is achieved through an indepth look into how parallelism functions across v Rolf A Jacobson and Karl N Jacobson s Invitiation to the Psalms A Reader s Guide for Discovery and Engagement Is a lay level introduction to scholarly study of the book of Psalms and also for personal understanding of the form, function and theology of the Psalms.Invitation to the Psalms consists of 6 chapters The first chapter deals with an understanding of Hebrew poetry and how it differs from English poetry This is achieved through an indepth look into how parallelism functions across various different structures found in the book of Psalms, and the ways in which parallelism is formed linguistically and conceptually.The next two chapters give us understanding of genre through the lenses of form and content The introduction to and transition between these concepts of genre adequately sets up the problem of categorisation that we find in the Psalms The lenses of form and content are constructions informed by how the text treats itself but they are not fully separable, a notable example here is the treatment of lament and helps psalms as somewhat interchangeable, whereas we should view lament psalms as a subgenre of helps psalms of which lament is the predmoniant subgenre Chapter 2 deals with genre as form, and chapter 3 deals with genre as content All genres are dealt with in a decent and informative manner.Chapter four deals with questions around context, predominantly that of authorship and stiz im leben or life situation of the psalms The introduction of chiasm in this chapter seems out of place and would be better suited to the first chapter, this structural concept is helpful in understanding the way that the Psalms are poetic The interactions with and explicit dealing with how our life situation differs from that of the Psalmists is well done and the reader is invited and empowered to pray and live through the psalms in an informed way.Chapter five deals with the metaphorical and symbolic imagery within the Psalms The metaphor and symbolism used in the book of Psalms is noted to both be accessible and foreign to the modern reader The treatment here is straightforward and encourages the reader to focus on the similarities of metaphor as opposed to the dissimilarities.Chapter six deals with the theology of the book of Psalms The treatment is irenic and brings all the preceding discussion together under the framework of the faithfulness of God Through recapitualtion and the addition of this theological lens the faithfulness of God is displayed through this chapter as an encouragement to engage with that faithful God through the Psalms.Throughout the book asides and side bars help to cover over other smaller concepts These are part of the way in which the book encourages experiencing and not just reading studying the Psalms In addition to this there is constant engagement with the text in order to familiarise the reader with Psalms and help them know them not just about them In sum this volume is a helpful introduction and tool for familiarisation with the book of Psalms to gain the most informed enjoyment out of them I read this helpful introduction in preparation for a Men s Bible Study, 9 09 17 It starts with a Billy Collins poem on enjoying poetry before introducing us to the different poetic parallelisms, categories genres, metaphors, and key themes Nicely written with sidebar discussions and many examples provided from favorite psalms Marketing copy The Book of Psalms is perhaps the most cherished book in the Old Testament In this lively volume, two experienced teachers invite students to read and I read this helpful introduction in preparation for a Men s Bible Study, 9 09 17 It starts with a Billy Collins poem on enjoying poetry before introducing us to the different poetic parallelisms, categories genres, metaphors, and key themes Nicely written with sidebar discussions and many examples provided from favorite psalms Marketing copy The Book of Psalms is perhaps the most cherished book in the Old Testament In this lively volume, two experienced teachers invite students to read and explore the Psalter and roam widely among its poems The book introduces the dynamics of the biblical text, helping students become careful and attentive readers It covers how to read Hebrew poetry, the Psalter s basic genres, the idea of the psalmist, the metaphorical world of the Psalms, and the theology of the Psalms Sidebars, discussion questions, and plenty of examples enhance the reading experience This clear and concise guide is accessible to all serious students of the Bible I liked it I learned a lot from it and appreciated the very precise structure of the writing My only reason for not giving it 5 stars is the fact that a lot of what was said could be observed from just reading a psalm and a lot of simple concepts were elaborated on to the extreme I am assuming that this book is intended for people who have never read the psalms before, but even so, a lot of the elaboration provided throughout was excessive and unnecessary and could have been inferred easily I liked it I learned a lot from it and appreciated the very precise structure of the writing My only reason for not giving it 5 stars is the fact that a lot of what was said could be observed from just reading a psalm and a lot of simple concepts were elaborated on to the extreme I am assuming that this book is intended for people who have never read the psalms before, but even so, a lot of the elaboration provided throughout was excessive and unnecessary and could have been inferred easily from the provided example psalms This wouldn t be a qualm if the authors were to simply write a sentence or two summarizing their point but it sometimes resulted in a paragraph or two of repetition There were quite a few cool gems throughout the book and I loved going through my bible and annotating some of my psalms with the information from this book Would definitely encourage a skim but not an extensive read This is a fine basic introduction to the genres and form of the Psalter, and if used as a simple grammar book it accomplishes its purpose well It does, however, suffer from Higher Criticism in some places, and the authors failure to accept the superscripts as written is a major flaw throughout It s primary weakness, however, is in its all but completely ignoring the Messianic nature of the Psalms The Royal Psalms, for example, focus exclusively on the human kings without any reference to the This is a fine basic introduction to the genres and form of the Psalter, and if used as a simple grammar book it accomplishes its purpose well It does, however, suffer from Higher Criticism in some places, and the authors failure to accept the superscripts as written is a major flaw throughout It s primary weakness, however, is in its all but completely ignoring the Messianic nature of the Psalms The Royal Psalms, for example, focus exclusively on the human kings without any reference to the Christ As the authors explore the theology of the Psalms, and especially the covenant faithfulness of God, they miss the ultimate expression of God s faithfulness in sending Israel a Savior Invitation to the Psalms works as a technical guide to the literary genres, the forms the Psalms take, and the use of metaphors and other illustrative language, but when it comes to the theology of the Psalms and the overarching theme of the whole book, the authors miss it by a mile

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