The Psalms as Christian Worship: A Historical Commentary

The Psalms as Christian Worship: A Historical Commentary

The Psalms as Christian Worship: A Historical Commentary

The Psalms as Christian Worship: A Historical Commentary

Synopsis

This commentary uniquely combines a verse-by-verse exposition of the Hebrew text of selected Psalms with a history of their interpretation in the Church from the time of the apostles to the present. / Bruce K. Waltke begins the collaboration by first skillfully establishing the meaning of the chosen psalms through careful exegesis in which each text is interpreted in light of its historical backgrounds, its literary form, and the poet's rhetoric. James M. Houston then exposits each text's relevance in conjunction with the Church's interpretation of it throughout her history. To further the accuracy of this interpretation, he commissioned fresh translations of numerous Latin and Middle English texts. / The authors' purpose in creating this volume was not merely to produce a masterful commentary. Rather, they wished to aid in enriching the daily life of the contemporary Christian and to deepen the church's community. Waltke and Houston here bring together the two voices of the Holy Spirit -- heard infallibly in Scripture and edifyingly in the Church's response -- in a rare and illuminating combination.

Excerpt

Professor Bruce Waltke has been teaching and preaching the book of Psalms throughout his teaching career, beginning in 1958. His career includes teaching courses on the book of Psalms as a whole and on the practice of exegesis, in which he uses selected psalms as textbook examples. At the end of his career he thought it fitting to put the fruit of his work into writing.

However, Bruce is not competent to empower the reader to hear the church’s voice of response. To his great delight, Professor James M. Houston, formerly a lecturer of historical and cultural geography at Oxford, specialist in the history of ideas, and pioneer in spiritual theology among Evangelicals, volunteered to write that history. We hope that our readers will be edified, at least to some extent, as we have by our interaction. Jim and Bruce respectively take responsibility for the history of Psalter interpretation and for its exegesis.

Erika Moore, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Trinity School for Ministry, volunteered her help to produce the commentary. Jim and Bruce gladly accepted her offer and asked her to write the Psalter’s history during the Second Temple Period (chapter 1). She also graciously prepared the glossary and indices.

1. Jim commissioned fresh translations of numerous Latin and Middle English texts, and is indebted to Ken Pearson of Trinity Western University, British Columbia, Dr. Elizabeth Bongie, emeritus professor of classics at the University of British Columbia, and Dr. Ellie McCullough of York University England for these translations. He is also grateful to the trustees of the foundation, Institute for Religion and Culture, for the necessary funding. His granddaughter Jen Cairns generously helped to provide research materials.

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