Written over the course of 1,000 years, the book of Psalms is a collection of religious poetry voicing a wide variety of human emotions expressed in different genres—imprecatory psalms, psalms of praise, and more. It has become one of the most popular books of the Bible, but most readers have only a surface level understanding of the Psalms and how it fits into the larger historical and scriptural context.
In How to Read and Understand the Psalms, Bruce K. Waltke and Fred G. Zaspel give readers tools to learn how to properly interpret and internalize the Psalms. Developed primarily from decades of lectures by Waltke, they explain the various types of psalms, Hebrew poetry, rhetorical techniques, and more. Armed with these tools, believers will discover how the 150 psalms can further fuel their knowledge and love of God.
Chapter 1: Introduction to the Psalms
Chapter 2: Hermeneutics: Interpreting the Psalms as Believers
Chapter 3: The Historical Setting of the Psalms
Chapter 4: The Royal Orientation of the Psalms
Chapter 5: The Liturgical Setting of the Psalms
Chapter 6: Hebrew Poetry
Chapter 7: Form Criticism and Psalm Forms
Chapter 8: Praise Psalms
Chapter 9: Petition-Lament Psalms
Chapter 10: Individual Songs of Grateful Praise
Chapter 11: Songs of Trust
Chapter 12: Messianic Psalms
Chapter 13: Didactic Psalms
Chapter 14: Rhetorical Devices and Structures
Chapter 15: The Final Arrangement of the Psalter
Appendix 1: Superscripts, Postscripts, or Both
Appendix 2: A Canonical Process Approach to the Psalms
Appendix 3: Summary of Psalm Forms
About the Authors
Bruce K. Waltke (ThD, Dallas Theological Seminary; PhD, Harvard University) is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Studies at Regent College and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Knox Theological Seminary. He is the author of An Old Testament Theology and commentaries on Genesis, Micah, and Proverbs. Bruce is a member at Advent Anglican Church in Woodinville, Washington.
Fred G. Zaspel(PhD, Free University of Amsterdam) serves as a pastor at Reformed Baptist Church in Franconia, Pennsylvania, an adjunct professor of systematic theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and executive editor at Books At a Glance. He is the author of The Theology of B. B. Warfield and Warfield on the Christian Life, coauthor of New Covenant Theology, and has published numerous booklets, articles, and book reviews.
The Psalms are a carefully arranged collage of history, prophecy, and praise.
James M. Hamilton provides a fresh translation and canonical interpretation of the Psalms. Though commonly read in isolation, the Psalms are best read as a collage that tells a story of God’s faithfulness to his people through his king. Following the introductory Psalms 1–2, Hamilton observes the significance of the Psalter’s intentional macro-structuring and intricate links across neighboring psalms. Hamilton interprets with a literary sensitivity and an eye towards canonical connections. Learn where the Psalms belong in the redemptive story, how they relate to God’s people, and how they find their fulfillment in Jesus.
About the Author
James M. Hamilton (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of biblical theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and preaching pastor at Kenwood Baptist Church. He is the author of God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment, With the Clouds of Heaven (New Studies in Biblical Theology), and What Is Biblical Theology.
All three volumes of A Commentary on the Psalms are now available as a set!
For thousands of years, the Book of Psalms has been one of God's people's richest resources for expression of worship and development of the spiritual life. At the same time it is one of the more complex and challenging sections of the Bible for expositors. Pastors, teachers, and all serious students of the Bible will find this commentary invaluable for developing their understanding of the Psalms and for improving their ability to expound it with precision and depth.
For each psalm, Dr. Allen Ross guides the reader through a detailed exegetical outline, proposes a homiletical outline, and offers a summary expository idea of the message of the whole psalm.
The commentary includes discussion throughout of three primary challenges to understanding the Psalms:
Textual issues: Every major textual difficulty is addressed in order to help the expositor understand the interpretive issues and make decisions when there are multiple available readings.
Poetic language: The Psalms are full of poetic imagery, devices and structures. Ross discusses this "language" of Hebrew poetry in its context with each psalm, specifying the precise devices being used and how they work in the psalm.
Grammar and syntax: The Psalms' Hebrew poses a challenge to many expositors, whether they are familiar with Hebrew or not. This commentary illuminates Hebrew constructions word meanings in a way that is helpful both to readers who are comfortable with Hebrew and those who are not.
About the Author
Allen P. Ross (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School. Prior to this, he taught at Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry and Dallas Theological Seminary. His publications include Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis, Holiness to the Lord: A Guide to the Exposition of the Book of Leviticus, and Introducing Biblical Hebrew.