1. Introduction to the Book of Psalms

Which book is:

A. Name of the book

B. Structure of Psalms

Division into Five books

Book 1 1—41
Book 2 42—72
Book 3 73—89
Book 4 90—106
Book 5 107—150

other collections

C. Approaches to studying the Psalms

  1. See it primarily as teachings (Early church, up to reformation)
    • lack of focus on beauty and literature
  2. Reformation
    • began (with Luther and Calvin) to value it as an art-form
  3. late 1800, early 1900s Analytical/Critical
    • very little value. Very dry. (many of them were unbelievers)
  4. 1900’s Historical approach
    • tried to reconstruct a historical background to each psalm
    • could become very speculative
    • some useful insights
  5. Form critical approach
    • focussed on the literary form of each psalm
    • found 7 basic types (discuss later)
    • a lot of useful insights in this approach
  6. Cultic (worship) approach
    • attempts to reconstruct worship events for which there is very little evidence
    • e.g. an annual autumn festival
  7. Eclectic approach (pick the best out of all the others)
    • most good scholars today do this

D. Resources

E. Authorship: The King & The Priests

Example: Psalm 44