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Archive for the ‘Psalms’ Category

Veritas domain thanksgiving

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving brothers and sisters.

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love hate

I think in the biblical worldview loving what is good and hating what is evil are not mutually exclusive.

Loving what is good and of God is a given for many Christians.  But hating what is wicked?  The Psalms have multiple references to hating what is wicked with the referent being God and man:

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Song of a Suffering King Fesko

This is a short and wonderful devotional commentary through the first eight Psalms.  It might seem unusual that the author J.V. Fesko is a professor of systematic theology at WSC is writing this commentary on the Psalms but I thought he did a good job for a devotional commentary.  Every theologian ought to be able to write something like this since the Word is what every theologian is building upon.  Fesko’s commentary is trying to show the readers how the first eight Psalm is about Jesus Christ.  I think for those who want to see what Christ-centered preaching/reading of the Bible is like, this is a book to get the flavor.  My favorite chapter was his look into Psalm 1.  I really enjoyed the author’s observation and argument from the content of Psalms 1 that the “righteous man” in Psalm anticipates more of Christ than it does anyone else since only Christ is the one who is totally righteous.  The author insist strongly that Psalm 1:1 ought to be translated “blesses is the man” rather than something more generic such as “blessed are those,” since the “man” here is referring to Jesus.  Fesko then makes the point from the New Testament that we can be righteous too provided we are grafted into Christ, thus playing on the motif within Psalm 1.  I appreciated the devotional questions in the back of each chapter.  The author was able to point us to Christ and also not neglect the original context of the Psalms themselves (David and his life, etc).  I only wished he could have brought out more insight from the text itself at times (that criticism is one not only for this book but one that I have for most devotional commentary in general).  Excellent book, I recommend it.

NOTE: I received this book for free from the publisher Reformation Heritage Books through Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my honest opinion. The thoughts and words are my own and I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.

Get it on Amazon: Songs of a Suffering King: The Grand Christ Hymn of Psalms 1 8

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Not too long, internet Christian apologist J.W. Wartick had a good post about recovering the lost defense of Christianity.  I’ve enjoyed what he had to say, and had myself here on Veritas Domain introduced apologetics’ resources from the past that still have value for today (besides the value of historical insight into the development and progress of how Christian apologetics have progressed today, or even how the past can point out similar timeless truth!).

Why not as old, I this resource is one that is important, concerning Messianic prophecies.

William N. Harding is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Biblical Theological Seminary and presently serves as the Seminary Chaplain. He continues a lifelong teaching ministry at churches, Bible conferences, and college campuses worldwide. He is a graduate of the King’s College and Faith Theological Seminary (M.Div and S.T.M.)

His syllabus could be accessed by clicking HERE.

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GO TO PART VII

I. Identifying praise poetry

a. Introductory note:There can be many more various sub-genre of Psalms (Messianic, Royal Psalms, Creation Psalms, etc), but for the purpose of this course in dealing with the broader genre of Scripture, some of the sub-genre can be seen as a type of praise poetry.

i. Some of the praise hymns include declarative praise (thanksgiving) and descriptive praise.[1]

ii. Some of the forms of Psalms can also be divided into further sub-genre groups.

iii. Of course, there might be Psalms in the Psalter that does not fit in neatly into the categories given.

b. Definition: “Praise is primarily a reciting of the attributes of God and of acts of God, and then praising God for both.”[2]

c. Two broad types of Praise and their elements

i. Declarative Praise

1. Definition: “These psalms are called songs of thanksgiving or declarative psalms, because the psalmist was praising God by publicly declaring his mighty deeds.”[3]

2. “Such psalms expressed joy to the Lord because something had gone well, because circumstances were good, and/or because people had reason to render thanks to God for his faithfulness, protection, and benefit.”[4]

3. Elements[5]

a. Proclamation to Praise God

b. Summary statement

c. The Report

d. The Praise

4. Sub-genres of Declarative Praise:

a. Individual thanksgiving

Examples: Psalms 18, 30, 32, 34, 40, 66, 92, 116, 118, 138.[6]

b. Community thanksgiving

Examples: Psalms 65, 67, 75, 107, 124, 136.[7]

ii. Descriptive Praise

1. Definition: These are Psalms “praising God primarily by describing his character, with a focus on the attributes of God—who he is and what he is like—these psalms are frequently called hymns of praise or descriptive psalms.”[8]

2. “These psalms, without particular reference to previous miseries or to recent joyful accomplishments, center on the praise of God for who he is, for his greatness and his beneficence toward the whole earth, as well as his own people.”[9]

3. Elements[10]

a. Call to praise

b. Cause for praise

c. Call to praise again

4. Sub-genres of Descriptive Praise:

a. Creation Psalms

Examples: Psalms 8, 19:1-6, 104, 148[11]

b. Enthronement Psalm

i. These “speak of a future coming of the LORD to his people or to the earth, or that speak of a future rule of the LORD over Israel or over the whole earth”[12]

ii. Examples: Psalms 47, 93, 95-99[13]

II. Principles in interpreting praise poetry

a. All the principles in Session Six apply here as well.

b. Identify whether the Psalm is a Descriptive or Declarative Psalm.

i. Is the Psalm about God’s attribute?  If so, what does it say?

ii. Is the Psalm about what God has done? If so, what does it say?

iii. Note:Why knowing the genre is half the battle in interpretation

1. Attempting to identify the sub-genre means looking for important elements within the text.

2. By identifying the elements, the elements show what the text mean.

c. If possible, see if the Psalm fit into the appropriate sub-genre within the Descriptive or Declarative Psalm.

i. Similar to the note given above, testing to see if the Psalm has a sub-genre will be fruitful in helping the reader to interpret the Psalm more fully.

d. If the Praise is declarative, try to identify the historical context.[14]

i. Not always easy, especially in the Psalms.

ii. These answer the question more richly of what God has done that is worthy of praise.

e. Concentrate on what the text teach about who God is.

i. It is always important to be theo-centric in our interpretation.

ii. Praise is not so much of what God has done, but who Yahweh is.

iii. Within those Psalm, often there is not much details given of exactly what Yahweh has done; rather, there is more detail of who Yahweh is.[15]

f. The why is the what of praise

i. The Psalms sometimes gives the reason for the writing of the Psalm.

ii. This reason is also the content, or the what, that is being praised about God.


[1] Keith Essex, Bible Exposition 502 Syllabus, 46.

[2] Kenneth L. Barker, “Praise” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 218.

[3] Ibid, 222.

[4] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 194.

[5] Modified from Keith Essex, Bible Exposition 502 Syllabus, 46.

[6] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 195.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Kenneth L. Barker, “Praise” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 219.

[9] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 195.

[10] Modified from Kenneth L. Barker, “Praise” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 221.

[11] Kenneth L. Barker, “Praise” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 221; and Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 195

[12] Kenneth L. Barker, “Praise” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 220.

[13] Ibid, 219.

[14] Kenneth L. Barker, “Praise” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 227.

[15] Idea as taught by Professor Keith Essex, of The Master’s Seminary.

 

GO TO PART IX

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GO TO PART VI

I. Identifying Lament

a. Definition: It is a poetic cry towards God

b. It comprises the largest group of Psalms, with over sixty laments.[1]

c. It is a Psalm of disorientation.[2]

d. It is mainly distinguished by the content and mood rather than the structure.[3]

e. It is recognized “by expressions of grief, sorrow, fear, anger, contempt, shame, guilt and other dark emotions.”[4]

f. Examples of Laments include Psalms 3-7, 9-10, 12-14, 17, 22, 25-28, 31, 35, 38-43, 52-57, 59, 61, 63-64.

g. It has the following element

i. Invocation, which is the crying out to God in the vocative.[5]

ii. Plea, which is the request and it usually uses an imperative verb in the Hebrew.[6]

iii. Complaint, which reveals the motive of the lament.[7]

iv. Confession of trust in God.[8]

II. Principles in interpreting Lament

a. All the principles in Session Six applies here as well.

b. Identify if it is a communal or individual lament.[9]

c. Try to identify the historical context.[10]

i. Not always easy, especially in the Psalms.

ii. Sometimes you do get some background information such as in the book of Lamentation.

d. Looking for the reason of why the lament was expressed.

i. Key words in English would be “because”, “for”, etc.

ii. Key word in the Hebrew is the word ki.[11]

e. Ask the question, what does this Psalm teach us about God?

i. Laments are not depressing poems, there is a hope expressed in God!

ii. The goal is to find what it is about God that is the basis of the lamenter’s hope.


[1] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 194.

[2] Keith Essex, Bible Exposition 502 Syllabus, 45.

[3] Tremper Longman III., “Lament” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 198.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid, 200.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Keith Essex, Bible Exposition 502 Syllabus, 45.

[9] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 194.

[10] Tremper Longman III., “Lament” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 208.

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Dr. Barrick, Professor of Old Testament at The Master’s Seminary and contributor to the upcoming Genesis volume of the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary is an example of Godly scholarship, diligence, wisdom and Christian holiness for anyone who knows him

His diligence always encourage me.

He has on his website his entire Sunday School lessons on PDF for the entire Psalms (all one hundred and fifty!)

They are available for your edification below!

BOOK I
BOOK II
BOOK III
BOOK IV
BOOK V

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