Wednesday, 16 July 2008

The ESV Study Bible on the Psalms

Richard from the Psalms blog תהלים links to a sample of the ESV's forthcoming study Bible, an introduction to the Psalms including analysis of Psalms 1 and 2.

At a brief glance, it looks as if the comment attempts to penetrate to the Psalms' theological substance. It takes account of canonical shaping (Ps 1 as gateway to the Psalter; though the same isn't said for Psalm 2), literary and semantic structure.

Here's the overview of Ps 1:
Psalm 1. The first psalm serves as the gateway into the entire book of Psalms, stressing that those who would worship God genuinely must embrace his Law (or Torah), i.e., his covenant instruction. This psalm takes topics found in wisdom literature such as Proverbs and makes them the subject of song; the purpose is that those who sing the psalm will own its values—namely, they will want more and more to be people who love the Torah, who believe it, who see themselves as the heirs and stewards of its story of redemption and hope, and who seek to carry out its moral requirements. They can delight in the idea of being among the "righteous," feeling that nothing can compare with such blessedness. By its sustained contrast, the psalm reminds readers that in the end there are really only two ways to live.
And Psalm 2:
Psalm 2. When the people of God sing Psalm 2, they remind themselves of how God made David and his descendants to be kings in order to enable them to fulfill the very purpose for which Abraham was called (to bring blessing to all nations, Gen. 12:1–3). Thus it can be called a royal psalm. The pious Israelite realizes that his hope of blessing is now irrevocably tied to the house of David (cf. 2 Sam. 7:12–16), and so he prays that God will keep the king pure. At a time when the Gentile kingdoms that are part of the Davidic empire seek to throw off Israelite rule, this psalm recalls the promises made to the Davidic king at his coronation and notes that the Gentiles will find lasting joy only as subjects of this king. With its prospect of a worldwide rule for the house of David, the psalm also looks to the future, when the Davidic Messiah will indeed accomplish this; in fact, the scope of such an accomplishment calls for a ruler who is more than a mere man.
Does anyone know who wrote this?


Anonymous said...

C. John Collins (Ph.D., University of Liverpool; Professor and Chair of Old Testament Department, Covenant Theological Seminary) is listed on the contributors page as having done the notes for the Psalms and Song of Solomon.

Phil Sumpter said...

Thanks Nick. I've not read his stuff. But now I know the name I'll keep an eye out.

Anonymous said...

I would go with what Nick says. I have been away the past few days so apologies about the late reply.

Phil Sumpter said...

No worries at all Richard! Thanks for getting back to me.

Anonymous said...

I studied Psalms and Wisdom Books with Dr. Collins at CTS myself. Really helpful perspective and approach to how from someone who also has a passion for OT and Theology. He did indeed put together the intro/notes for Psalms in the ESV study bible, and is the editor for the OT. I highly recommend checking out his journal articles and other books. Another OT scholar/author that may be of interest to you is Christopher Wright.


Phil Sumpter said...

Thanks for the tips M. I'M keep my ear out for him (and try to distinguish him from the Collins at Yale). I've read Chris Wright's OT Ethics (which I reviewed here). I intend to post from it in the near future. Next Thursday I hope to use it as a basis for a Bible group series.

Michael Washer said...

My name is Michael Washer. ( I did this piece of art, which I have been searching for for a couple of years, having forgotten where it is. Firstly, you did not get permission to use my image. Secondly, where did you get this image from? I need to know in order to find the artwork.

Phil Sumpter said...

Hi Michael,

it's a beautiful picture. Would you like me to take it down? I'm afraid I can't remember where I found it, I wrote this post four years ago! I found it doing a google image search.