Schmutzer, Andrew J., and David M. Howard Jr. The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul (Chicago: Moody, 2013).

My Endorsement:

This book celebrates the lasting significance of the Psalms for the church and ably weaves together a number of theological, literary, and canonical themes in a way that both teaches and edifies. Through the centuries, in seasons of pain and pleasure, the Psalms have testified to the faithfulness of King Yahweh and his royal Son and given Christians a voice for lament and praise. Schmutzer and Howard have organized a remarkable cast of leading scholars and expositors to provide a snapshot of evangelical Psalms scholarship and proclamation at the beginning of the 21st century. The volume supplies an effective guide and model that should serve both student and preacher and assist the church in recovering this biblical hymnbook that still nurtures a life of worship in all seasons of the soul.


Publisher’s Description:

The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul brings together essays from eighteen Old Testament scholars discussing the latest in Psalms scholarship and applying exegetical insights to the life of faith.

These essays explore the full range of emotion expressed in the Psalms—from elation to distress—while weaving together observations from biblical scholarship and theology. The reader will gain valuable insights into how the Psalms speak to his or her soul.

The book is divided into five sections that:

  1. Give an overview of Psalms studies in the 21st century
  2. Discuss psalms of praise
  3. Explore psalms of lament
  4. Look at the big picture of the Psalter as a book
  5. Present sermons on the Psalms that are models of evangelical engagement with the text.

A Select Bibliography for Psalms Study is included at the end of the book.


Table of Contents:

Part 1: Psalms Studies in the Twenty-First Century: Where We Have Been and Where We Are Going
1. Biblical Theology of the Psalms Today: A Personal Perspective––Bruce K. Waltke
2. Entering the Textual World of the Psalms: Literary Analysis––Willem A. VanGemeren
3. The Psalms and Faith/Tradition––C. Hassell Bullock

Part 2: Psalms of Praise: Expressing Our Joys
4. Psalm 46: Praise the Lord of Our Help––Fancis X. Kimmitt
5. Suppressing Myth: Yahweh and the Sea in the Praise Psalms––Robert B. Chishold Jr.
6. Psalm 91: Refuge, Protection, and Their Use in the New Testament––Andrew J. Schmutzer

Part 3: Psalms of Lament: Expressing Our Sorrows and Pain
7. “Severe Delight”: The Paradox of Praise in Confession of Sin––Michael E. Travers
8. The Laments of Lamentations Compared to the Psalter––Walter C. Kaiser Jr.
9. The “Thou” Sections of Laments: The Bold and Earnest Prayers of the Psalmists––Allen P. Ross
10. The Transformation of Pain into Praise in the Individual Lament Psalms––Daniel J. Estes
11. Psalm 54 (The Septuagint): He Who Saves from Discouragement and Tempest––Randal X. Gautheir

Part 4: Considering the Canon: The Psalter as a Book
12. Psalms 1 and 2: The Psalter’s Introduction––Robert L. Cole
13. Divine and Human Kingship as Organizing Motifs in the Psalter––David M. Howard Jr.
14. The Return of the King: Book V as a Witness to messianic Hope in the Psalter––Michael K. Snearly
15. From Weeping to Rejoicing: Psalm 150 as the Conclusion to the Psalter––Tremper Longman III

Part 5: Communicating the Psalms: Bringing the Psalms into the Present Day
16. Psalms 16, 23: Confidence in a Cup––Mark D. Futado
17. Psalm 84: How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place––David A. Ridder
18. Psalm 88: Praising God in the Bad Times––David M. Howard Jr.
19. Psalm 117: Everlasting Truth for the Joy of all Peoples––John Piper

A Select Bibliography for Psalms Study
Subject Index
Scripture Index