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Psalm , for example, seems to mark the end of a collection of David's psalms that antedated the Psalter we now have, but which editors incorporated into the larger work. ) all organized temple singing, and may have had a hand in compiling some of the psalms. Saints of all ages have appropriated this collection of prayers and praises in their public worship and private meditations." The psalms are all prayers written in Hebrew poetry. Thus parallelism alone is not a sufficient criterion to define poetry. The most frequent types of parallelism are the following: In synonymous parallelism, the writer repeats the thought of the first line in the following line (e.g., 1:2; 24:1-3; 25:4).Psalm 1 appears intended to introduce this collection and, probably later, the entire Psalter. "The leading characteristic of poetry is terseness or conciseness. Wherever there is a high proportion of parallel lines, however, we can be certain that we are dealing with a poetic passage. Antithetic parallelism is the reverse: the second line expresses a contrasting thought compared to the first line (e.g., 1:6; 20:8; 37:9).Psalm seems to be an exception, but this verse was probably an early editorial addition, referring to the preceding collection of Davidic psalms, of which Psalm 72 was the last.However, some of the titles of the individual psalms do contain information about the writers.Students of the psalms sometimes refer to those without writer information in their titles as anonymous or "orphan" psalms. "An analogy between the Psalter and a contemporary hymnbook is instructive. These smaller collections include songs of ascent (Pss. Undoubtedly the Psalter was in its final form by the close of the Old Testament canon, namely, by 400 B. The fivefold division may have been an intentional attempt to replicate the fivefold division of the Torah (Law, Pentateuch), which was the foundation of Israelite life and faith.The ones that do contain this information refer to the following writers. David composed at least 73 psalms, mostly in the first two books of the Psalter (i.e., Pss. Many modern hymns arose as a result of a specific event in the life of a hymn writer, but the event remains hidden (at least without historical research) from the person who sings the song today. So may Josiah, another reforming king of Judah (640609 B. In terms of subject matter, the psalms deal with selected events of that millennium (1400450 B. They provide us with the thoughts and feelings of those who went through the experiences recorded, especially their God-directed thoughts and feelings.Conservative scholars have adequately refuted these views This is the only really reliable information that we have as to who composed these psalms, though the commentators have their theories. Of these psalms, the earliest would have been the one Moses wrote (Ps. Solomon's psalm(s) seem to have been produced about 950 B. Korah's descendants, as well as Heman and Ethan, probably lived after Solomon, but exactly when we cannot identify.Only Psalms and Proverbs in the Old Testament claim composite authorship for themselves. Since Heman and Ethan are connected with Ezra as Ezrahites, they probably lived and wrote after the Babylonian exile. 90150) contain more miscellaneous psalms dating from Moses to the return from exile. "The picture that emerges is a mixture of order and informality of arrangement, which invites but also defeats the attempt to account for every detail of its final form.
gattungen) by trying to identify the general situation in life (Germ.
Walter Brueggemann refined this form critical approach further.
He divided the psalms into those that express orientation to the status quo, those that express disorientation with it, and those that present a new orientation to a better, future life.
"The best solution is to regard the titles as early reliable tradition concerning the authorship and setting of the psalms. We can date some of the psalms that do not contain information about their writers in the title, if they have a title, by their subject matter. It seems likely that Ezra, the great renovator of postexilic Judaism, may have been responsible for adding these and perhaps putting the whole collection in its final form. There is some chronological progression, with David most in evidence in the first half, and a clear allusion to the captivity towards the close of Book V (Ps. But David reappears in the next psalm (138), and by contrast, the fall of Jerusalem had been lamented as far back as Psalm 74." Each of the five books or major sections of the Psalter ends with a doxology, and Psalm 150 is a grand doxology for the whole collection.
The titles, however, should not be taken as original or canonical." Not all the titles contain information about authorship. For example, David seems to have written Psalms 2 and 33 even though his name does not occur in the superscriptions (cf. Likewise Psalms 126 and 137 must have been late compositions dating from the time the Jews returned from Babylonian exile or shortly after that. The oldest record we have of the fivefold division of the Psalter comes from a Dead Sea scroll that dates to the first century A. As is true of modern hymnals, there are smaller collections of Psalms within the larger collections. The earliest evidence of the fivefold division of the Book of Psalms comes from the Qumran scrolls, which scribes copied early in the first century A. At least 30 partial or complete manuscripts of the Book of Psalms were found, the largest manuscript collection of any Bible book found there.The writer of most of the first 72 psalms (Books 1 and 2 of our modern editions) was David. In synthetic parallelism, the second line explains or expands the thought expressed in the first line (e.g., 1:1; 19:7-9; Prov. When the second line completes the thought of the first line, we have climactic parallelism (e.g., 29:1; 96:7).