This introduction to the Psalms introduces readers to some of the key issues arising from different approaches to the biblical text.
Alastair G. Hunter examines how current methods of interpretation - historical/cultural, literary, liturgical and theological - differ and complement each other. He provides an overview of contemporary scholarship (including the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls Psalms) and examines some of the key texts and commentaries in use today. The book offers a way in to a more detailed and more advanced Psalms study, and includes particular emphasis on literary and liturgical matters, which are often left out of traditional commentaries. Hunter seeks to do two things: to understand the psalms in themselves as deliberately arranged poetical and liturgical compositions; and to explore their literary and theological significance for contemporary readers. He considers the increasing body of work relating to groups of psalms, and reviews the results to date of that approach, which helps the reader to see the psalms as a more coherent collection of texts, and has implications for their exegesis and interpretation.