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PSALMS VOL 19 HB: Psalms 1-50 (Word Biblical Commentary) Hardcover – 1 Jan 2010

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Inside This Book

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In the OT, songs and prayers are by no means limited to the Book of Psalms. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A scholarly and evangelical commentary 15 Mar. 2005
By Daniel - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Here is what to expect with this commentary on Psalms 1-50:

- in-depth analysis of the purpose a psalm played in Israelite liturgy. Its purpose helps the reader today to better understand any psalm

- interaction with other ancient near eastern literature, when relevant

- textual notes on the Hebrew, with his own careful translation. He notes when the text is confusing, for example, but walks the reader through the issues

- a good section called "Comment," in which Craigie covers the important points, theology, and usage of the psalm

- and a concluding section called "Explanation" that connects the psalm to New Testament or Christian theology, to present-day concerns of Christians. He often says something helpful and edifying.

I recommend the volume highly. Even without knowledge of Hebrew, the reader will benefit from it. And for those with Hebrew and some background in the ancient near east (and in the historiography of this literature), it is probably the best, more recent work available.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Craigie's scholarship and perspective is extraordinary. 7 Jan. 1998
By Joseph A. Weaks - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Peter Craigie was to write the entire commentary on Psalms. His untimely death left this legacy of inspiring, intelligent, faithful survey work of Psalms 1-50 in a commentary series that occassionally gives up scholarship for conservative bias.
This is a superb survey of Psalms interpretation, and his own reflection and hermeneutic is inspiring in the least. Use it above even the likes of Casemann, Mays, and Bruegemann.
Joseph A. Weaks
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Helpful Summary Discussions, But Fundamentally Flawed 7 Jan. 2013
By Jordan Pariah - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
The Word commentaries on Psalms proceed upon the grossly aberrant belief that meter (or rhythm as it prefers) is one of the primary forms of Hebrew poetry. Instead, as Berlin has observed (The Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism), Biblical poetry lacks meter as far as we understand it. The only ancient Semitic poetic text that uses meter throughout is the Babylonian Theodicy (i.e., not Hebrew). Pardee declared that Ugaritic, which is extremely similar to Biblical Hebrew, has no meter at all. In an attempt to salvage some kind of meter from Biblical poetry, Watson (Classical Hebrew Poetry), suggests, very cautiously, that just maybe, though there is no regularity, there may sometimes be rythmn according to stress/accentuation. And, perhaps, there may be brief moments were something like a "qinah" exists or where stress, intonation, and other sound patterns form a kind of meter, but this is an exception that proves the rule. Meter is a classical Greek form of poetry, alien to ancient Hebrew, which the Word commentaries force the poetry into almost as if with a straight-jacket. Every translation of a psalm is treated to this violence, with its supposed meter relayed at the side. In the Introduction, the author adds a disclaimer that "the approach to meter in Hebrew poetry which has been adopted in this volume may seem to some to be rather old-fashioned," which I think it not strong enough of an admission! This is a blatant reliance upon scholarship centuries old, which understood close to nothing about historical grammar, had little to no truly ancient texts or comparative ancient near eastern examples, and was based on ideas and assumptions that were completely foreign to the language being studied. At least he admits that there is "no evidence that a theory or system of meter was ever articulated in ancient Israel," which begs the question why, then, such a theory or system would be applied to their texts!

And to further add insult to injury, the Word commentaries on the psalms proceed upon Lowth's tired and unhelpful categories of Hebrew poetry (synonymous, antithetical, and synthetic), which even Kugel admitted were vacuous, though he didn't do much better with his "line 2 says something more than line 1 did" (or as he called it "A and what's more B"). The declaration that "Lowth's system has been modified and corrected in a number of details, but his basic insights remain unchanged," is horrendously out-of-date and stupefyingly over-simplified to the point of rendering any poetic analysis of the psalms in these commentaries virtually pointless.

Despite these complete and utter failures, however, there is good that can be gleamed from them. What I like most is how they comment on and summarize other notable commentaries and articles so that one gets a good sense of the field of study and its ideas without having to do all the research oneself. Such work with secondary sources is the strength of these commentaries. I imagine they would be more than what a pastor needs to preach to a congregation, but those wishing for something more useful for research and investigation in the original languages and with primary texts should go elsewhere. This is a helpful grocery list of items that can make a tasty delicacy, but not the recipe for it.

Unfortunately, there are not very many good commentaries available for the book of Psalms. Dahood is wrong just as often as he is right (if not more so) and the old ICC commentaries only magnify the atrocities of the WBC. Until something better comes along, those looking for good commentaries on the psalms will find Hossfeld and Zenger's Hermeneia volumes far more satisfying.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An outstanding effort 1 Oct. 2014
By Doug Erlandson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The commentary by Peter Craigie's commentary on Psalms 1-50 is worth owning for a number of reasons. The introductory material (which is intended as an introduction to the book of Psalms as a whole), although not extremely long, contains valuable information on issues such as the origin of Psalmody in Israel, the compilation of the Psalter, the titles of the Psalms, the issue of authorship, the nature of Hebrew poetry and music, as well as other issues of interest.

Craigie then discusses each Psalm in turn. Following the format of the Word Biblical Commentary series as a whole, the commentary on each Psalm begins with a translation, followed by notes on that translation, then a section on "form/structure/setting," and finally sections commenting on the individual verses themselves and an explanation of the entire Psalm. While some of the information in the commentary is intended for the scholar (particularly one with a working knowledge of Hebrew), there is also much of value to pastors and laypersons who want to gain insight into the devotional value of the Psalms. Reading Craigie's comments on the first 50 Psalms will give one a greater appreciation of the message of these songs of the Israelites.
Excellent Scholarship and Wonderful Christian Faith 13 Aug. 2012
By Craig Stephans - Published on
After searching through a few commentaries on the Psalms, it was refreshing to view a commmentary that shared all of the scholarly comments on form, structure, word studies, historical and religious context of the Psalms AND comments on how the Psalms often point to Jesus the Christ. Craigie includes explanations of how particular psalms reference messianic prophecies fulfilled in Christ. He references New Testament quotes and references that interpret the psalms as fulfilled in Christ. Craigie demonstrates evangelical, mature faith in Jesus Christ along with seasoned and researched scholarship on the psalms. For Psalms 1-50, this commentary fulfills the substance needed for pastors, seminary students, academics and students of the Bible seeking understanding and insights.

The structure and organization of the book is user-friendly and conducive to finding what you are seeking.
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