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Spring 2013/Phoenix




DESCRIPTION: This course will introduce the student to the book of Psalms and the principles involved in interpreting it.  It will present some of the recent scholarly approaches to the Psalter and evaluate their contributions to Psalm studies. The course seeks to encourage the student to read and study them in Hebrew, as well as use the Psalms in public worship and personal devotions.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: The book of Psalms has taken a firm hold not only of the authors of the New Testament, but also of the heart of Christian believers and worshipers down through the ages. Discerning the basic spirituality of these poems will lead to an enriched understanding of their contemporary relevance to believers and the church.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of the course students will have demonstrated (1) that they can use a range of approaches to the study of the Psalms to illumine and develop our relationship with God both as the church and as individuals; and (2) basic skills in and appreciation for the value of using Hebrew in studying the Psalms and the Old Testament in general.

COURSE FORMAT: Ten weekly meetings for three and one half hour sessions to provide 35 in class hours.


Longman, Tremper and Peter Enns. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writing. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2008. ISBN: 9780830817832. $60.00. (Selections).

McCann, J. Clinton. A Theological Introduction to the Psalms. Nashville: Abingdon, 1993. ISBN: 9780687414680. $25.00. (224pp.)

Peterson, E.H. Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer. HarperOne, 1991. ISBN: 9780060665128. $13.00. (160pp.)

Choose one of the following sets:

Allen, L.C. Psalms 101-150. 2nd ed. Waco: Word Books, 2002. ISBN: 9780785247739. $49.99. (384pp.)

Craigie, P. Psalms 1-50. Old Testament Library. 2nd Ed.  Thomas Nelson, 2005. ISBN: 9780785250135. $49.99. (416pp.)

Tate, M.E. Psalms 51-100. Thomas Nelson, 1991. ISBN: 9780849902192. $49.99. (589pp.)


Goldingay, J. Psalms, Vol. 1: Psalms 1-41.  Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006.  ISBN: 9780801027031. $49.99. (640pp.)

Goldingay, J. Psalms, Vol. 2: Psalms 42-89.  Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007.  ISBN: 9780801031434. $49.99. (757pp.)

Goldingay, J. Psalms, Vol. 3: Psalms 90-150.  Grand Rapids: Baker, 2008.  ISBN: 9780801027048. $49.99. (816pp.)

Additional articles by Ellen Davis, Jonathon Magonet, Walter Brueggemann, James Luther Mays, and others will be assigned.

See also the Biblical Division bibliography “Linguistic and Exegetical Books Required in the Masters of Divinity Program” available online at http://documents.fuller.edu/sot/ecds/043/Ling-Exeg-Biblio.html


  1. Weekly Hebrew assignments to be prepared and translated prior to class. (30%)
  2. Additional Psalms assigned are to be read and studied in preparation for class discussion. Use the Word Bible Commentaries for reference. 10 page summary on the readings and reflection (30%)
  3. 10 page exegetical paper on the Hebrew text of a selected Psalm.  (40%)

PREREQUISITES: LG502B or equivalent.


FINAL EXAMINATION: Only for students who miss more than one excused class.

NOTE: This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification. Textbook prices are set by publishers and are subject to change.