This eight-session study of the Book of Psalms masterfully mixes scholarly and practical teaching of one of the most well-read wisdom Books. Sandra Richter’s pedagogy offers every modern reader the scaffolding they cannot bring to the table themselves and introduces the people of God today to their ancestors in the faith in a cross-cultural-experience kind of way. The key overall messages of this study is what the Book of Psalms is (the hymnbook of ancient Israel), how it was utilized in Israelite worship (the various “forms” of the Psalms), the concrete realities of Israelite worship (the tabernacle, temple, priesthood, and sacrifice) as well as Israel’s theology of worship (wrapped up in their theocratic world view), and why the Book of Psalms remains critical to our devotional lives today. There will be numerous connections to contemporary worship and devotional practices and focus on a few psalms that have become “classics” in the Christian world and need a deeper explanation. What makes my studies unique is that I am a scholar … who was a pastor. As a result, I am able to do the “heavy lifting” for my audiences, but deeply sensitive to issues of engagement and the “so what?” part of the equation.
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