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Psalms, 2nd Edition

A Guide to Studying the Psalter

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"Readers will find a great richness of scholarship here set out in vigorous and exciting language to make plain that the Psalter retains a powerful challenge for the present day."--Ronald E. Clements, King's College, University of London

A leading authority on the Psalms and a seasoned teacher presents a new edition of an already successful book. W. H. Bellinger takes account of the latest developments in Psalms studies in this accessible and concise primer. Not only will students of the Psalms appreciate these studies but church leaders teaching from the Psalms will also gain new insight from this classic text.
1. Getting Started
2. Lessons from the Past
3. Reading the Psalms
4. Laments: Out of the Depths
5. Psalms of Praise: Enthroned on the Praises of Israel
6. Royal Psalms: A Covenant with My Chosen One, David My Servant
7. Wisdom Psalms: I Will Instruct You
8. The Psalms and Faith
For Further Reading
For Further Study
Glossary of Names and Terms


Praise for the first edition

"The study of the Old Testament Psalter has undergone great changes during the twentieth century in an effort to recover a fuller awareness of its original setting and purpose. Bellinger's book admirably fulfills the task of exploring the many insights of modern scholarship on the Psalms in order to clarify the faith to which they bear witness. It does this by showing the real-life situations that occasioned the formulation of prayers of complaint and praise, opening up a warm sense of the humanity and faith that they nurtured. Readers will find a great richness of scholarship here set out in vigorous and exciting language to make plain that the Psalter retains a powerful challenge for the present day. These psalms explore the whole range of human experience and provide a vehicle by which faith can become articulate and sharply focused, even when faced with pain and doubt. The sheer honesty of these prayers challenges contemporary complacency."

Ronald E. Clements, professor of Old Testament studies, King's College, University of London

"Bellinger has created an excellent primer for the Psalms. I like his use of examples in each section and his references in each chapter to what has gone before."

Victor Matthews, professor of religious studies, Southwest Missouri State University

The Author

  1. W. H. Bellinger Jr.

    W. H. Bellinger Jr.

    W. H. Bellinger Jr. (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of religion emeritus at Baylor University. He has served on the editorial board of Catholic Biblical Quarterly and has written several volumes on the Psalms.

    Continue reading about W. H. Bellinger Jr.


"A delightful and accessible introduction to one of the most dearly loved books of the Bible. . . . Bellinger admirably navigates his way through numerous scholarly interpretations of the Psalter and along the way he frequently accents the fact that Israel's authentic and vulnerable petitions challenge a one-sided view of prayer that focuses on formality, form, and precision."

Reed Lessing,

Concordia Journal

"Bellinger's identification of his book as a primer for students is right on the mark. . . . The book might serve as an undergraduate introduction to the study of the psalms, or as a guide for adult Bible study."

Dianne Bergant, CSA,

The Bible Today

"[A] useful introduction to the Psalms. . . . The book is meant primarily, but not exclusively, for students encountering the psalms for the first time. . . . This book, written by a seasoned scholar, clearly and judiciously opens up the book for students of the Psalter, academic and otherwise."

Leslie C. Allen,

Bulletin for Biblical Research