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Psalms, Volume 2

Psalms 42–89

series: Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms

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In the second volume of his three-volume commentary on the book of Psalms, Old Testament scholar John Goldingay provides fresh commentary on Psalms 42–89. He considers the literary, historical, and grammatical dimensions of the text as well as its theological implications.

The Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series is tailored to the distinctives of poetry and Wisdom literature. Features include

• Emphasis on the message of the biblical book • Special attention to poetic structure and literary devices • Incisive comments based on the author’s translation of the Hebrew text • Exegetical rigor, incorporating linguistic, historical, and canonical insights • Closing reflections on each section that explore the text’s theological dimensions • Textual notes highlighting important features of the Hebrew text


Praise for vol. 1:
"One of our premier interpreters, John Goldingay, offers here a comprehensive treatment of the Psalms. Rarely does one find such a combination of close attention to grammatical and syntactical features joined with literary sensitivity, and all of it aimed at theological appropriation of the Psalms. Don't be surprised to find Anne Lamott alongside Luther, Calvin, Aquinas, and Isaac Watts. A basic resource for studying the Psalms."--Patrick D. Miller, professor of Old Testament theology emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary

"John Goldingay has come to this commentary on Psalms 1-41 after extensive work in other areas of biblical study. He has written a major commentary that incorporates solid, mainline scholarship, and it belongs with leading commentaries on the Psalter. His readers will find him to be a competent, mature, and careful guide in interpreting the Psalms. I recommend his work, and I look forward to further commentary from him."--Marvin E. Tate, senior professor of Old Testament, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"This is a fine commentary on the first part of the book of Psalms, combining excellent scholarship and deep, practical spiritual reflection. Readers will find it to be an invaluable resource for their own life journeys, not least in the constructive challenge it presents to some modern Christian understandings of biblical spirituality."--Iain Provan, Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies, Regent College

"Once again, John Goldingay has given us exemplary scholarship that will serve both church and academy very well indeed. The commentary is filled with mature theological insights, fresh ideas, and thoughtful reflections for contemporary appropriation. The clear and imaginative introduction alone is worth the price of the book."--Terence E. Fretheim, Elva B. Lovell Professor of Old Testament, Luther Seminary

"Pastors will benefit from Goldingay's lucid discussion of interpretive issues, which is always informed by the faith of the church. Scholars will be well served by the insightful textual notes and extensive bibliography. In sum, this volume is a welcome resource for the study of the Psalms from which many different readers may glean."--Jerome F. D. Creach, Robert C. Holland Professor of Old Testament, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

The Author

  1. John Goldingay

    John Goldingay

    John Goldingay (PhD, University of Nottingham) is senior professor of Old Testament and David Allan Hubbard Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is an ordained priest in the Church of England and is the author of numerous...

    Continue reading about John Goldingay


"Goldingay continues his comprehensive study of the Psalms in this volume. . . . Extensive footnotes enable the author to engage the thinking of other scholars. Helpful aids for study include a glossary that clarifies some of the Hebrew words used in the commentary, a subject index, and an extensive index of biblical citations. As with Volume 1, this book is recommended to scholars and serious students of the Bible."--Dianne Bergant, CSA, Bible Today

"John Goldingay is a most appropriate choice for the Psalms in this Series because of his skill in presenting academic issues in a lively manner. . . . The commentary itself is rich and accessible. Goldingay offers his own translation of each psalm, and his clear textual analysis, insightful theological interpretation and interesting selections of reception history are all characteristics of his exegesis."--Susan Gillingham, Expository Times

"In this second volume of his expansive commentary, Goldingay continues to offer his detailed, learned, and helpful treatments of the Psalms. . . . Scholars will probably find most helpful Goldingay's innovative translations and the material in the sections labeled 'Interpretation,' including (and perhaps especially) the footnotes, which contain a wealth of bibliographic material from a wide range of sources. As for clergy and seminary students, they will probably find especially useful the sections labeled 'Theological Implications.'. . . [These sections] cover thoughtfully and clearly a range of topics that are important to the church and synagogue. . . . Goldingay's direct advice to clergy and future clergy [is] extraordinarily important and timely. . . . I trust that clergy and future clergy will hear, learn from, and share the message of the Psalms that Goldingay has so effectively illuminated, as this series of commentaries intends. As for biblical scholars, many of us too will certainly appreciate Goldingay's illumination of the message of the Psalms; and in any case, his work will be an indispensable resource for future academic study of and comment upon the Psalms."--J. Clinton McCann Jr., Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

"The [Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms] series is intended primarily for 'clergy and future clergy,' but it attempts also to reach those without a formal theological education and to offer something to scholars as well. The ultimate concern of the series is the theological significance of the books treated. John Goldingay fulfills these guidelines extremely well. . . . [This volume has] numerous strengths. Goldingay judiciously sifts issues in the text and presents his interpretation clearly. His decisions reflect his reading of massive amounts of secondary material. But instead of rehearsing every technical issue and the opinions about them, Goldingay 'translates' for lay readers and offers an interpretation free of jargon. He provides extensive footnotes and a bibliography at the end of [the] volume for those interested in the scholarly discussion of issues. . . . A welcome resource for those interested in the Psalms from the perspective of faith. Goldingay's work . . . is well informed, theologically sensitive, and will serve well the audience(s) for which it is intended."--Jerome F. D. Creach, Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"[The Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms] series focuses on [Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs] both as ancient literature and as God's Word for today, understood in their canonical context. They could hardly have found a scholar more suited to explaining the Psalter along these lines than John Goldingay. . . . Goldingay is already well known for reading the Bible with open eyes and an open mind, and he does not disappoint in [this volume]. . . . I also appreciated his attention to the theology of literary devices: these are not present merely to entertain but also convey theological freight. . . . [Goldingay's translation] reveals nuances from the Hebrew that might otherwise be missed. Add his perceptive word studies and ample insights from rabbinic and early Christian writers and [this volume] become[s] a treasury of exegetical gold. . . . The study of each psalm concludes with Goldingay's reflection on its theological implications. Here too, Goldingay shines as he brings the depth of insight revealed in his three-volume OT theology to bear on the psalms. His wealth of knowledge, relaxed tone, and frankness allow the reader to hear and understand truths that might otherwise be obscured by one's preconceptions about God. Clearly, Goldingay has a candid, seasoned faith and wants nothing less for his readers. . . . Present and future clergy, as well as the interested lay person and scholar seeking to discover the literary artistry and theological depth of the psalms would be well-advised to secure [this volume]."--Stephen J. Lennox, Bulletin for Biblical Research

"A fresh, new work in Psalm studies. . . . This commentary is well researched and well written, with a good blend of critical discussion for Goldingay's academic audience and practical insights for his pastoral audience. This volume, in addition to his other two volumes on Psalms, will take their place among the great commentaries on the Psalms. The intended audience for this series is clergy and seminary students; however, scholars as well as well-read laypersons will find this commentary useful. Goldingay lays out his book in an easy-to-read format. . . . The book ends with a glossary (English translation of Hebrew words found in Psalms), an extensive bibliography, and indices by subject, author, Scripture references, and references to other ancient works. These will prove helpful to anyone wanting to do additional studies in Psalms. I found Goldingay's commentary on Psalms to be very readable and informative. Scholars will find his discussion on the Psalms stimulating and useful. The student, minister, or well-read layperson . . . will be able to get plenty from the discussion, enough to help with the writing of research papers or the preparation of sermons. Overall, the work is excellent. I highly recommend Goldingay's book to anyone interested in Psalm studies."--Terry W. Eddinger, Biblical Theology Bulletin

"[Goldingay] blends together quite successfully both formal and functional aspects of the text, preserving the poetic aesthetics while retaining and highlighting original language word nuances. His footnotes reveal his solid grasp of the Hebrew text, text critical acumen, and interaction with the relevant lexicons and secondary literature both past and present. Scholars will appreciate his contribution here. . . . His mature reasoning and fresh insight are worthy of the highest compliments. . . . Goldingay explains the development of thought, and exemplifies the best of scholarship in doing so. . . . Goldingay offers good ideas for preaching points and timeless truths on each of the psalms. His own reflection will stimulate pastors who seek to relate the word of God to the world of today. . . . This is a fine commentary in most respects, well designed and executed for its intended, pastoral ministry audience."--Ray Lubeck, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"Using his own translation of each Psalm, Goldingay deftly explores each chapter with careful attention and frequent expository notes. Each chapter also includes sections on interpretation and theological implications. As such, the structure of the work is clear and easy to follow. In addition, the work includes a glossary at the end examining many of the terms with which the commentary interacts throughout. Finally, the commentary is well-documented and contains a thorough bibliography and helpful indexes. . . . Though the expressed target audience of this work is primarily current and future ministers, anyone interested in the study of God's Word through the richness and beauty of the Psalms will find this volume invaluable. This series will be a mainstay for theological excavation of this great book of the Bible for years to come."--Deron J. Biles, Southwestern Journal of Theology