Perhaps no other part of the Old Testament is so revealing of the communal spiritual life of Israel as the Psalms. Moreover, the Psalms have provided the richest resource from which the New Testament writers have drawn; of some 1520 references to the Old Testament by New Testament writers, more than 320 are from the Psalms.
Dr. Leslie Allen has set himself a threefold challenge in commenting on this portion of the Psalter:
- A survey of current research into text, grammar, syntax, lexicography, genre, structure and exegesis. A specialized bibliography accompanies the treatment of each Psalm.
- The Hebrew text receives a fresh translation, accompanied by notes on word studies and explanations of the author's divergences from commonly accepted translations.
- The overall structure and divisions of each Psalm come under scrutiny as to their literary form and their setting in the historical experience of Israel.
Professor Allen also has attempted to trace the impact of various Psalms upon Christian thought and devotions. He focuses on the New Testament uses of the Psalter, particularly in the cases of dissonances With the Christian tradition.
Scholars will be drawn to the dialogue with Hans-Joachim Kraus, who has developed the pioneering work of Gunkel and Mowinckel on genre and setting.
Ministers and other serious students of Scripture will find special help in the canonical aspects of Professor Allen's approach-the messianic and christological interest not usually found in a critical and exegetical commentary.
This work, Volume 21 in The Word Biblical Commentary, promises a fresh understanding of the last 50 of the Psalms, as well as a deeper appreciation of their impact, both in their original settings and in their continued history of interpretation throughout the generations who have approached them as the Word of God.