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The Religion of the Psalms

The Religion of the Psalms

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Published by glennpease

Profesior of Old Testament Language and Literature
in the University of Chicago

Profesior of Old Testament Language and Literature
in the University of Chicago

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 26, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE RELIGIO OF THE PSALMSBy J. M. POWIS SMITHProfesior of Old Testament Language and Literaturein the University of ChicagoTHE UIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESSCHICAGO, ILLIOISPREFACEBooks about the Psalms come and go;the Psalms go on forever. They belong tothe permanent literature of the race.They express felicitously and adequatelythe great emotions of mankind. Theydisplay a faith that passes knowledge,an invincible confidence in the goodness of God that survived successive shocks test-ing it to the uttermost. The genuine,heartfelt religion of the Psalter has neverfailed to kindle the spirit of the faithful.The aim of this book is to bring outthe significance of the Psalms as indicativeof the religious and moral standards of later Judaism. There is no attempt hereto find in the Psalms spiritual nourishmentfor the life of today. The effort is ratherto present the meaning of the Psalms as itlay in the minds of their authors andearliest readers. Probably no book hassuffered more from a conventionalizedinterpretation than the Psalter. We needvi Prefacefrequently to return to the original sourceof the stream of interpretation and startafresh. o conventionalized Psalter canever have the virility and freshness of the
real Psalter.It is because of this desire to preserveas much as possible the original atmos-phere of the Psalter that the form "Yah-weh" is used instead of "Lord." This is,approximately at least, the original pro-nunciation of the name more commonlyknown as "Jehovah.'' The latter formhas gathered to itself a connotation thatnever attached to Yahweh and that inter-feres with any historical appreciation of the Hebrew God.In the quotations of poetical passagesfrom the Psalter and elsewhere, I haveofter ventured to use translations of myown. This has been done, not with thethought that they are better than otherrenderings, but with the desire to bringthe thoughts and aspirations of theseHebrew poets before the reader's mind ina somewhat new and unfamiliar dress.Preface viiThus they may more successfully challengeattention and secure respect and admi-ration.Some of the chapters of this book havebeen used as lectures for general audiences.The favorable reception accorded thememboldens me to send them out to a largercircle. May they contribute somethingto the quickening of an intelligent interestin the religious poetry of Israel.COTETSCHAPTER I. The Hymn Book of the Second Temple
II. The Sweet Singer of Israel . .III. Suffering and Song ....IV. The Psalms and ImmortalityV. The. Idea of God in the Psalms .Appendix. A List of the Best Booksthe General Reader ....Subject Index . . . .Index of Biblical PassagesFOR PA<UBI336396129159163i6sTHE HYM BOOK OF THE SECODTEMPLEEvery piece of literature must be inter-preted and estimated in the light of thetimes and circumstances amid which itcame into being, and with reference to the

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