The biblical psalms are perhaps the most commented-upon texts in human history. They are at once deeply alluring and deeply troubling.
In this addition to the acclaimed Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible, Ellen Charry offers a theological reading of Psalms 1-50, exploring the various voices in the poems to discern the conversation they engage about God, suffering, and hope as well as ways of community belonging. The commentary examines the context of the psalms as worship–tending to both their original setting and their subsequent Jewish and Christian appropriation–and explores the psychological dynamics facing the speaker.
The book includes a foreword by William P. Brown.
Ellen T. Charry (PhD, Temple University) is Margaret W. Harmon Professor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. She is the author of numerous articles and several books, including God and the Art of Happiness. Charry has served on the editorial boards of the Scottish Journal of Theology and Pro Ecclesia and currently serves as an editor-at-large for The Christian Century.
Praise for Psalms 1-50:
“It is a wonder and a gift to have a systematic theologian slow down and focus attention on the particularity of biblical texts. No one doing theology can do that more effectively than Charry.” – Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
“Ellen Charry’s exposition of Psalms 1-50 is in a class of its own as a theological exposition of an Old Testament book….I shall often come back to this commentary.” – John Goldingay, Fuller Theological Seminary
“A very thoughtful, theological reflection on the Psalter. Truly to be commended is the seriousness with which Charry takes up the settings provided by the Psalm titles themselves as well as the questions raised by Jewish and Christian interpreters over the centuries….Allows the theological depth of the Psalter to open up new vistas for the religious life.” – Gary A. Anderson, University of Notre Dame
“Grounded in a close reading of the text, this widely useful volume steadily demonstrates how the psalmists discover and rediscover God’s faithfulness.” – Ellen F. Davis, Duke Divinity School
“Bringing deep theological wisdom and human experience to reading and hearing the Psalms, Ellen Charry has given us a beautiful commentary in every way–exegetical, theological, and pastoral.” – Patrick D. Miller, Princeton Theological Seminary
“The Psalms are daily bread for the broken hearted. Ellen Charry reads them this way and in doing so opens her commentary for my Jewish eyes as well as the eyes of her many Christian readers.” – Peter Ochs, University of Virginia
“By asking how psalms relate to but also challenge later Christian theology, Ellen Charry reads them as part of the Christian’s Bible without claiming they speak specifically of Christ. As a result, her commentary will interest–and truly guide–people of more than one faith.” – Benjamin D. Sommer, Jewish Theological Seminary