Overview (Masterplots II: Christian Literature)
The English title Psalms derives from the Greek word Psalmoi, the book’s title in the Septuagint version, which dates from the second century b.c.e. In its original Hebrew language, the title of Psalms is Tehillim, meaning “praises.” The Psalms, however, are not uniformly praises; they also include other genres such as lament, wisdom, and historical recital songs.
In the Hebrew Bible, Psalms is the first book in the Writings, the third part of the Hebrew canon, and in the English Bible, Psalms is the first of the poetical books. The 150 Psalms are organized into five divisions (called “books”), each ending in a doxology: book 1, Psalms 1-41; book 2, Psalms 42-72; book 3, Psalms 73-89; book 4, Psalms 90-106; and book 5, Psalms 107-150. It has been suggested that the five books may represent stages in the collection process; they may be thematic groupings that move from lament to praise; or they may be an attempt to parallel the five books of Moses (Genesis to Deuteronomy).
David is credited with the authorship of seventy-three Psalms. The remaining seventy-seven are attributed to a variety of authors, including Moses (Psalm 90), Solomon (Psalms 72 and 127), Heman (Psalm 88), and Ethan (Psalm 89). A number of Psalms are attributed to musical guilds known as the Sons of Korah and the Sons of Asaph, while still other Psalms are of anonymous origin.
Of the 150 Psalms, 116 have...
(The entire section is 1227 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Psalms Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!