Most of the content of the book comes from the Psalms and Hebrew Poetry Consultation of the Evangelical Theological Society. So…much research has gone into these chapters. As with any multi-author book not all chapters are created equal. And while not every chapter was equally stimulating, the ones that were have changed the way I think about the Psalms forever (see final section of review).
The extended bibliography in the back of the book is a valuable feature of the book. Over 80 resources (specifically related to the Psalms!) are listed and catagorized according to the following groups: Psalms Introductions, Commentaries, Teaching & Preaching, Theology of the Psalms, Psalms & Worship, and Related Resources. This will be a major help to the pastor, student, or anyone else who wants to fill their library with the best in Psalms literature.
The Scripture and subject indexes in the back also make it useful as a reference book.
The use of Hebrew font throughout the book is a major plus. Although, oddly, Willem Vangemeren’s chapter seems to be the only one which does not (e.g., pg. 39 he makes extensive use of transliteration…8 lines total of transliterated text!). Why he does not use a Hebrew font, like the rest of the authors in this book, is a mystery to this reviewer.
The footnotes…Let’s just say that my own personal amazon wish list grew exponentially as a result of the references in the footnotes.
Some Specific Delights
Walter Kaiser has a very interesting take on the theological significance of the use of acrostics in Hebrew poetry.
Robert Chisholm Jr. has a thought-provoking chapter on the interaction between the divinely inspired Hebrew writers and the mythological figures of their day (Leviathan, Rahab, Tannin, etc).
Andrew Schmutzer has done an excellent job of demonstrating a multiplex approach to Psalm 91. I will never read this Psalm the same again (or any references to the demonic realm in the New Testament for that matter). There are many layers of significance behind each passage and each has a depth and richness the begs to be mined.
Finally, chapters 12-14 have taught me a whole new way of reading the Palms. Before I read them as isolated and only loosely related pieces of poetry; now I see a story bing told with each psalm contributing something to the Psalter as a whole. Seeing the connections between the Psalms, understanding the bigger picture of the story that Psalter is telling, and being aware of the features that each book of Psalter lays emphasis on helps to see what each psalm contributes to the Biblical theology of the Psalter.This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.