RGB5263HS                  Session:  Winter                 Year: 2011

Course Title:   The Hebrew Psalter                 Professor:  Michael Kolarcik

1. Prerequisites: One year of Hebrew and One year of Greek. 

2. Course Description: This course studies the Hebrew Psalter as a literary composition of the Second Temple Period. The literary forms of specific psalms are analyzed according to the main categories of Lament, Trust, Declarative Praise, and Descriptive Praise (C. Westermann). Contemporary studies on the Psalms are explored in order to evaluate the structures proposed by Westermann. Finally the structure of the Psalter as a whole and individual collections from within the Psalter are both studied in light of the socio-religious context of the Second-Temple Period.

The aim of the course is to provide Biblical AD students with a solid basis for exploring the literary structure of the various psalm types and the theological implications of the structure of the Psalter as a whole.


3. Outcomes: Students who successfully complete the course will demonstrate the following learning outcomes:
     3.1 An understanding of the structure of the Psalter in its unity as well as individual collections within the Psalter.
     3.2 An ability to explain the literary structure of  various types of psalms in general as well as the specific structural application of the types in selected psalms.
     3.3 A familiarity with the socio-religious currents in the Second Temple period which gave rise to the formation of the Hebrew Psalter.
     3.4 An ability to read a number of psalms studied during the course in Hebrew and translate into English. 

4. Assignments:
   4.1 By weekly preparations of selected psalms for reading in Hebrew
   4.2 Major paper Outline with description, method and selected bibliography
   4.3 Depending on the number of students, each student presents a seminar of one hour on a specific topic to be determined from the course outline at the beginning of the course. .
   4.3 Major paper of 15-20 pages.

5. Grading:

  5.1 Hebrew Readings: 10%
  5.2 Major paper Outline: 10%
  5.3 Seminar: 30%
  5.4 Major Paper: 50%

6. Selected Bibliography

ALLEN, Leslie C. Psalms 101-150. Word Biblical Commentary. Vol. 21. Revised. Dallas, Texas: Word Books, 2002.

ALTER, Robert. The Art of Biblical Poetry. New York: Basic Books, 1987.

ALTER, Robert. The Book of Psalms. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009.

ATTRIDGE, Harold W., Margot E. Fassler, eds. Psalms In Community: Jewish and Christian Textual, Liturgical, and Artistic Traditions. SBL Symposium Series, 25. SBL 2004.

BERLIN, Adele. “Parallelism.” ABD Vol.5 (1992): 155-162.

<>BERLIN, Adele. The Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008. 

BERRY, Donald K. Psalms and their Readers: Interpretive Strategies for Psalm 18. Sheffield: JSOT 1993, New York, London: T & T Clark International, 2009.

BODA, Mark J., Daniel K. FALK, Rodney A. WERLINE, eds. Seeking the Favor of God: The Origins of Penitential Prayer in Second Temple Judaism. Early Judaism and Its Literature, 21. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2006.

BRUEGGEMANN, W. Abiding Astonishment, Psalms, Modernity and the Making of History.  (Pss 78, 105, 106, 136). Lousville: John Knox, 1991.

BRUEGGEMANN, W.  Israel's Praise: Doxology against Idolatry and Ideology. Philadelphia: 1989.

BRUEGGEMANN, W.  Praying the Psalms.  Winona, Minneapolis: Saint Mary’s, 1982, 2nd ed. Shoreline: Cascade, 2007.

BRUEGGEMANN, W.  The Message of the Psalms.  Augsburg Old Testament Studies. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1984.

BRUEGGEMANN, W.  The Psalms & the Life of Faith.  Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995.

BRUEGGEMANN, W.  The Spirituality of the Psalms.  Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002.

BURNETT, Joel S W H Bellinger, W Dennis Tucker (eds). Diachronic and Synchronic: Reading the Psalms in Real Time, Proceedings of the Baylor Symposium on the Book of Psalms.  The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament studies, 488. New York, London: T & T Clark International, 2007. (BS1430.52.D53 2006)

COLE, Robert L. Shape and Message of Book III (Psalms 73-89). New York, London: T & T Clark International, 2000.

COTTRILL, Amy C. Language, Power, and Identity in the Lament Psalms of the Individual. New York, London: T & T Clark International, 2008.

COXE,  A.C. ed. St. AUGUSTINE: Exposition on the Book of Psalms.The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. 8. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1974.

CRAIGIE, Peter C. Psalms 1-50. Word Biblical Commentary. Vol. 19. Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1983.

CREACH, Jerome F. D.  Yahweh as Refuge and the Editing of the Hebrew Psalter. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1996, New York, London: T & T Clark International, 1996.

BRIGGS, C.A.  A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Psalms. International Critical Commentary. Volumes 1-2. Edinburgh: Continuum International, 1906-7.

BROYLES, Craig C.  Psalms. New International Biblical  Commentary. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1999.

CLIFFORD, R.J.  Psalms 1-72. Collegeville Bible Commentary, OT 22. New York: Liturgical, 1986.

CLIFFORD, R.J. Psalms 73-150. Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries. Nashville: Abingdon, 2003.

DAHOOD, M.  Psalms, I-III. Anchor Bible. New York: Doubleday, 1966-70.

EATON, John H. Psalms of the Way of the Kingdom: A Conference with the Commentators. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1995, New York, London: T & T Clark International, 2009

EATON, John H.  Psalms. Torch Bible Commentaries. Naperville: SCM, 1967.

FEUER, Avrahom Chaim, Nosson SCHERMAN, Meir ZLOTOWITZ. Tehillim, A New Translation with a Commentary Anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic Sourses. 2 volumes. Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications Ltd., 1985-2001.

FOSTER, Robert L, David M HOWARD (eds). My Words Are Lovely: Studies in the Rhetoric of the Psalms. New York, London: T & T Clark International, 2008.

HUMAN, Dirk J C J A Vos (eds). Psalms and Liturgy. New York, London: T & T Clark International, 2005.

HUMAN, Dirk J.   Psalms and Mythology. New York, London: T & T Clark International, 2007.

GERSTENBERGER, E.S.  Psalms, Part 1 with an introduction to Cultic Poetry. FOTL XIV, Grand Rapids: W.B Eerdmans, , 1987.

GERSTENBERGER, E.S. Psalms, Part 2 and Lamentations. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B Eerdmans, 2001.

GOULDER, Michael D. The Psalms of the sons of Korah. Sheffield: JSOT, 1982.

GOULDER, Michael D. The Psalms of Asaph and the Pentateuch: Studies in the Psalter, III. Sheffield: JSOTS, 1996.

GOULDER, Michael D. The Psalms Of the Return (Book V, Psalms 107-150): Studies in the Psalter, IV. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1998.

GILLINGHAM, Susan. Psalms Through the Centuries. Vol. 1. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2008.

HOSSFELD, Frank-Lothar and Erich ZENGER. Psalms 2: A Commentary on Psalms 51-100. Translated by Linda Maloney. [Die Psalmen II, Psalm 51-100, Die Neue Echter Bibel, Echter, 2002.] Hermeneia. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005.

JACQUET, L.  Les Psaumes et le Coeur de l'Homme. I-III. Gembloux: Duculot, 1975-78.

JACOBSON, Rolf A.  Many are Saying: The Function of Direct Discourse in the Hebrew Psalter. New York, London: T & T Clark International, 2004.

JOHNSON, Vivian L.  David in Distress: His Portrait Through the Historical Psalms. New York, London: T & T Clark International, 2009.

KRAUS, H.-J.  Psalms 1-59 vol 1, Psalms 60-150 vol 2: A Commentary. Translated by Hilton C. Oswald. Minneapolis : Fortress, 1993. [Psalmen I-II. BKAT. Neukirchen: 1978].

LOHFINK, N. “The Psalter and Meditation: On the Genre of the Book of Psalms.” In In the Shadow of Your Wings: New Readings of Great Texts from the Bible [Im Schatten deiner Flügel: Grosse Bibeltexte neu erschlossen, Freiburg im Breisgan: Herder, 1999]. Translated by Linda M. Maloney. Collegeville: Order of Saint Benedict, 2003. 

MANDOLFO, Carleen.  God in the Dock: Dialogic Tension in the Psalms of Lament. New York, London: T & T Clark International, 2003.

McCANN, Jr., J. Clinton. The Book of Psalms. The New Interpreter's Bible, vol. 4. Nashville: Abingdon, 1996.

MEER, Willem Van Der - J C De Moor. Structuralist Analysis of Biblical and Canaanite Poetry. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1988, New York, London: T & T Clark International, 2009.

MORROW, William S. Protest Against God: The Eclipse of a Biblical Tradition. SheffieldSheffield Phoenix, 2006.

ROGERSON, J.W.,  J.W. MCKAY. Psalms, I-III. Critical Biblical Commentary on the New English Bible. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1977.

RAABE, Paul R.  Psalm Structures: A Study of the Psalms with Refrain. Sheffield: JSOT, 1990, New York, London: T & T Clark International, 2009.

SCHAEFER, Konrad. The Psalms. Collegeville; Liturgical, 2001.

STUHLMUELLER, C.  Psalms 1-72, 73-150. Old Testament Message 21, 22. Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, 1983.

TATE, Marvin E. Psalms 51-100. Word Biblical Commentary. Vol. 20. Dallas, Texas: Word Books, 1990.

TERRIEN, S.  The Psalms, Strophic Structure and Theological Commentary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: W.B. Eerdmans, 2003.

WATSON, Wilfred G.E. Classical Hebrew Poetry: A Guide to its Techniques. Sheffield: JSOT, 1984.

WATKINS, Mary, ed. Classical Hebrew Poetry: A Guide to its Techniques. New York, London: T & T Clark International, 2009.

WEISER, A.  The Psalms.  Trans. H. Hartwell. Old Testament Library. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1962.


Course Topic Outline

1)   Jan 11  

2)   Jan 18

3)   Jan 25 

4)   Feb 1  

5)   Feb 8

6)   Feb 15
Introduction, organization, areas, procedure

Overview of genres, Lament, Trust, Thanksgiving, Praise

Hebrew Poetry (Parallelism, Imagery)   (ABD, Parallelism, A Berlin)
(Hebrew reading: Psalms 22, 51)


Thanksgiving   (Declarative Praise)
Hebrew reading: Psalms 29, 30)

Praise  (Descriptive)
M. Kolarcik

M. Kolarcik

Ka Ho Lok

Yanling Meng

Dae Jun Jeong

Samuel Yu

      Feb 23

                                   (Reading Week)

7)   Mar 1

8)   Mar 8

 9)   Mar 15

10)  Mar 22 

11) Mar 29

12) Apr 5
(Hebrew reading: Psalms 33, 96 )

Liturgical / Cult (Korah, Asaph, royal)

(Hebrew reading: Psalms 1, 37)

Hebrew Psalter

(Hebrew reading: Psalms 42, 63)

To Be Determined (MT, Septuagint)  
– Mark Francois

– Kathleen Buligan

– Brian German

Andrew Witt

– Katherine Knoke

– Chris Zeitman