Synopses & Reviews
Psalms, with an Introduction to Cultic Poetry, is Volume XIV of The Forms of the Old Testament Literature, a series that aims to present a form-critical analysis of every book and each unit in the Hebrew Bible. Fundamentally exegetical, the FOTL volumes examine the structure, genre, setting, and intention of the biblical literature in question. They also study the history behind the form-critical discussion of the material, attempt to bring consistency to the terminology for the genres and formulas of the biblical literature, and expose the exegetical process so as to enable students and pastors to engage in their own analysis and interpretation of the Old Testament texts. Erhard Gerstenberger begins this volume with an examination of the nature of cultic poetry, its role in ancient Near Eastern religion, and more specifically its role in the religion of Israel. He goes on to survey the genres of cultic poetry, including lament, complaint, and thanksgiving. He then focuses on the book of Psalms as an example of cultic poetry, first analyzing the book as a whole and then working through Psalms 1-60 unit by unit, discussing structure, genre, setting, and intention. The work is enhanced by extensive bibliographies and a glossary of genres and formulas that offers clear, thorough definitions with examples.