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Biblical Psalms Outside the Psalter

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Chapter Summary

Many of the inset poems are, in form and content, "psalms" since they would fit perfectly well within the Book of Psalms. But instead of being placed in the Psalter, these compositions have been inserted into narrative and prophetic books for literary and religious purposes. The comparative study of these psalms inserted whole into non-hymnic contexts is the subject of this review of research. Most of these individual psalms have been studied extensively as to their internal structure, time of origin, and original message. Examination of these various studies shows considerable overlap and agreement about the functions performed by inset psalms within their literary contexts, but also strong differences over certain aspects of the phenomenon and the methods used for its study. This chapter surveys the common findings of the last decade's research before describing and evaluating disagreements over how to understand the literary and religious functions of inset psalmody.

Keywords: Book of Psalms; inset hymns; prophetic books; Psalter



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