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date: 11 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Psalms is the longest and most complex book of the Bible and the only one in the Hebrew Scriptures with a varied collection of religious poetry. In particular, the Masoretic Psalter (MT), the most transcribed and translated book of the Hebrew Bible to date and the most widely cited in the New Testament, is comprised of 150 psalms and features a wide variety of genres. A wide range of theological themes can be found in the Psalms, from covenant and history to creation and wisdom. In addition, the book of Psalms reflects diverse personal moods such as anguish, joy, and a heavy didactic tone. Psalmic poetry, with its vivid yet stereotyped language, is applicable to different contexts and settings. This article provides an overview of the book of Psalms by highlighting its main features and functions, its history of interpretation and usage, and certain key issues in Psalms research. More specifically, it examines interpretations by the Protestant reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin.

Keywords: Psalms, Bible, religious poetry, Psalter, Martin Luther, John Calvin, New Testament, Hebrew Scriptures, genres, interpretations

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