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date: 14 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Ever since the first translations and editions of Akkadian prayer texts were published at the end of the 19th century, scholars have noted a number of parallels between Mesopotamian prayers and the book of Psalms. The deciphering of these prayer texts coincided with the development of the form-critical method in biblical studies, thus providing significant test cases for comparative genre research of the Psalms. To establish and compare genres of prayer, form-critical studies have addressed the structure of prayers as whole texts. Mesopotamian prayers are typically transmitted as part of a ritual consisting of agenda and the prayer as dicenda, giving rise to hypotheses concerning the primary Sitz im Leben of the biblical psalms. Points of comparison between Akkadian prayers and biblical psalms include the relation between the deity and the praying person, the recurring stock-phrases, and a concluding praise or promise to praise that characterize many psalms of individual lament. Finally, both Mesopotamian and biblical prayers abound in motifs, metaphors, and formulaic language.

Keywords: Akkadian prayers, Mesopotamian prayers, Psalms, genres, deity, biblical studies, Sitz im Leben, stock-phrases, praise, lament

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