About those Psalms…

In Chapter 2 of Longing to Pray, we’ll dig a little deeper into specific Psalms. But first, let’s quickly recap Dr. Kalas’ overview of what he refers to as “the heart of the Bible.”

Psalms has 150 chapters that scholars typically divide into five “books”:

  • Book One covers Psalms 1-41
  • Book Two, Psalms 42-72
  • Book Three, Psalms 73-89
  • Book Four, Psalms 90-106
  • Book Five, Psalms 107-150

As for authorship, 74 of the 150 Psalms are attributed to King David; 12 to Asaph, David’s choir director; 11 to the Sons of Korah [see Dr. Kalas’ discussion of Korah on page 13, as well as Numbers 16:3, 26:11]; 1 to Heman [see 1 Chronicles 25]; 2 to Solomon; and 1 each to Ethan and Moses; 46 of the Psalms are anonymous.

As Dr. Kalas points out, though, authorship was viewed very differently in ancient writings. “A Psalm of David” can mean one of three things:  it was written by David, it was written in the style of David, or it was dedicated to David.  When it comes down to it, “it is the Psalm itself that is the treasure, not the period or the circumstances in which it was written.” (George S. Gunn, Singers of Israel)

bible project logo

Be sure to take a look at The Bible Project’s video, in which the hosts narrate – and illustrate – their overview of Psalms in just under 9 minutes!

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