In the initial part of the course, we will examine the Psalms from an exegetical perspective. We will first do a survey of poetic literature in the Ancient Near East, and we will examine the major characteristics of Hebrew poetry. This first section will then be followed by a general introduction to the Psalter as well as a discussion of the hermeneutical issues specifically related to the interpretation of the Psalms.

In the second part of the course, we will exegete a several Psalms and explore some of their theological themes and contemporary implications.

Throughout the course, we will give special attention to the relevance of the Psalms for individual believers and the Christian community. We will also reflect on the use of the Psalter in the life of the church with special emphasis on preaching/teaching, counseling, spiritual formation, chaplaincy, corporate worship, and individual prayer.