The Formation of the Hebrew Psalter

The Book of Psalms Between Ancient Versions, Material Transmission and Canonical Exegesis
Edited by Gianni Barbiero, Marco Pavan, and Johannes Schnocks

[Die Entstehung des hebräischen Psalters. Das Buch der Psalmen zwischen antiken Fassungen, materieller Überlieferung und kanonischer Exegese.]

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Published in English.
Recent research on the Psalms often deals with the shape and the shaping of the Book of Psalms. The evidence of pre-modern manuscripts, however, does not seem to support the idea of a fixed canonical text as presupposed by some approaches. The present volume discusses different views and aims to show new perspectives for the exegesis.
This volume, which is based on the papers given at a panel at the 2019 SBL International Meeting in Rome, represents current discourses in Psalms research. The past decades have been marked by the paradigm shift from form criticism to different exegetical approaches which consider the Book of Psalms as the literary context of the individual Psalms. More recently, it has been pointed out that the complex evidence given by the manuscripts from antiquity to the Middle Ages does not support the notion of a fixed canonical text as presupposed by some approaches. The present volume combines contributions about such basic considerations with studies of individual groups of Psalms. With different methodological and hermeneutical approaches, they open up perspectives on the interrelation between the origin, composition and reception of the Psalms.
Survey of contents
Gianni Barbiero/Marco Pavan/Johannes Schnocks: Introduction

I. Methodological and Theological Aspects
Marco Pavan: The Psalter as a Book? A critical evaluation of the recent research on the Psalter – David Willgren Davage: What Could We Agree On? Outlining Five Fundaments in the Research of the 'Book' of Psalms – William Yarchin: Why the Future of Canonical Hebrew Psalter Exegesis Includes Abandoning Its Premise – Bernd Janowski: A Temple in Words. The Theological Architecture of the Psalter

II. Case Studies on Groups of Psalms
II.1. The first Davidic Psalter

Phil J. Botha: Indications of Intentional Interconnectedness between Pss 1–2 and Ps 37 and the Implications for Understanding the Concerns of the Editors of Book I of the Psalms – Friedhelm Hartenstein: Psalm 23 als Brennspiegel seines Umfelds. Intertextuelle Bezüge und Entstehung in der Teilkomposition Ps 15–24 – Kathrin Liess: Schuld und Vergebung. Psalm 25 in seinem Psalterkontext – Beat Weber: »Ich will den HERRN preisen zu jeder Zeit …« (Ps 34,2). Die Psalmen 25–34 als Kleinkomposition in Verbindung mit hermeneutisch-methodischen Überlegungen zur »Psalterexegese« – Gianni Barbiero: Psalms 35–41 as the Conclusion of Book I of the Psalms

II.2. Books IV and V
Johannes Schnocks: Die Psalterexegese und die Handschriften. Überlegungen zum IV. Psalmenbuch (Ps 90–106) als Komposition und in Qumran – W. Dennis Tucker, Jr.: »Let Israel Now Say« (Ps 124:1b). Group Identity in Pss 107–145 – Susan Gillingham: The Egyptian Hallel. Narrative and Liturgy, and the Formation of the Hebrew Psalter

II.3. The Final Hallel
Alma Brodersen: No Final Hallel. Material Sources for Psalms 146–150 – Friederike Neumann: »YHWH shall be King forever!« (Ps 146:10). The Phenomenon of Fortschreibung within the Final Hallel – Egbert Ballhorn: Researching Sense at the End of the Psalter. Pss 145–150 and its Canonical Shapes

III. Erich Zenger (1939–2010)
Bernd Janowski: Ein kreativer Kollege und verlässlicher Freund. Erinnerungen an Erich Zenger – Johannes Schnocks: Erich Zenger und die Psalterexegese. Einige persönliche Erinnerungen – Egbert Ballhorn: Erich Zenger als Psalmen-Übersetzer

Gianni Barbiero Born 1944; 1991 Dr. theol; 1999 habilitation; taught in Messina (Italy), Benediktbeuern (Germany), and Rome (Italy); retired Old Testament professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.

Marco Pavan Born 1975; 2014 Dr. theol.; associate professor at the Pontifical University “St. Thomas Aquinas” and the „Roma 3“ University in Rome, and at the Theological Faculty of Florence.

Johannes Schnocks Born 1967; 2002 Dr. theol.; 2008 habilitation; since 2012 professor for History and Religion of the Old Testament and principal investigator in the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster.


The following reviews are known:

In: Theologische Revue — (Marcel Krusche)
In: Gregorianum — 103 (2022), pp. 641–643 (Fabrizio Ficco)
In: Zeitschr. f. d. Alttestamentl. Wissenschaft — 134 (2022), pp. 274–275 (Markus Saur)