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A journey of two psalms - S. E. Gillingham

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A journey of two psalms - the reception of Psalms 1 and 2 in Jewish and Christian tradition
S. E. Gillingham
Oxford University Press
UK Publication Date

For two-and-a-half millennia these two psalms have been commented on, translated, painted, set to music, employed
in worship, and adapted in literature, often being used disputatiously by Jews and Christians alike.
Psalm 1 is about the Law;
at the heart of Psalm 2 is the Anointed One ('Messiah'), and together they serve as a Prologue to the rest of the Psalter. They have
frequently been read as one composite poem, with the Temple as one of the motifs unitingthem.
So three themes-Jewish and Christian disputes, the interrelationship of these psalms, and the Temple-are interwoven throughout this reception history analysis. The journey starts in ancient Judaism, moves on to early Christianity, then to rabbinic and medieval Judaism, and so to Christiancommentators from the early Middle Ages to the Reformation.
The journey pauses to look at four important modes of reception-liturgical use,
visual exegesis, musical interpretation, and imitation in English literature. Thirty-eight colour plates and numerous musical
and poetic examples bring the work to life.
The journey continues by looking at the debates about these psalms which have occupied scholars since the Enlightenment,
and ends with a chapter which surveys their reception historyin the light of the three key themes.

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Sue Gillingham has lived and worked in Oxford for over thirty years.
She is Fellow and Tutor in Theology at Worcester College, and Reader in Old Testament in the University of Oxford. She
is a Licensed Lay Minister attached to Worcester Chapel and St Barnabas Church, Jericho.
She has written several
books on using and interpreting the Psalms and is particularly interested in reception history and psalmody, although she has written more widely on, for example,
literary and theological analyses of the Psalter as a whole, surveys of psalmic studies over the last century, and historically-orientated papers,
especially the importance of Jerusalem and its Temple Liturgy and the role of Levitical singers in the formation of the Psalter.

Gillingham's book is a treasure trove for any exegete and scholar who is interested in these two psalms and who works with them

Frank Lothar Hossfield, The Expository Times

Certainly, this magisterial work, with its wealth of learning, provides a challenge to those who would question the validity of this new discipline.

Canon Anthony Phillips, Church Times

This volume is certainly an enjoyable must-read for anyone working on the Psalms or their reception, the history of Jewish-Christian relations through examination of biblical exegesis, or interested in approaches to reception history of the biblical texts more broadly.

Helen Spurling, Journal of Jewish Studies

Immensely readable, beautifully presented, and thoroughly researched, it is a joy to read and combines detailed insights with broad relevance. It will provide the reader with both specific input into these two texts as well as an impressive overview of Psalms studies through the centuries. . . . This book deserves to delight a broad readership and to inform a considerable range of scholarship, biblical and beyond.

Megan Daffern, Journal of Theological Studies (2014)

Country of Publication
Number of Pages
xx, 344 , 16 unnumbered of plates

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