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Psalm 29 through Time and Tradition.

PSALM 29 THROUGH TIME AND TRADITION. Edited by Lowell K. Handy. Princeton Theological Monograph. Eugene, Ore.: Pickwick, 2009. Pp. xii + 147. $18.

Lowell Handy provides a delightful smorgasbord of interpretive approaches to Psalm 29, based in various Christian and Jewish traditions. Many current psalmic commentaries discuss the (possible) Canaanite origins of this psalm and then apply one or several modern critical approaches--literary, rhetorical, or linguistic. H.'s collection is based in historic readings of the psalm as elaborated by the Fathers, rabbis, Luther and Calvin, and medieval Jews and Christians. The collection began as four papers at the 2004 regional meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature: H. then expanded the contributions to ten, adding the perspectives of comparative translation, Syrian Christians, liturgical uses, singing, the Canaanite matrix, and the indigenous churches in Nigeria. His introduction serves as a helpful contextual summary of the entire work, demonstrating the great variety of theological and liturgical issues connected with psalm interpretation.

The book rewards both beginners and scholars, from the chapter on comparative translation (parallel translations of Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Old Latin, and Jerome's Latin: and parallels of Hebrew, Luther Bible, King James, New Jewish Publication Society) to a helpful review of many types of musical settings; from a more synthetic approach to the question of Canaanite origins to interesting introductions to Syrian churches; and on to interpretive differences between Calvin and Luther. Besides different perspectives and new insights on Psalm 29, the book offers helpful introduction to several ecclesial and religious contexts, especially Syrian Christianity and the medieval church and synagogue. Although the presentation on singing the psalm gives generous attention to Catholic settings and responsorial psalmody, other topics pay slight attention to Catholic translations or Catholic liturgical and spiritual contexts for appreciation of the psalm. The bibliographies for each chapter are excellent. I recommend the book for students of theology, ministry, liturgy, and for generally inquisitive minds.


Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University at Berkeley
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Title Annotation:SHORTER NOTICES
Author:Endres, John C.
Publication:Theological Studies
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 1, 2010
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