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  • The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul

The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul

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Product Description

The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul brings together essays from eighteen Old Testament scholars discussing the latest in Psalms scholarship and applying exegetical insights to the life of faith.

These essays explore the full range of emotion expressed in the Psalms—from elation to distress—while weaving together observations from biblical scholarship and theology. The reader will gain valuable insights into how the Psalms speak to his or her soul.

The book is divided into five sections that:

  1. Give an overview of Psalms studies in the 21st century
  2. Discuss psalms of praise
  3. Explore psalms of lament
  4. Look at the big picture of the Psalter as a book
  5. Present sermons on the Psalms that are models of evangelical engagement with the text.

A Select Bibliography for Psalms Study is included at the end of the book.



The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul is the product of a magnificent collaboration of evangelical scholars in their careful reading and exegesis of select Psalms of various genres, reading the psalter as a whole book, and profound reflection on the meaning and preaching of the Psalms. It is an impressive book that will serve well as a textbook for classes on the Psalms, exposing students to the best of scholarship in the field as well as the spirituality of the Psalter itself.

Richard E. Averbeck

Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages,Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois


The Psalter has always been an essential theological and spiritual resource for Christians seeking to live faithfully. Showcasing the best in evangelical scholarship this present volume not only orients readers to key issues in the recent study of the Psalms, but unpacks the power of these ancient poems for contemporary living. Whether you read and use the Psalter on a regular basis or avoid it through fear or confusion, this volume will capture your imagination for the potential of psalms for sharpening your theology and deepening your faith. 

Mark J. Boda
Professor of Old Testament, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


Schmutzer and Howard have achieved the rare feast of creating a book for "all seasons of the soul." It reaches that rare equilibrium of rigorous scholarship, profound spirituality, and practical relevance, all the while without sacrificing the integrity of the Word as divine revelation.

Dan Aurelian Botica

Lecturer, The Emanuel University of Oradea, Oradea, Romania


This book celebrates the lasting significance of the Psalms for the church. Through the centuries, in seasons of pain and pleasure, the Psalms have testified to the faithfulness of Yahweh and given Christians a voice for lament and praise. The volume supplies an effective guide and model that should serve both student and preacher and assist the church in recovering this biblical hymnbook.

Jason S. DeRouchie

Associate Professor of Old Testament, Bethlehem College and Seminary, Minneapolis, Minnesota


Books on the Psalter tend to fall into two categories. They are either wholly devotional, popular works that lack any real interaction with current scholarship or thoroughly scholarly monographs that say little to the church. Few books successfully bridge the gap between the two worlds. The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul, however, admirably draws together academic research and the life of faith.

Duane Garrett

John R. Sampey Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky


The Psalms: Language for All the Seasons of the Soul is a delightful and insightful combination of the academic and the exegetical. This volume is comprised of a fascinating series of articles that will feed both mind and soul, and it encourages reading the Psalter from beginning to end, i.e., with the "grain" of the book.

Jamie Grant

Academic Vice-Principal, Highland Theological College, Iverness, Scotland


These carefully chosen essays offer a smorgasbord served by some of the most distinguished specialists in Psalms studies. They apprise the reader of current trends in Psalms study and provide important keys to interpretation, theology, and pastoral care. I commend this volume to pastors and scholars alike, who will find it enlightening and useful.

John W. Hilber

Professor of Old Testament, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan


The Psalms offers exciting insights into the interpretation and texts of the biblical Psalms. It guides the reader into the twentieth-first-century study of the Psalms; shows the importance of reading the Psalms as a book; and makes the Psalms vivid for today. A library or classroom is not complete without this book. 

Dirk J. Human

Deputy Dean Faculty of Theology & Head of Department of Old Testament Studies, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa 


This book is a wonderful reflection of the Psalms themselves, exploring in cascading waves the same fundamental issues: God and his people, confidence and praise, sorrow and lament, life and death. Each article like each psalm has different, complementary insights, and each author like each psalmist has a living, interrogating, proclaiming faith. From the opening essays on biblical theology to the closing sermons, by way of the created world, the tension of pain and praise, the role of the king, and the formation of the psalter, these leading evangelical academics write from the heart as well as the head. Biblical study at its best!

Philip S. Johnston
Senior Tutor, Hughes Hall & Member of the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England


Understanding the Psalms is critical for recognizing the unique attributes of God in order for us to worship and obey Him properly. I am truly honored to recommend this work, which reveals the Almighty's goodness and grace, wholeheartedly to every pastor, Bible student, and believer.

Saji K. Lukos

President of RIMI and Mission India
President of Mission India Theological Seminary, Nagpur, India


I read this book and it made me want to go and immediately begin a preaching series on the Psalms. Sometimes I measure books by how great a push they give you to preach. I rank this book very high on that score! Let this excellent book serve as a guide so you can see how great His reign is. 

Jason Meyer

Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota


Pain and suffering.  Joy and delight.  Frustration and lament.  Worship and praise.  The entire canvas of human emotions finds its expression in the Psalms.  Yet this ancient hymnbook is rarely mined to its sublime depths.  This valuable book, edited by Schmutzer and Howard, equips scholars and lay people alike to 'rightly divide' the psalter.  Read from the masters and gain keen insights into this much loved portion of Scripture.

Paul Nyquist

President, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois


This is a valuable and delicious collection of essays on the Psalter. The holistic ethos underlying the essays—which seeks to overcome conventional scholarly separation of exegesis from tradition, individual piety from community, interpretation from faith and biblical theology from preaching—is both bold and ambitious but important and necessary.

 Vincent K. H. Ooi

Lecturer in Old Testament, Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary, Penang, Malaysia


Along with the Psalms themselves, God has blessed his people with keen and probing minds that continue to grapple with the longings, disorientations, and truths that the psalms express.   These essays provide many wonderful introductions to that great conversation.

John Ortberg

Senior Pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, Menlo Park, California


As one who serves pastors, church planters and other spiritual leaders, I highly recommend this work to all who love the Scriptures and love to teach.  Its editors and authors share a high view of God's Word and address contemporary issues related to the Psalms with wisdom, keen insights and a passion for God's glory.

Jerry Sheveland

President, Converge Worldwide (Baptist General Conference), Arlington Heights, Illinois


Without in any way slighting the very best of source criticism and literary analysis, The Psalms restores to us a much maligned but absolutely central aspect of Biblical psalmody: namely, good old-fashioned piety. It is good to have the Psalms back.

Ian Stackhouse

Senior Minister, Guildford Baptist Church, Guildford, England, U.K.


The combination in this collection of technical studies, theological emphases, application discussions, and sermonic examples is brilliant. If you really want to understand and/or explain how and why the Psalms are so important to Christian faith and practice, get this book.

Douglas Stuart

Professor of Old Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Hamilton, Massachusetts


These essays are written with a high view of the Psalms as the Word of God and a deep knowledge of the Hebrew text, motivated by a Christ-centered piety. This work is paradigmatic for an evangelical approach to the Bible, wherein the scholarship and spirituality intertwine with one another.  This volume is a useful tool for every student of the Bible, pastor, and preacher alike.

Silviu Tatu

Associate Professor of Old Testament Exegesis and Theology, Pentecostal Theological Institute, Bucharest, Romania


An important guide for our journey in life with the Psalms! I have been teaching the book of Psalms for years and have found it important to have a holistic approach to it. As one of the church's greatest treasures, the church needs to understand how it speaks to us today. Schmutzer and Howard's book hits all these po

Product Details

ISBN: 978-0-8024-0962-1
Publish Date: October 2013
Dimensions: 6 x 9
Format: Paperback