Author Topic: Praying the Psalms with Jesus and His Body" and more....CTQ  (Read 600 times)

P.T. McCain

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An excellent new issue of the Concordia Theological Quarterly is available. I skimmed it over and am looking forward to digging into it. It is a really meaty issue with great content. The article on the Psalms is the one that has my attention at the moment. If you read nothing else in the issue (I recommend you do, of course), this one is a real winner. "Praying the Psalms with Jesus and His Body" by Thomas Winger. There is also an interesting recounting of the history of the Concordia Commentary project. The article concerning church fellowship was very well done and helps us understand the standards by which fellowship was enjoyed and expressed, before the advent of course of the so-called "ecumenical movement." The Menuge article on a philosophy of reason...again...much to ponder. The article on Christology and its impact on Luther's lifelong service is very well done as well. The author does a nice job wrestling with the claim that Luther was not a "systematic theologian."

Here's a direct link to it, as a PDF file. Enjoy.
https://ctsfwmedia.s3.amazonaws.com/CTQ/CTQ%2084-1%2C2.pdf
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 10:44:20 AM by PTMcCáin »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Praying the Psalms with Jesus and His Body" and more....CTQ
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2020, 12:59:02 PM »
I have read the article. I offer a couple comments.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship includes all 150 psalms. The introduction says of them: "The 150 psalms presented here use a version intended for common sung prayer and proclamation, rather than a translation for study" (p. 335). Thus, the translation shouldn't be used for study. I think that in a similar way, Lutheran Service Book adds the Gloria Patri to the end of every psalm; pointed for chanting like the rest of the psalm. That addition is not a translation, but meant to aid the worshipers in singing the psalms in worship.

One issue I have with the essay is his downplaying of Hermann Gunkel's genres in the quote below:

Hermann Gunkel, the ringleader of form criticism, proposed five genres: hymns, individual laments, individual thanksgivings, communal laments, and royal (enthronement) Psalms.1 There is much absurdity in Gunkel’s “phantastic” suggestions—why invent religious ceremonies for early Israel when the Old Testament itself provides plenty to choose from? His offhand rejection of their historical roots in the lives of the Old Testament saints is pure whimsy. (pp. 125-6, boldface added)

1See Hummel, The Word Becoming Flesh, 421–425

Yet, later in the essay, he uses Gunkel's genres in talking about psalms!

Among them are the “Psalms of lament.” In the first two books of the Psalms, at least, the Psalms of lament significantly outnumber the Psalms of thanksgiving. There are perhaps forty in all, forming the very “backbone of the Psalter.”2 (p. 128)

2Hummel, The Word Becoming Flesh, 428.


I have not found that Gunkel's genres have anything to do with "religious ceremonies," but center on the common outlines and content of the different genres; as he writes about the genres in the second quote.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Dave Likeness

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Re: Praying the Psalms with Jesus and His Body" and more....CTQ
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2020, 04:43:52 PM »
Prof. Winger in his article refers several times to Horace Hummel's O.T. Introduction
(1979 CPH) which devotes 44 pages to the Psalms. This O.T. Intro has more scholarly
depth than the recent  O.T. Intro by Lessing and Steinmann (2014 CPH) which allots
17 pages to the Psalms.

I own Lessing's commentary on Isaiah which is in the Concordia Commentary Series.
It is an excellent  commentary as are his ones on Jonah and Amos.  He is a brilliant
and articulate theologian who also happens to be a wordsmith.  The same can be
said about for Horace Hummel.  I have his Concordia Commentaries on Ezekiel.

My point is that there seems to be an intent to water down the 2014 O.T. Intro when
compared to the 1979 OT. Intro.  Did someone tell Lessing & Steinmann to make
it more simple?  Do not our seminarians at St. Louis and Fort Wayne deserve the
best in depth scholarly resources we can give them?

P.T. McCain

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Re: Praying the Psalms with Jesus and His Body" and more....CTQ
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2020, 04:54:18 PM »
Dave, I'm unaware of any "intent to water down" anything re. the Old Testament. If anything, just the opposite is the case.

In light of the number of volumes available in the Concordia Commentary series, we now have more introductory and commentary materials on the Old Testament than ever before in our LCMS' history. In fact, Dr. Christopher Mitchell's commentary on the Song of Songs has hundreds of pages devoted to the general subject the interpretation of the OT. And of course, there is now available to us The Lutheran Study Bible with its voluminous amount of OT intro materials. I'd say we have an embarrassment of riches at the present time in the LCMS on the Old Testament.

As for the Psalms, the most recent volume released in the Concordia Commentary series is the first volume of commentary on the Psalms.

And finally, of course, Hummel's volume is still in print as well, in addition to the Lessing/Steinmann volume. The Hummel volume was aimed at graduate level/seminary studies. Lessing/Steinman was aimed more at university level studies, which in our present context, makes it more accessible to seminary students as well, I suppose.

So, there is no watering down at all in our circles when it comes to OT studies in our circles and there are more "scholarly resources" on the Old Testament, in English, than there ever ever has been before. And most importantly, these resources can be trusted faithfully to present the Old Testament as that book that "everywhere teaches Christ" and are based on a genuinely Lutheran approach to the nature and authority of Holy Scripture. God be praised!

Hope this helps.

Paul
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 05:06:48 PM by PTMcCáin »

Dave Likeness

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Re: Praying the Psalms with Jesus and His Body" and more....CTQ
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2020, 05:12:17 PM »
Paul, thanks for answering my question. 

I agree Hummel's O.T. Intro is aimed at seminary/graduate studies and
the Lessing and Steinmann O.T. Intro is geared for the university student.

The Concordia Commentary Series has been a real blessing to the church.
I currently own 12 volumes.  My favorite is the N.T. Volume on Revelation
by Louis Brighton.  He explains the text of Revelation in a meaningful
manner with significant scholarship and theological acumen.  This should
be in the library of every Lutheran pastor.





P.T. McCain

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Praying the Psalms with Jesus and His Body" and more....CTQ
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2020, 05:15:40 PM »
Brighton's commentary on Revelation is superb and is also, not surprisingly, extremely popular! It has been reprinted many times. You can find a number of podcasts with Dr. Brighton (RIP) on Issues, Etc.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 05:21:43 PM by PTMcCáin »

Dave Likeness

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Re: Praying the Psalms with Jesus and His Body" and more....CTQ
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2020, 05:51:59 PM »
In 2003, as Circuit Counselor I made arrangements for Dr. Brighton to speak at our circuit
for a presentation on "Eschatology and the Book of Revelation.  It was held at Bethel
Lutheran Church in Morton, Illinois with about 25 pastors in attendance for both morning
and afternoon sessions.

As Dr. Brighton ended his presentation, he said. "I am afraid to live, but I am not afraid  to die."
He stated the closer The End comes, the more the devil gets active. He encouraged us to do
5 things: 1) Live in the Scripture 2) Witness to your neighbor 3) Do not put yourself in the
range of the devil. 4) Never publicly shame your Lord Jesus Christ  5) Go through death in a
way that gives honor and glory to the Lord.







P.T. McCain

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Re: Praying the Psalms with Jesus and His Body" and more....CTQ
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2020, 06:05:29 PM »
I really wish this forum had a "like" feature!!

Dave Likeness

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Re: Praying the Psalms with Jesus and His Body" and more....CTQ
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2020, 02:24:40 PM »
It would be interesting to hear from others on this ALPH Forum who have
purchased some volumes in the current Concordia Commentary Series.

Anyone have a favorite volume that has enriched their pastoral ministry?