Friday, December 07, 2007

Reading for Novemeber 2007

  • Psalms- James L. Mays (Interpretation), 1994.

Following Interpretations general model of focusing more on the pastoral implications of the text than the critical or historical questions. The author shows a clear understanding of scholarship on Psalms, and references insights from form and historical studies, but his primary method lies along canonical critical lines. Notice is consistently made to similarities with other Psalms or other Old Testament passages, Isaiah in particular. Each Psalm concludes with a reflection on New Testament usage or its place within the liturgical tradition of the church. The work is strong in drawing out the implications and use in worship of the Psalms, but is not adequate for serious study. The author’s comments tend to be relativity superficial and repetitive, but can be alleviated by using the work as a reference and not by reading from cover to cover.

The article seeks to demonstrate the entire opening chapter of Hebrews is structured in a chiasmatic fashion. The structure of the chiasm flows from the function of the Son, Son in his preexistence, Son in his exaltation, Son in his incarnation, and the center of the chiasm is the Son in his exaltation above the angels. Rhee proposed structure demonstrates the close connection between the prologue (1:1-4) and the remainder of the chapter. Yet, at times the proposed structure seems at places to be forced. The broad recognition of the chiasm is 1:1-4 creates doubt that a chiasm is located within and overtop another chiasm. The section concerning the preexistence of the Son appeared exegetically weak, and dominated by doctrinal considerations. Lane’s analysis of both sections in terms of Jesus as λόγος and Jesus immutable nature in contrast to the mutability of angels appears more sensitive to the text’s literary allusions text’s structure.