Eat This Book: Episode #21


“The Hymnbook of Israel”

HOST: Michael Whitworth


I find it intriguing that—in our modern church culture—we sing Psalms instead of pray them. Many Christians are of the mindset that the Psalms are songs in which we sing. While that may be true, they are also intended to be prayers. When one realizes that Psalms are prayers, some interesting questions come to mind. For one, if prayers are supposed to be filled with nice, flowery language and never critical of God, what do we do with Psalms 10 and 142? If prayers are intended to be from nice people with polished and polite wording, what do we do with Psalms 32 and 51?

Authorship & Date

Of all the books of the Old Testament, Psalms can best be defined as an anthology—that is, a collection of compositions. In this case the works of many poets are included so one should speak of a multi-authored production. In addition, evidence exists that editors took up the individual psalms and collected and arranged them into their present order in the book (cf. Psa. 72:20). Many of the psalms are of anonymous authorship and of the others David is most prominent with at least 72 credited to him. Other contributors were “the sons of Korah” (Psa. 42, 44–49, 84–85, 87–88), Asaph (50, 73–83), Solomon (72, 127), and even Moses (90).

2 Helpful Resources

8 Types of Psalms

  1. Psalms of urging or admonishing (Psalms 1)
  2. Psalms of praise and adoration (Psalms 8)
  3. Psalms of thanksgiving (Psalms 107)
  4. Psalms of penitence (Psalms 51)
  5. Psalms of Hebrew history (Psalms 78)
  6. Psalms of petition (Psalms 80)
  7. Psalms of trust in the Lord (Psalms 23)
  8. Psalms of prophecy (Psalms 22)

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Michael Whitworth is the founder of Start2Finish and author of several books, including the award-winning "The Epic of God" and "The Derision of Heaven." In his spare time, Michael enjoys reading and drinking coffee, watching sports, and spending time with his awesome family and furry golden retriever.

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