At the 2006 annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Prophetic Texts in their Ancient Contexts section devoted a session to the theme “The Aesthetics of Violence. Participants were invited to explore multiple dimensions of prophetic texts and their violent rhetoric. The results were rich– engaging discussion of violent images in ancient Near Eastern art and in modern film, as well as advancing our understanding of the poetic skill required for invoking terror through words.
The premier study Bible used by scholars, pastors, undergraduate and graduate students, The New Oxford Annotated Bible offers a vast range of information, including extensive notes by experts in their fields; in-text maps, charts, and diagrams; supplementary essays on translation, biblical interpretation, cultural and historical background, and other general topics.
Most one-volume Bible commentaries focus on standard scholarly issues, answering questions such as who wrote the book, who was addressed, and how the book is structured. In contrast, this is the first one-volume commentary to emphasize theological questions: What does each biblical book say about God? How does the book describe God and portray Gods actions? Who is God in these biblical books?
The human emotions expressed in the Book of Psalms rise to peaks of joy and descend into valleys of despair. In the Psalms, the promise of the reign of God meets the historical experience of God’s people. Faith in God’s faithfulness collides with human experiences of pain and suffering, enslavement, oppression, and exile. God’s people–given voice in the Psalms–struggle to make sense of who God is and who they are, and in so doing they have composed a collection of moving testimonies of grace, glory, sorrow, and beauty unmatched in sacred literature. For students of the Psalms today, this study offers greater understanding of how these ancient texts of praise, lament, worship, and prayer can still speak to us and for us.