How was the ‘Book’ of Psalms formed, and why? The first question relates to the diachronic growth of the collection, while the second relates...

How was the ‘Book’ of Psalms formed, and why? The first question relates to the diachronic growth of the collection, while the second relates to issues of purpose–to what end are psalms being juxtaposed in a collection? On this show, David Willgren explains his surprising answers to these two fundamental questions as we talk about his recent book, The Formation of the ‘Book ‘of Psalms (Mohr Siebeck, 2016).

By conceptualizing the ‘Book’ of Psalms as an anthology, and by inquiring into its poetics by means of paratextuality, David Willgren provides a fresh reconstruction of the formation of the ‘Book’ of Psalms and concludes, in contrast to the canonical approach, that it does not primarily provide a literary context for individual psalms. Rather, it preserves a dynamic selection of psalms that is best seen not as a ‘book’ of psalms, but as a canon of psalms.

David Willgren received a ThD in Old Testament Exegesis from Lund University in 2016, and is currently lecturer at Norwegian School of Leadership and Theology. In addition to The Formation of the ‘Book’ of Psalms, he is co-editor and contributor to the book Studies in Isaiah: History, Theology, and Reception (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017).


L. Michael Morales is Professor of Biblical Studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the author of The Tabernacle Pre-Figured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology in Genesis and Exodus (Peeters, 2012), and Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of Leviticus (IVP Academic, 2015). He can be reached at [email protected].

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