Selections from the Psalms: Part One
What you'll learn
- Discover how to incorporate the Psalms into your own prayers or devotional life.
- Learn about the Psalms as the prayer book of the Bible and the early church.
- Explore how the New Testament writers make use of key themes in the Psalms.
- Examine themes of praise, thanksgiving, lament, despair, joy, and promise.
- Be inspired and encouraged to sing God's praise for the building up of the church for the benefit of the world.
- Current translation of the Bible.
- Interest in learning how the Psalms express praise and worship of God in real life.
- Curiosity about how the Psalms give expression to human life and experience.
This course explores 18 selected psalms from the Psalter, the prayer book of the Bible and the early church. You will be encouraged and inspired by Israel's worship and praise of God as Creator. You will also come to sense how these ancient songs and prayers shaped the lives of God's people and sense the call of the Davidic kingdom that resounds throughout many of the psalms.
This course will examine themes of celebration, including praise for God's glory and his presence, as well as thanksgiving for his lovingkindness and faithfulness. It will also examine the lament of God's people for challenges they faced, losses and injustices suffered, and the hope they found in the middle of distress or disaster.
The 'articles' in the course include the biblical texts (New Revised Standard Version), for every lecture and 18 corresponding practice exercises. The practice exercises and discussion questions that accompany each lecture includes 8-10 questions or prompts that enable students to engage with the material to absorb, reflect, and practice what they are learning. There are no extra academic articles or required readings for this course.
The lectures in this course do not address textual issues, nor issues of authorship or when or how the Psalter was edited. Instead, each lecture will examine various types and themes within the psalms and probe the ways in which Israel viewed God, themselves, and the world.
These important psalms not only point Christians today towards worship in song or personal piety in practice, they also give voice and expression to concrete situations of international justice and global concerns for God to put the world to rights. The psalmist asks real questions such as:
How come the world is this way?
How do I pray for someone who feels the closure of death?
What expressions can I use to praise the Lord and respond to the call to worship?
Where can I turn when everything seems hopeless?
Why does it seem like the wicked go unpunished?
What words can I use to give thanks to God?
How can I celebrate with joy for all that God has done?
We invite you to join us as we explore these selections from the Psalms that continue to sing God's praise, build up the church, and give Christian voice that might resound throughout the world today.
Who this course is for:
- Anyone interested in learning more about the Psalms as the prayer book of the early church.
- Anyone curious about incorporating the Psalms in prayer and worship.
- Anyone facing uncertain or distressing circumstances and in need of comfort.
- Anyone in distress or seeking the justice of God when things need to be put to rights.
- Anyone seeking to give voice to God in worshipful song or devotion.
- Anyone desiring to celebrate and praise God for his faithfulness and lovingkindness.
- Clergy, Bible study leaders, preachers, or teachers who want to dig deeper into the story of Israel and connections to the New Testament.
N.T Wright received his BA, MA and D.Phil. from Oxford University. He taught New Testament at Cambridge, McGill and Oxford Universities 1978-1993. He was Dean of Lichfield, then Canon of Westminster, then Bishop of Durham (Church of England), 1994-2010. Prof. Wright is Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, and is currently Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University. He has published over 85 books and hundreds of articles. In 2014 Prof. Wright received the Burkitt Medal from the British Academy for services to New Testament scholarship. He enjoys music, golf the Isle of Harris, and spending time with his family in the midst of a busy schedule of writing and travelling.
David Seemuth has a Ph.D. from Marquette University in the field of Religious Studies with an emphasis on New Testament Theology. He has taught at the graduate level for over 30 years at numerous universities and seminaries. He also has 21 years of on-line teaching experience. His passion is to see that people not only understand the Scripture, but also apply them to daily life.
Jennifer Loop is currently a doctoral candidate at Durham University. She is the Director of Ministry Engagement for the Wisconsin Center for Christian Studies, and plays a critical role in the online education, both organizational and theological, by guiding the online student experience. Jennifer enjoys engaging with a ‘virtual community’ of diverse students and learners to explore how theology, faith and practice intersect.