The Influence of Societal Changes in the Late Second Temple Period on the Functions and Composition of Psalms

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Pajunen , M S 2019 , ' The Influence of Societal Changes in the Late Second Temple Period on the Functions and Composition of Psalms ' , SJOT : Scandinavian journal of the Old Testament. , vol. 33 , no. 2 , pp. 164-184 . https://doi.org/10.1080/09018328.2019.1686281

Title: The Influence of Societal Changes in the Late Second Temple Period on the Functions and Composition of Psalms
Author: Pajunen, Mika Sakari
Contributor organization: Faculty of Theology
Centre of Excellence Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions (CSTT)
Date: 2019
Language: eng
Number of pages: 21
Belongs to series: SJOT : Scandinavian journal of the Old Testament.
ISSN: 0901-8328
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09018328.2019.1686281
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/309607
Abstract: This study deals with the question of why there is a Book of Psalms in the Hebrew Bible. In previous studies the question has typically been seen as an either-or issue between liturgical, educational, and prophetic use of the psalms. It is shown in this study that all these different uses persisted at least until the end of the Second Temple period, were common to both now biblical and apocryphal psalms, and together contributed to the emergence of a canonical book of psalms. While it will be demonstrated that a division of psalm material cannot be based on such functional indicators or a sense of prestige given to a specific collection of psalms, it will be argued that the Maccabean revolt led to a historical process that incidentally created a watershed between most psalms composed before and after this gradual process. Such markers are visible in the style of the psalms and their functional markers but most of all in a marked shift of perspective from a more general aim to influence the whole people of Israel common to earlier psalms to the consistent use of group perspectives in later works. This shift in the perspective of psalms also contributed to the recontextualization of many earlier psalms to new settings, which further contributed to a later perceivable boundary between the earlier and later psalm material. By focusing on the historical processes instigated by radical societal changes this study offers fresh alternatives for understanding the complex developments that led to the eventual canonization of a book of psalms.
Subject: 614 Theology
psalms
Second Temple Judaism
psalm collections
Qumran studies
functions of psalms
psalms and identity
BOOK
Peer reviewed: Yes
Usage restriction: closedAccess
Self-archived version: submittedVersion


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