The Opening Psalm (Psalm 1)

January 31, 2015

Psalm 1, perhaps also Psalm 2, serves as a preface or introduction to the Psalter. It says something important about how we should read, sing, pray, and meditate on Psalms. There is some text-critical evidence (variant readings) that Acts 13:33 calls Psalm 2 the “first Psalm,” and some medieval manuscripts write the first psalm in […]


Psalm 1 – Two Ways, a Wisdom Poem

August 13, 2013

The opening Psalm functions as a kind of preface or introduction to the whole collection. It orients the worshipper to a particular path and the value of pursuing the life the Psalter envisions. Indeed, it offers us a choice. There is the way of the wicked (sinners, scoffers) and the way of the righteous. There […]


Job 29-31 — Job’s Monologue

October 4, 2011

Whatever the nature of the pause in Job 28, the narrator resumes Job’s voice in Job 29-31. This is Job’s final speech (“the words of Job are ended,” 31:40). It divides into three sections: (1) Job remembers the past (Job 29), (2) Job protests the present, and (3) Job swears out a writ (Job 31). […]


Job 28 — A Wisdom Poem

September 26, 2011

Job 28 appears at the end of the dramatic dialogue as the calm following the storm. It is a peaceful, reflective wisdom teaching on the search for wisdom. It sticks out like a sore thumb between the dialogue (3-27) and monologue (29:1-42:6) sections of Job. Or, is it a frustrated, anguished cry that wisdom is […]


The Invitations of Wisdom and Folly (Proverbs 9)

August 25, 2011

Wisdom and Folly are personified as women in Proverbs 1-9 on several occasions. Proverbs 9, coming just before the beginning of the “Proverbs of Solomon” in Proverbs 10, is the final appeal of the parent/teacher/elder to heed wisdom rather than folly. It functions as an “altar call” or the invitation poem (Hebrew invitation song?). The […]


Who is Wise and Understanding Among You (James 3:13)?

October 23, 2009

The letter of James, full of practical and proverbial wisdom, appears in the context of a factious struggle between wealthy and impoverished members of James’ faith community. The tension between the rich and the poor pervades the epistle and is one of the central themes that the letter addresses. James encourages the community of faith […]


“It Ain’t That Complicated” — Applied Theological Hermeneutics I –

August 1, 2008

“It ain’t that complicated.” My recent series on “theological hermeneutics” may seem complicated. I may have made it look complicated. But I don’t think it is complicated at all. The method for which I argued does call for inductive Bible study, reflection, contemplation, holistic thinking, attention to the plot (metanarrative) in the theodrama, prayer, communal dialogue, […]