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The Psalms as Music and Prophecy
Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins
A review of the book by Ronald B Allen
Lord of Song:  The Messiah Revealed in the Psalms (Portland, Oregon:  Multnomah Press, 1985.  177p.)

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The author's father was the musical director for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  A bonus to this study is the historical and musical interest as Allen tells several stories from the rallies of Billy Graham.  Those unfavorable to the evangelist or gospel music may not warm to the idea, but these stories are human interest anecdotes that should be of interest to all, whatever their assumptions about the context.

Devotional Focus
The primary theme of the book is a devotional-focus study of the Psalms.  Though it may be redundant for some, it is worth reminding ourselves here that the Psalms are songs.  This musician analyzing their themes and poetic structure from a musician's point of view.  He looks into the cultural history and cult practices of the Hebrews to set these songs in their original context, which is commonly ignored.

Musical Focus
It is unfortunately common in the western analytical approaches, for preachers to treat the comments, claims and statements of the songs the same way they do the teaching and historical literature of the Bible.  This musician honors the integrity of these Hebrew Psalms, whether worship or meditation, complaint or praise, as the songs they originally were!

Messianic View
From his Christian point of view, the author also looks for references in the Psalms that some Christians consider to be prophecies or figures related to the Messiah.

Often Christian lists of "Messianic" passages differ from the Jewish list.  Further, this writer, as a musician, is not presenting a critical study of the passages, so does not deal with the original intent, or the use of these passages in the history of Christian thought, but takes a devotional worship approach.

He includes much anecdotal information about the use of music in the modern Christian evangelical movement.

Also related:
[Review] Bringing Deuteronomy to Life
[review] Mistitled and Misfocused
[review] Musical Meditation for Christmas
[review] The New Light - Christian Folk-Rock in the 60s
[Review] Refreshing Current Outlook on the Old Testament
[Review] What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?:  What Archaeology Can Tell Us About the Reality of Ancient Israel

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First reading notes written April 2005
Review written 26 December 2007
Posted on OJ Thoughts and Resources 27 December 2007
Reviewed on Amazon 3 March 2009
Last edited 3 August 2013

Orville Boyd Jenkins, EdD, PhD
Copyright © 2007 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Other rights reserved.

Email:  orville@jenkins.nu
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