Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nearly all OT scholars affirm that the superscriptions (the titles) in the book of Psalms are not inspired. I differ, however. I am absolutely convinced they’re inspired and written by the author to enhance the historical setting and meaning of the psalm.


For example, I’m preaching Psalm 51 tomorrow and the superscription (=title) says:

בְּֽבֹוא־אֵ֭לָיו נָתָ֣ן הַנָּבִ֑יא כַּֽאֲשֶׁר־בָּ֝֗א אֶל־בַּת־שָֽׁבַע׃


When Nathan the prophet came to him when he went into Bathsheba. (Title in the English psalms)

One reason why I believe the superscriptions are part of the inspired text is because of verse four (v.6 in Heb).

לְךָ֤ לְבַדְּךָ֨ חָטָאתִי֮ וְהָרַ֥ע בְּעֵינֶ֗יךָ עָ֫שִׂ֥יתִי 

Against you and you alone have I sinned and the evil in your eyes I have done.


The amazing note is when David says: I have committed the evil. Virtually no commentators make reference to this but the only referent to this article on “evil” is the superscription speaking of David’s going-into Bathsheba (=adultery). Without this superscription showing which specific sin David is referring to, the definite article here is meaningless. This is why the original languages are important and why it is crucial to examine every nuance of the languages so as to find what the inspired text is.

1 comments:

Jason Alligood said...

Geoff,

This is very interesting. I've often wondered about the inspiration of the Psalm titles.

You make a great point here.

I am taking an OT Poetry class this semester. Very much enjoying what I am studying thus far.

Hope you and the fam are well!

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