An overview of the study of imprecatory Psalms: reformed and evangelical approaches to the interpretation of imprecatory Psalms
Krüger, P. Paul
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This article looks at some interpretive issues regarding the so-called imprecatory psalms, focusing on the debate within reformed and evangelical circles. Introductory issues regarding these psalms abound, such as their definition and scope and the question whether they constitute a specific genre or subgenre within the Psalter. More important are hermeneutical issues regarding the rationale or motivation behind these psalms, namely the reasons why they were written in the first place. These issues also inform the relevance for the present day reader, specifically the New Testament reader, or vice versa: the perceived relevance informs the interpreter's stance on the rationale of these psalms. The article argues that reformed and evangelical scholars' interpretations of imprecation Psalms are largely led by their presuppositions about the relation between the Old and New Testament. The article concludes by suggesting that the deadlock in approaches could be resolved by an in-depth exegesis of the specific psalms taking into account the divergent presuppositions of contemporary interpreters.
- Faculty of Theology