The Psalms of Asaph : a study of the function of a psalm collection.
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Jones, Christine Danette Brown.
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The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the collection of psalms containing the superscription "of Asaph"(Pss 50; 73–83), to understand the messages communicated through it, and to explore the unique contribution the collection makes to the Psalter as a whole. In light of my canonical approach, I will pay attention to issues of placement and arrangement, both of the psalms within the collection and the collection within the Psalter. I also give attention to the influence that the placement of psalms and presence of thematic links between psalms has upon the careful reader of the text. The study begins with a history of scholarship that includes the works of Franz Delitzsch, Harry Nasuti, and Michael Goulder, among others, as they pertain to the study of the Asaph collection and the works of Gerald Wilson and Clint McCann who espouse a canonical reading of the Psalter. I next examine the collection itself with an exegetical reading of each psalm of the collection. In addition, I examine the placement of Psalm 50, which is the only Asaphite psalm outside of the collection. The fact that the psalms within the collection are also within the group of psalms called the Elohistic Psalter deserves attention and is addressed in the discussion of Psalm 50. I then discuss the numerous linguistic and thematic links that occur throughout the collection in an effort to better understand the message of the collection. Lastly, I move toward understanding the role of the collection in the Psalter. My research tests the thesis that the Psalms of Asaph as a collection guide the reader through the turmoil experienced by the people as a result of the exile.