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Praying the Psalms in Christ

Praying the Psalms in Christ

Laurence Kriegshauser, O.S.B.

Written centuries before Christ, the Psalms of the Hebrew Bible have been prayed by Christians since the founding of the Church. The early church fathers expounded the psalms in the light of the mystery of Christ, his death and resurrection, and his saving redemption. In this book, a Benedictine monk examines the Christian praying of the Psalms, taking into account modern and contemporary research on the Psalms. Working from the Hebrew text, Fr. Laurence Kriegshauser offers a verse-by-verse commentary on each of the one hundred and fifty psalms, highlighting poetic features such as imagery, rhythm, structure, and vocabulary, as well as theological and spiritual dimensions and the relation of psalms to each other in the smaller collections that make up the whole. The book attempts to integrate modern scholarship on the Psalms with the act of prayer and help Christians pray the psalms with greater understanding of their Christological meaning.

The book contains an introduction, a glossary of terms, an index of topics, a table of English renderings of selected Hebrew words, and an index of biblical citations.

“It is no easy task to combine devotion with scholarship. From the preface onwards this book breathes a prayerfulness that lifts the heart to God. With contemporary linguistic, literary, and theological scholarship, it joins the rich tradition of the Church expressed over the centuries in the writings of the Fathers. Each psalm is given a striking image as a sort of ‘logo’ and then discussed for itself. A special feature of the book is the appreciation that the prayer of the psalms in Christ is interwoven, threads of one bringing richness to another. The book is ideally suited to lectio divina: the reader is looking over the shoulder of the monk, prayerfully studying as he studies prayerfully in his monastic cell.” — Dom Henry Wansbrough, Master Emeritus of St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford

“Clear, accessible, and rooted in the tradition, Praying the Psalms in Christ guides us into the ancient prayers of Israel and the Church. The result is a fresh contribution to the great Christian tradition of spiritual commentary.” — Russell R. Reno, Creighton University

“In Praying the Psalms in Christ, Fr. Kriegshauser has given us a form of reading the psalms that runs very close in intention to that ancient practice of lectio divina where the text of the bible is read prayerfully as a form of contemplative prayer. His prayerful study is made all the more rich by the abundant cross references to other places in the bible, both Old and New Testaments, that add richness to the text. The result is an informative and spiritually nourishing companion to reading the psalms.” — Lawrence S. Cunningham, University of Notre Dame

ISBN: 978-0-268-03320-0
368 pages
Publication Year: 2009

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Laurence Kriegshauser, O.S.B., is a Benedictine monk at St. Louis Abbey, St. Louis, Missouri.

“Many will profitably read Laurence Kriegshauser, O.S.B.’s Praying the Psalms in Christ from cover to cover, but many more will gratefully consult it for its learned and _ lectio divina_ exposition. Psalm by psalm Kriegshauser smoothly keeps track of key Hebrew words, with their repetitions and their echoes, and he highlights them like a good docent in a cathedral or museum. He does not get in the way of the Way.” —_Review for Religious_

“Father Kriegshauser, a Benedictine monk in Missouri, takes a wholly traditional approach with his Praying the Psalms in Christ, a patient verse-by-verse and image-by-image exposition of each psalm in the spirit of the most ancient patristic commentaries, although Kriegshauser does take good advantage of recent scholarship . . . as a year-long course with a learned priest, it will amply reward the patient Christian reader.” —_Library Journal_

“. . . Rooted in the theology that developed from St. Paul and subsequently St. Augustine, Kriegshauser offers a refreshing new commentary on the Hebrew text of the Psalter. Like few others he bridges the gap between devotional concerns on the one hand and historical-critical ones on the other. . . . I recommend this book to a wide audience of readers, whether that be a priest or pastor preparing for a daily or weekly liturgy; liturgical or retreat planners; students of the Bible, whether beginning or advanced; or anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the psalms as distinctively Christian prayers, even while rooted in their original contexts in First and Second Temple Judaism.” — The Living Church

“The greatest strength of the book is its detailed cross-referencing. Throughout the commentary Kriegshauser refers to both Testaments, inviting readers into a deeper reflection on the biblical text as a whole. Another positive aspect is his brief introduction to and regular engagement with critical scholarship. Kriegshauser reads the psalms canonically; he keeps an eye on different genres of psalms and on recognizing the shape and shaping of the psalms as/into a book.” — The Catholic Biblical Quarterly

“Kriegshauser is a careful scholar. He knows not only Hebrew and Greek, but is reading commentators in Latin, French, and German. Insights from all these areas flow smoothly together to illuminate each psalm. Kriegshauser encourages us, ‘Let us then study the psalms as the language spoken to the Father by the humanity redeemed in Christ’ (12). His book is a great help to us in achieving that goal.” — The American Benedictine Review

“Here is a commentary on the Psalms that can also double as spiritual reading or material for meditation. The imagery of each psalm is explored, as well as other artifices that convey the impact of that psalm. . . . The Christ-reference is not imposed on the Psalms, but rather is made to shine through a thorough investigation of the meaning in context.” — Bible Today

“This book offers suggestions about how the psalms can become the vehicles of Christ’s prayer in his Body the Church. The author works from the Hebrew text and is always quick to note where it yields greater depth or concreteness than the translations . . . this work is for students, ministers and all who have had some prior induction into the psalms and Scripture.” — Catholic Library World

“Here is a book that reaches both backwards and forwards in its search for the manifold treasures in the psalms: backwards, in a careful exegesis of each psalm and an investigation of its interrelationship to psalms as a whole, and forwards, to the presence in the psalms of Christ who made them his own and who continues to pray them through us. This fine book leads us to dig deep for the treasures it contains.” — Cistercian Studies Quarterly

“One of the most well known Old Testament books in the Bible that is used for liturgical purposes is the Psalms. Benedictine Laurence Kriegshauser’s commentary on the Book of the Psalms examines these texts through a Christian lens, specifically, through the lens of Christ . . . This commentary is reader-friendly and makes a contribution to the many other commentaries written on the psalms.” — Horizons

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Praying the Psalms in Christ

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 Praying the Psalms in Christ
Paper Edition

Written centuries before Christ, the Psalms of the Hebrew Bible have been prayed by Christians since the founding of the Church. The early church fathers expounded the psalms in the light of the mystery of Christ, his death and resurrection, and his saving redemption. In this book, a Benedictine monk examines the Christian praying of the Psalms, taking into account modern and contemporary research on the Psalms. Working from the Hebrew text, Fr. Laurence Kriegshauser offers a verse-by-verse commentary on each of the one hundred and fifty psalms, highlighting poetic features such as imagery, rhythm, structure, and vocabulary, as well as theological and spiritual dimensions and the relation of psalms to each other in the smaller collections that make up the whole. The book attempts to integrate modern scholarship on the Psalms with the act of prayer and help Christians pray the psalms with greater understanding of their Christological meaning.

The book contains an introduction, a glossary of terms, an index of topics, a table of English renderings of selected Hebrew words, and an index of biblical citations.

“It is no easy task to combine devotion with scholarship. From the preface onwards this book breathes a prayerfulness that lifts the heart to God. With contemporary linguistic, literary, and theological scholarship, it joins the rich tradition of the Church expressed over the centuries in the writings of the Fathers. Each psalm is given a striking image as a sort of ‘logo’ and then discussed for itself. A special feature of the book is the appreciation that the prayer of the psalms in Christ is interwoven, threads of one bringing richness to another. The book is ideally suited to lectio divina: the reader is looking over the shoulder of the monk, prayerfully studying as he studies prayerfully in his monastic cell.” — Dom Henry Wansbrough, Master Emeritus of St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford

“Clear, accessible, and rooted in the tradition, Praying the Psalms in Christ guides us into the ancient prayers of Israel and the Church. The result is a fresh contribution to the great Christian tradition of spiritual commentary.” — Russell R. Reno, Creighton University

“In Praying the Psalms in Christ, Fr. Kriegshauser has given us a form of reading the psalms that runs very close in intention to that ancient practice of lectio divina where the text of the bible is read prayerfully as a form of contemplative prayer. His prayerful study is made all the more rich by the abundant cross references to other places in the bible, both Old and New Testaments, that add richness to the text. The result is an informative and spiritually nourishing companion to reading the psalms.” — Lawrence S. Cunningham, University of Notre Dame

ISBN: 978-0-268-03320-0

368 pages

“Many will profitably read Laurence Kriegshauser, O.S.B.’s Praying the Psalms in Christ from cover to cover, but many more will gratefully consult it for its learned and _ lectio divina_ exposition. Psalm by psalm Kriegshauser smoothly keeps track of key Hebrew words, with their repetitions and their echoes, and he highlights them like a good docent in a cathedral or museum. He does not get in the way of the Way.” —_Review for Religious_

“Father Kriegshauser, a Benedictine monk in Missouri, takes a wholly traditional approach with his Praying the Psalms in Christ, a patient verse-by-verse and image-by-image exposition of each psalm in the spirit of the most ancient patristic commentaries, although Kriegshauser does take good advantage of recent scholarship . . . as a year-long course with a learned priest, it will amply reward the patient Christian reader.” —_Library Journal_

“. . . Rooted in the theology that developed from St. Paul and subsequently St. Augustine, Kriegshauser offers a refreshing new commentary on the Hebrew text of the Psalter. Like few others he bridges the gap between devotional concerns on the one hand and historical-critical ones on the other. . . . I recommend this book to a wide audience of readers, whether that be a priest or pastor preparing for a daily or weekly liturgy; liturgical or retreat planners; students of the Bible, whether beginning or advanced; or anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the psalms as distinctively Christian prayers, even while rooted in their original contexts in First and Second Temple Judaism.” — The Living Church

“The greatest strength of the book is its detailed cross-referencing. Throughout the commentary Kriegshauser refers to both Testaments, inviting readers into a deeper reflection on the biblical text as a whole. Another positive aspect is his brief introduction to and regular engagement with critical scholarship. Kriegshauser reads the psalms canonically; he keeps an eye on different genres of psalms and on recognizing the shape and shaping of the psalms as/into a book.” — The Catholic Biblical Quarterly

“Kriegshauser is a careful scholar. He knows not only Hebrew and Greek, but is reading commentators in Latin, French, and German. Insights from all these areas flow smoothly together to illuminate each psalm. Kriegshauser encourages us, ‘Let us then study the psalms as the language spoken to the Father by the humanity redeemed in Christ’ (12). His book is a great help to us in achieving that goal.” — The American Benedictine Review

“Here is a commentary on the Psalms that can also double as spiritual reading or material for meditation. The imagery of each psalm is explored, as well as other artifices that convey the impact of that psalm. . . . The Christ-reference is not imposed on the Psalms, but rather is made to shine through a thorough investigation of the meaning in context.” — Bible Today

“This book offers suggestions about how the psalms can become the vehicles of Christ’s prayer in his Body the Church. The author works from the Hebrew text and is always quick to note where it yields greater depth or concreteness than the translations . . . this work is for students, ministers and all who have had some prior induction into the psalms and Scripture.” — Catholic Library World

“Here is a book that reaches both backwards and forwards in its search for the manifold treasures in the psalms: backwards, in a careful exegesis of each psalm and an investigation of its interrelationship to psalms as a whole, and forwards, to the presence in the psalms of Christ who made them his own and who continues to pray them through us. This fine book leads us to dig deep for the treasures it contains.” — Cistercian Studies Quarterly

“One of the most well known Old Testament books in the Bible that is used for liturgical purposes is the Psalms. Benedictine Laurence Kriegshauser’s commentary on the Book of the Psalms examines these texts through a Christian lens, specifically, through the lens of Christ . . . This commentary is reader-friendly and makes a contribution to the many other commentaries written on the psalms.” — Horizons

Reading the Scriptures
Finalist, 2009 Book of the Year Award in Religion, ForeWord Magazine