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Books of the Bible Study Questions: Psalms

The Psalms express deep feelings. They tap into the depths of our hearts, our emotions, and our experiences. It is easy to identify with the range of emotions covered in the Psalms: frustration and worry, thanksgiving and worship, begging for help or crying out for forgiveness, wondering at God’s Word and His wisdom, anger at God’s enemies, or sheer, jubilant praise. Walk through select Psalms with these study helps.

Introduction to Psalms

Psalms has been called the hymnbook of Israel. The very word psalm is a musical word that comes from a root that means “a song sung to the harp.” Clearly, these psalms were sung by the people of God.

This book is a collection of songs and prayers written by many different people of God spanning many centuries. As Jesus finished His Last Supper and prepared to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, He and His disciples sang a hymn, likely Psalm 118.

The majority of psalms were written by David; others were written by Levites whom he put in charge of worship. King Solomon wrote two (72 and 127) and Moses even wrote one (90).

It is interesting to note that many psalms have headings that give context or authorship for the psalm, such as Psalm 3, “a Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.” These headings or inscriptions are part of the sacred text inspired by the Holy Spirit. So we can depend upon them as God’s own Word, not a later editor’s best guess.

Purpose of Psalms

Each psalm expresses the deep feelings of its composer, and thus taps into the depths of our hearts, our emotions, and our experiences. It is easy to identify with the range of emotions covered in the psalms: frustration and worry, thanksgiving and worship, begging for help or crying out for forgiveness, wondering at God’s Word and His wisdom, anger at God’s enemies, or sheer, jubilant praise. They lead us from our human experiences and struggles to God’s arms.


Continue learning about the Psalms with this free downloadable study guide.

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Written by

Wayne Palmer

Rev. Wayne Palmer received his master of divinity degree from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1992. During the next fifteen years, he served two parishes in southeast Missouri. From 2007 to 2016, he was theological editor/writer at Lutheran Hour Ministries in St. Louis. In June 2016, he became Editor, Bibles and Bible resources at Concordia Publishing House. Wayne lives in St. Louis with his wife, Pam.

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