Are the Individual Laments prayers? What is the definition of prayer?
I will discuss these issues in the next article. The challenges that form-criticism faces have to do with the difficulties in assessing the settings of the psalms. Even more difficult to assess are the identities of the individuals, i.
This is not to say that a psalm that said to belong to a specific genre must bear a specific fixed structural pattern since it is unlikely that any poetic system will conform to such rigid rules. Gerstenberger, the problem of thematically based structure divisions:.
The gross structure of any given psalm may be delineated syntactically in conjunction with the literary forms and focuses of its content into sub-units that properly describe the overall rhythmic structure of the psalm, e. I have discussed the uncertainties of the former two categories in previous articles and there is no need to repeat them here, but the lack of, or the uncertainty of these descriptions of the formal rhythmic structure often caused erroneous decisions leading to unnecessary textual emendations and structural divisions.
Clearly, it is erroneous to split this verse into three separate units as reliance on themes alone might suggest. I wish there could have been more, but there is so much to explore. Jessica Williams Touch. Central Park West. Lorca preferred to perform his poems and plays, and his histrionic recitations drew innumerable admirers. For strangers arose against me;.
Many structural divisions of the psalms that are based merely on the thematic shifts alone are often found to be erroneous in instances where clear thematic markers are lacking. Gerstenberger stresses that literary phenomena that occur in biblical Hebrew verse must be taken into account in the form-critical analysis in light of life situation and social setting.
The identifications of these situations and settings remain elusive; yet for Gerstenberger, the life situation and social setting is the cultic context of the liturgical setting for every psalm he interpreted. Afterward, Yahweh had to be entreated in a manner suggested by a prophet or a singer. The same feature is well known from other Near Eastern poetic literature. The literary law here was followed in the whole region and probably developed from oral composition techniques using fixed word pairs.
The form-critical must recognize such general linguistic and literary influences, which may interfere with the formative impulse of liturgical setting on the Psalms. This last statement is even more true for all those poetic devices that affect the overall structure of a psalm. According to Gerstenberger, the Individual Laments may contain these elements:.
As useful as the listing of these motifs is, one recognizes that not every psalm of the classic Individual Lament genre contains all of the above motifs and that a single line or a small group of lines can contain multiple motifs, so the main focus of these lines is not always clearly discernable. An example is Ps Vindicate me, O Yahweh,.
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