© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Psalms Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why is this book written in verse (poetry)? Would the message be different if it were written in prose?
  2. How does Psalms interpret the figure of God? Are the ideas it offers conflicting or contradictory in any way? How is the God of Psalms different than the God of other books of the Bible?
  3. What's the role of your average Israelite citizen in the text? Is he forever doomed to be out of favor with God?
  4. Is Psalms at all like modern day music, poetry, and song? What rhetorical devices does Psalms utilize that are still in use today? Oh, and while we're at it, why is poetry so awesome?
  5. How does the book understand the Israelites' enemies? Is Psalms seeking a peaceful resolution of conflict or something more final?
  6. How can an atheist understand these poems? Are they still valuable to someone who doesn't believe in God?
  7. Why have the Psalms endured for as long as they have? Is it something about the language or the content? Or was this text just in the right place at the right time?
  8. What do you think: in modern day interpretations and retellings of the Psalms, have the poems lost their original meanings?
  9. Which particular Psalms carry the most poetic weight? Religious weight?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...