N.T. Wright on Reading the Psalms Christologically

N.T. Wright recently came out with a book titled, “The Case for the Psalms.” In it he argues that the church needs to recover the practice of using the Psalms in our worship. In order to show the relevance of the Psalms to the life of the Christian he teaches us to read the Psalms in light of the New Testament. This leads him to read the Psalms Christologically, Pneumatologically, and through a Kingdom Lens. Its way too good! So let me quote him for you….

Reading Psalms Christologically

Wright makes use of his own work on the study of Jesus to show that Jesus saw himself as being the “True Temple” of God. He challenges us to read the Temple Psalms in light of Jesus:

Suddenly those great Temple psalms burst into fresh flower: On the Holy Mount stands the city he founded; glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God. How lovely is your dwelling place, YHWH of hosts; one day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. Here is the challenge of those who take the New Testament seriously: try singing those psalms Christologically, thinking of Jesus as their ultimate fulfillment. See how they sound, what they do, where they take you…. (CFTP 110)

So I challenge you to try it out, read Psalm 122:1-5, and see how it changes when you see Jesus as the true fulfillment of the Temple in the Old Testament. How does this change the way you value the Psalms?

case for the psalms


Published by cwoznicki

Chris Woznicki is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He works as the regional training associate for the Los Angeles region of Young Life.

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