Psalms 101-150

series: Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible

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The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible encourages readers to explore how the vital roots of the ancient Christian tradition inform and shape faithfulness today. In this addition to the series, a well-known pastoral theologian offers a theological reading of Psalms 101-150. As with other volumes in the series, this commentary is designed to serve the church--providing a rich resource for preachers, teachers, students, and study groups--and to demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.

The general editor for the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible is R. R. Reno (editor, First Things). Series editors include Robert W. Jenson (1930-2017) (Center of Theological Inquiry); Robert Louis Wilken (University of Virginia); Ephraim Radner (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto); Michael Root (Catholic University of America); and George Sumner (Episcopal Diocese of Dallas).

Volumes in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible

R. R. Reno
(editor, First Things) on Genesis
Thomas Joseph White (Thomistic Institute at the Angelicum in Rome) on Exodus
Ephraim Radner (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto) on Leviticus
David L. Stubbs (Western Theological Seminary) on Numbers
Telford Work (Westmont College) on Deuteronomy
Paul Hinlicky (Roanoke College) on Joshua
Laura A. Smit (Calvin University) and Stephen Fowl (Loyola University Maryland) on Judges & Ruth
Francesca Aran Murphy (University of Notre Dame) on 1 Samuel
Robert Barron (Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles) on 2 Samuel
Peter J. Leithart (Theopolis Institute for Bible, Liturgy, and Culture) on 1 & 2 Kings
Peter J. Leithart (Theopolis Institute for Bible, Liturgy, and Culture) on 1 & 2 Chronicles
Matthew Levering (Mundelein Seminary) on Ezra & Nehemiah
Samuel Wells (St. Martin-in-the-Fields Anglican Church, London) and George Sumner (Episcopal Diocese of Dallas) on Esther & Daniel
Ellen T. Charry (Princeton Theological Seminary) on Psalms 1-50
Jason Byassee (Vancouver School of Theology) on Psalms 101-150
Daniel J. Treier (Wheaton College Graduate School) on Proverbs & Ecclesiastes
Paul J. Griffiths on Song of Songs
Robert W. Jenson (1930-2017; Center of Theological Inquiry) on Ezekiel
Phillip Cary (Eastern University) on Jonah
Stanley Hauerwas (Duke Divinity School) on Matthew
David Lyle Jeffrey (Baylor University) on Luke
Jaroslav Pelikan (1923-2006; Yale University) on Acts
Kimlyn J. Bender (Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University) on 1 Corinthians
Kathryn Greene-McCreight (The Episcopal Church at Yale) on Galatians
Michael Allen (Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando) on Ephesians
George Hunsinger (Princeton Theological Seminary) on Philippians
Christopher R. Seitz (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto) on Colossians
Douglas Farrow (McGill University) on 1 & 2 Thessalonians
Risto Saarinen (University of Helsinki) on the Pastoral Epistles with Philemon & Jude
Douglas Harink (The King's University College) on 1 & 2 Peter
Joseph L. Mangina (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto) on Revelation


"In his earlier writing Jason Byassee has indicated a readiness and capacity to read the Psalms with a christological tilt after the manner of Augustine. Here he carries out that interpretation with verve and with imaginative freedom. His commentary serves well in the Brazos series and will be a ready and compelling resource for the church in its thinking, singing, praying, and preaching."

Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"Byassee reads the Psalms like a pastor, which means he reads the Psalms with God's life and love for the creature fully in view. You will not find many commentaries on this section of the Psalms that match Jason's theological sophistication, ministerial wisdom, and intellectual courage."

Willie James Jennings, Yale Divinity School

"Byassee's readings of Psalms 101-150 reap the benefit of his roles as preacher, theological teacher, and close reader of the Bible. Embracing both modern scholarship and traditional interpretive approaches of the fathers and medieval readers, he does not limit his reading to a single sense but invites us to hear the voice of the living Christ in the Psalms."

Kathryn Greene-McCreight, author of Darkness Is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness and I Am with You: The Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book 2016

"Only when we go 'hunting for Jesus' do we end up reading the Psalms aright. Such is the bold claim that undergirds Jason Byassee's beautiful commentary on the Psalms. Byassee makes clear that figural or allegorical readings of the Psalms do not abandon the world or deny the flesh. Instead, drawing on 'christologically maximalist' readings of Augustine and others, Byassee shows that we come to know the God of time and place--the God of the incarnation--when we turn to Christ not only as the goal of our reading but also as the very location where it all starts."

Hans Boersma, Regent College

"'Love of the OT is love enough for the Jews.' I once wrote this to explain why Barth is good for the Jews. Is it good for the Jews if a believing Christian reads the OT christologically? If it is done out of love for the OT, then yes! But how can we tell if the reading is done out of love for the OT? There is no recipe; God alone knows. But there are exemplars, and the exemplars leave us clues. Byassee's commentary is such an exemplar, leaving clues like these: He honors the plain sense (peshat) of the Hebrew and Greek text. With Augustine and Luther he honors the rabbinic wisdom that 'one (word) spoke God, two have I heard (Psalm 62:12)--one verse has many meanings' (Sanhedrin 34a). Interpreting the Bible not as a single reader but as a member of his worshiping community, he honors the rabbinic injunction not to separate oneself from the community: grafted onto the people Israel, this is the community of the church--in his words, 'this nimble body of Christ [that] stretches across the cosmos and the eons.'"

Peter Ochs, Edgar Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies, University of Virginia

"We are well acquainted with the theological acumen and artful prose characteristic of Byassee's publications on thorny doctrinal problems and recent cinematic releases. Here he proves no less capable of deft exegetical finesse. In a dazzling dance from patristic, medieval, and modern interpreters to contemporary scholarship, visual art, and personal, pastoral experiences, Byassee transforms these psalms into rich resources that fund a robust account of Christian life, practice, and community. If, as one recent book diagnoses, the Old Testament is dying from disuse in Christian communities, this book strives to resurrect these psalms by forging a touching account of Christian identity from the pre-Christian terms of Israel's poetry."

Davis Hankins, assistant professor of religious studies, Appalachian State University

Praise for the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible

"What a splendid idea! Many preachers have been longing for more commentaries that are not only exegetical but theological in the best sense: arising out of the conviction that God, through his Word, still speaks in our time. For those of us who take our copies of Martin Luther's Galatians and Karl Barth's Romans from the shelves on a regular basis, this new series in that tradition promises renewed vigor for preaching, and therefore for the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church in our time."

Fleming Rutledge, author of The Bible and The New York Times and The Seven Last Words from the Cross

"This new series places the accent on 'theological' and reflects current interpretive ferment marked by growing resistance to the historical-critical project. It may be that scripture interpretation is too important to be left to the exegetes, and so a return to the theologians. We will wait with great anticipation for this new series, at least aware that the outcomes of interpretation are largely determined by the questions asked. It is never too late to ask better questions; with a focus on the theological tradition, this series holds the promise of asking interpretive questions that are deeply grounded in the primal claims of faith. The rich promise of the series is indicated by the stature and erudition of the commentators. Brazos has enormous promises to keep with this project, and we wait with eagerness for its appearing!"

Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible makes a most welcome contribution to the church, the academic world, and the general public at large. By enlisting a wide range of Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox theologians who differ on much, but who agree on the truth of the Nicene Creed, the series also represents ecumenical activity of the very best kind. It is always a daunting challenge to expound the church's sacred book both simply and deeply, but this impressive line-up of authors is very well situated for the attempt."

Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame

"Preachers and teachers in particular, but thoughtful Christians more generally, have long lamented the slide of biblical scholarship into hyper-specialized critical studies of ancient texts in remote historical context. It is no wonder, therefore, that the Brazos Theological Commentary is being so warmly welcomed. The outstanding array of authors, beginning with Jaroslav Pelikan's splendid commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, is, at long last, reclaiming the Bible as the book of the living community of faith that is the church."

Richard John Neuhaus, author of American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile

"Contemporary application of the Bible to life is the preacher's business. But no worthy contemporary application is possible without a thorough understanding of the ancient text. The Brazos Theological Commentary exists to provide an accessible authority so that the preacher's application will be a ready bandage for all the hurts of life. We who serve the pulpit want a commentary we can understand, and those who hear us expect us to give them a usable word. The Brazos Commentary offers just the right level of light to make illuminating the word the joy it was meant to be."

Calvin Miller, author of A Hunger for the Holy and Loving God Up Close

"For pastors, wanting to get at the theological heart of a text, there is some good stuff. When I am preaching, I usually try to take a peek at the Brazos volume."

Nijay K. Gupta, Portland Seminary

The Author

  1. Jason Byassee

    Jason Byassee

    Jason Byassee (PhD, Duke University) is senior minister of Timothy Eaton Memorial Church in Toronto, Ontario. He previously taught at Vancouver School of Theology and at Duke Divinity School. He written for the Christian Century, Sojourners, and...

    Continue reading about Jason Byassee


"The Brazos commentary series provides something valuable to contemporary students of the Bible and of theology by combining historical and critical approaches to the Bible with the theological tradition of the church. . . . [Jason Byassee] offers a theological reading of [Psalms 101-150] that emphasizes their immense value for modern Christians. . . . An excellent resource for beginning or advanced students of the Bible."

John R. Baker, OFM,

The Bible Today

"Throughout my reading of the commentary [Psalms 101-150] I found myself agreeing with almost every theological conclusion that [Jason] Byassee reaches, although I would have reached them (and have reached them, in many cases) from a quite different methodological starting point. . . . As Byassee affirms from the outset, he is always the preacher, and preachers will perhaps be his most appreciative audience. Preachers should appreciate that he discerns the following: 'The Bible unfolds in patterns. And its master pattern is one of mercy.' While this is thoroughly Augustinian and Wesleyan, it is also thoroughly psalmic. Preachers will also appreciate the frequent insights Byassee draws from his pastoral work, as well as his illustrative material."

J. Clinton McCann Jr.,

Review of Biblical Literature