Michael Rasmussen is pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Plano, TX. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen/Highland Theological College, and has taught Old Testament and Practical Theology at various theological schools. He resides with his wife in Dallas, TX.
Psalms containing lexemes derived from the Hebrew root צרר (to bind, be in distress) reveal a previously-unnoticed generic subgroup in the Psalter. Through structural and cognitive linguistic principles, Rasmussen explores issues related to genre, Hebrew grammar, and syntax in order to arrive at a set of three cognitive domains of “powerlessness,” “palpable threat,” and “entreaty” which are relatively unique to psalms that include צרר lexemes. Rasmussen also makes suggestions about the editorial process of the Hebrew Psalter, concluding that after the Babylonian exile, distress was more strongly associated with divine discipline and displeasure, whereas before the exile it was more associated with declarations of innocence.
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