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In this second book in the Touchstone Text series, which addresses “key Bible passages, making high-quality biblical scholarship accessible to the church,” author Richard Briggs approaches the study of Psalm 23 from three angles—the world that produced Psalm 23 (background), the world in Psalm 23 (exegesis), and the world in front of Psalm 23 (ministry). 

According to Briggs, the purpose of the kind of scholarship he pursues is to “seek a full, imaginative, and serious engagement with the psalm’s words and phrases, its images and its own imaginative vision, in order that we might hear it in all its widescreen wonder.” 

Though the book is geared predominantly to serious scholars of Scripture, lay readers also can benefit from it; especially accessible is the chapter in which Briggs answers the question, “How does Psalm 23 speak to Christian ministry in the twenty-first century?” He focuses on four areas in which Psalm 23 makes a significant contribution to the life and mission of the church: offering restoration by confronting life’s stresses, focusing on resurrection by confronting the challenges of death, celebrating protection by confronting the reality of enemies, and inspiring worship of God by giving voice to hope.  

Briggs concludes his book with the challenge for serious students of Psalm 23 to point others to its wondrous message and then to “stand back and watch what life-giving work God might do: by quiet waters, in the valley of the shadow of death, at the table that God sets before us, and—forevermore—as we dwell in the house of the LORD.” (Baker Academic) 

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