May 07, 2008 Print This Article

Wesselschmidt Edits New Psalms Commentary

A new book, Old Testament VIII, Psalms 51-150, part of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, edited by Dr. Quentin F. Wesselschmidt, professor of historical theology at Concordia Seminary, was recently published by InterVarsity Press.

“We are not the first generation to read the sacred Scriptures,” commented Dr. Paul Raabe, professor and chairman of exegetical theology at Concordia Seminary. “We stand in the Great Tradition of many others in previous centuries who have faithfully read, confessed, taught and prayed the Scriptures. We owe a debt of gratitude to Quentin Wesselschmidt for his careful and thorough work in uncovering the interpretive treasures of ages past that can illuminate our own meditation on the psalms.”

The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture is a unique 29-volume series encompassing all of Scripture and offering contemporary readers the opportunity to study for themselves the key writings of the early church fathers. This commentary is targeted toward a general lay audience of nonprofessionals who study the Bible regularly and can reflect and meditate on the plain sense, theological wisdom and moral meanings found within the texts.

In the Psalms 51-150 volume, more than 50 church fathers, spanning seven centuries of exegesis, are cited. These selections, some of which appear for the first time in English, reflect on the various roles the psalms have played in the individual and corporate lives of Christians. Not only do the psalms express the full range of human emotions, but they were also employed by the church fathers as both hymns and Scripture readings in the liturgy; as pointers to Jesus both as Son of God and as Messiah; as support for other New Testament teachings; as counsel on morals; as forms of prayer; and in great doctrinal controversies.

“Christians in the 21st century still find the psalms a great source of inspiration, comfort, guidance and a real wellspring of the doctrinal truths which lead to eternal salvation,” commented Wesselschmidt. “It is hoped that in some small way readers of the excerpts in this volume [Psalms 51-150] will have their spiritual lives greatly enriched.”

Wesselschmidt received a bachelor’s degree (1959) from Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind.; the M.Div. (1963) from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis; the M.A. (1969) from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis.; and the Ph.D. degree (1979) fromUniversity of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. Prior to joining the Concordia Seminary faculty in 1977, he served as pastor at Our Savior Lutheran Church, Hillsboro, Ill. (1963-1965); assistant professor at Concordia College, Milwaukee, Wis. (1965-1971); and instructor of religion and administrative assistant at Milwaukee Lutheran High School, Milwaukee, Wis. (1974-1977). At Concordia Seminary, he has also served as chairman of the historical theology department (1981-1995) and chairman of the Concordia Journal editorial committee (1982-2007).