This volume offers one of the best available introductions to the psalms literature of the Bible. Specially designed for use in a wide range of educational settings, James Crenshaw's new book will help beginning students read the psalms with understanding and appreciation.Part 1 examines the composition and major features of the book of Psalms. Comparisons to other biblical psalms and to deutero- and noncanonical psalms are also made. Part 2 surveys the various approaches to the Psalter, illustrating with great clarity the various modes of interpreting the book, Crenshaw looks in particular at the types of psalms, their social settings, and the historical reconstruction of the Israelite experience, with special attention to ancient Near Eastern iconography. Artistic design and theological editing are also discussed, In Part 3 Crenshaw offers in-depth exegesis of four notable psalms -- 24, 71, 73, and 115 -- to show how one might fruitfully engage the text.Given its range of discussion and highly accessible style, The Psalms: An Introduction will quickly become a standard text for classroom use.