Who are the authors of the book of Psalms?Question: "Who are the authors of the book of Psalms?"
Answer: In contrast to popular thinking, David did not write all of the psalms in the book of Psalms. In fact, Psalms includes more authors than any other book of the Bible. The following authors and the psalms attributed to them are listed below:
David (75 total psalms; 73 noted in Psalms; Psalm 2 is attributed to David in Acts 4:25; and Psalm 95 is attributed to David in Hebrews 4:7): 3—9; 11—41; 51—65; 68—70; 86; 101; 103; 108—110; 122; 124; 131; 133; 138—145
Asaph (and family) (12 psalms): 50; 73—83
The sons of Korah (11 psalms): 42; 44—49; 84—85; 87—88
Heman (1 psalm, with the sons of Korah): 88
Solomon (2 psalms): 72 and 127
Moses (1 psalm): 90
Ethan the Ezrahite (1 psalm): 89
Anonymous (the 48 remaining psalms)
Scholars also note that the psalms attributed to David may have originated or been associated with David but may have also included assistance from others. In total, at least eight authors are named, and other anonymous writers certainly would add to this total.
Interestingly, the Psalms were written over nearly a 1,000-year period ranging from the lifetime of Moses in the wilderness (1440—1400 BC) to Ezra (fourth century BC). Most psalms were composed during the lifetimes of David and Solomon.
The ancient nature of the psalm titles has often been questioned. Some have argued that the titles were added much later and should not be considered authentic. However, with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the twentieth century, copies of the Psalms from the first century have been found with the traditional author names included. The evidence points to the authentic nature of the traditional authorship of the Psalms.
Still today, Jews and Christians enjoy the Psalms, and many modern songs are based on them. The enduring work of these many songwriters continues to change lives and encourage us to worship God.
Recommended Resource: Psalms, Volume 1 - NIV Application Commentary by Gerald Wilson
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