Abstract

In research on the formation of the “book” of Psalms, there are four points of consensus regarding the use of Davidic superscriptions. They are seen as (1) having little value for the interpretation of individual psalms; (2) providing clues to the diachronic formation of the collection; (3) fundamental in the overall Davidization of the book of Psalms; and (4) important in the overall structure of the book of Psalms. There is some tension, however, between the second and the third points, with the observed Davidization bearing the potential of overturning the use made of Davidic superscriptions in diachronic reconstructions. In the current article, I revisit this issue by analyzing the way the superscriptions appear in the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as in Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, and argue that the variance observed indicates that Davidic superscriptions are not reliable clues to earlier collections of psalms.

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