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Seeing Psalms as the Libretti of a Holy Drama

TitleSeeing Psalms as the Libretti of a Holy Drama
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsEwell, Janet
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship
KeywordsAllusion; Drama; Intertextuality; Psalms; Temple Worship

Psalms was the favorite Old Testament book at Qumran and in the New Testament; the Book of Mormon contains more than three dozen allusions to Psalms. While Psalms contains both powerful, poetic words of comfort and doctrinal gems, many psalms also seem to careen between praise, warning, comfort, military braggadocio, and humility, sometimes addressing the Lord, sometimes speaking in the voice of the Lord or his prophets. The texts that most strongly exhibit such abrupt shifts may yield greater meaning if they are read as scripts or libretti of a sacred, temple- based drama.