Prayerbook of Christ: Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christological Interpretation of the Psalms
The contributions of Dietrich Bonhoeffer to the fields of systematics, ethics, sociology, and theology have become well known in recent decades. What has been overlooked, however, is the significant contribution he has also made to the study and interpretation of the Psalms. Bonhoeffer's approach to the Psalms is built upon an understanding of its relationship to prayer and to Jesus Christ the Crucified One. Employing methods drawn from both premodern and modern exegetes, Bonhoeffer develops a Christological interpretation of the Psalms which, in certain key aspects, has not been seen in the history of interpretation. His is an interpretation informed by the historical reality of Jesus Christ praying the prayers of the Psalms in his incarnation. As the church of today prays the Psalms, it is encouraged by understanding that they are also praying the very words which Jesus prayed. The Psalms are not only the prayerbook of the church, more fundamentally, they are the prayerbook of Jesus Christ. In this book, Pribbenow explores Bonhoeffer's unique Christological interpretation of the Psalms by means of a concentrated analysis of its development, coherence, and significance, tracing it from its formation at Berlin University, into the years of development at the Confessing Church Preacher's Seminary in Finkenwalde, and through the months of interrogation and imprisonment at the hands of the Third Reich.