I Cried to the Lord

A Study of the Psalms of Solomon's Historical Background and Social Setting


This study examines the date of composition, the social setting, the provenance, and the religious affiliation of the eighteen Greek poems known as the Psalms of Solomon, a Palestinian Jewish pseudepigraphon from the first century B.C.E. The book is divided into two major historical units: Pompeian and pre-Pompeian era Psalms of Solomon. A separate chapter examines the remaining Psalms of which the precise historical backgrounds are uncertain. All chapters include a translation of the psalm under examination, textual notes, and a discussion of all the characters mentioned in the text. The book explores the Psalms of Solomon’s use of poetry to document Pompey’s 63 B.C.E. conquest of Jerusalem through a comparison with contemporary classical texts, Dead Sea Scrolls, and archaeology.

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Kenneth Atkinson, Ph.D. (1999) in Religion, Temple University (Philadelphia), is Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Northern Iowa. He has published extensively on Second Temple Judaism including An Intertextual Study of the Psalms of Solomon (Edwin Mellen Press, 2001).
Scholars and students interested in biblical studies, Pseudepigrapha, Jewish history, Dead Sea Scrolls, Roman history, the Septuagint, early Christianity, as well as classicists and theologians.