Sigmund Mowinckel

Sigmund Mowinckel, Scandinavian Old Testament scholar extraordinaire, was born on the 4th of August in 1884.  Most famous for his work on the Psalms, he authored many very useful volumes my favorite of which is The Old Testament as Word of God.  It’s what we call down here a ‘page-turner’.  Brittanica writes

Educated at the University of Oslo (then Kristiania), Mowinckel spent his life from 1917 teaching there. His greatest contribution was in cultic-religious history. He conducted substantial research into the motivation for the psalms and in the practice of worship in ancient Israel. He wrote Psalmenstudien, 6 vol. (1921–24; “Studies in the Psalms,” later popularized as The Psalms in Israel’s Worship, 1962), one of the major works of biblical commentary of the 20th century. Depicting the psalms in their concrete cultural milieu, he emphasized the cultic nature of their origin and development.

My first encounter with Mowinckel was in a grad school, in OT Introduction.  His ‘Psalms in Israel’s Worship’ amazed me.  It still does.  And so do his other works.

He also astonished D.R. Ap-Thomas who, in 1966, wrote an appreciation of him-

mowinckel

You can read the whole essay in Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 85, No. 3 (Sep., 1966), pp. 315-325.  Also, the Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament had an entire issue devoted to Mowinckel and his work back in 1988.

About Jim

I am a Pastor, and Lecturer in Church History and Biblical Studies at Ming Hua Theological College.
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