PROVO — Israel's ancient hymn book — Psalms in the Old Testament — is the pattern the Savior used to teach in the New Testament, said Andrew C. Skinner, during the 39th annual Sperry Symposium at Brigham Young University on Oct. 30.
During the Savior's three year public ministry, he quoted from Psalms more than any other single source, Skinner said. Especially in the beatitudes."I don't think anybody would be surprised that Jesus relied on Israel's songs a great deal when presenting the beatitude's because that really is the pattern of his entire teaching ministry," he said.
Skinner, who is a professor of ancient scriptures at Brigham Young University, focused on specific similarities found in the Sermon on the Mount and Psalms. Both, he said, lead people to Christ and to the temple.
"Among other things, the Psalms prophesied of the Messiah and described certain specific events of his mortal life," he said. "The Psalms spoke and still speak to us, exalting truths, and like the Sermon on the Mount itself, the Psalms reflect a celestial mind-set that ultimately ... was a major purpose of the Sermon on the Mount to teach the disciplines and characteristics they needed to possess."
In order to enjoy the environment of the celestial kingdom also to describe how they should act and think as committed disciples in the fallen world and others to come to salvation."
The Psalms were highly valued among the early Christians, with more than 100 references to the Psalms in the New Testament, Skinner said, with a significant number of the references located in the four gospels.
Using Psalm 22 as an example of the story of the crucifixion, Skinner referenced parallel language and themes throughout the Sermon on the Mount and Psalms.
"The use of psalms in the gospel narratives depict events of the last week of the Savior's life, especially that period of the atoning sacrifice," Skinner said. "Psalm 22 is of the most moving foreshadowings ever penned of the physical sufferings associated with the Messiah's redemptive acts."
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