Use of the Psalms in the New Testament

This past Sunday at our church I taught in our Sunday School on how the Psalms are used in the New Testament (audio). My focus was not on the various ways the Psalms are interpreted but what people (Jesus, the apostles) actually did with the Psalms. I summarized the various uses in 3 categories. They preached (or taught), prayed and sang the Psalms. We find Jesus involved in all three uses as well as the early church.

In fact, Jesus dies with the Psalms on his lips in prayer. Then in the book of Acts the church’s first major decision is made based on the Psalms (Acts 1), the first sermon is based largely on the Psalms (Acts 2), and in the first recorded prayer meeting they are praying the Psalms (Acts 4).

This work is part of an ongoing book project on the use of the Psalms, growing out of the “Psalms Project at Union University” which is scheduled to be published by B&H next fall.


  1. I start my introductory physics classes with a reading from the Psalms. Students several years later will comment on how that helped their day and life, even if they don’t remember the physics. Physics can help build machines, but God’s Word changes hearts.

  2. The Sunday School lesson was excellent. As a result, Tammy and I have decided to use the Psalms in our reading and praying each evening.



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