In 1958, a one hit wonder band called the Monotones wrote a song called, “Who wrote the book of love”. This otherwise unknown band suddenly had the #5 top hit in the US. Since their other songs were similar in tone and style, we must assume it had something to do with the lyrics, the message in this song. They simply wanted to know who wrote this book.
I wonder wonder who, oouu who
Who wrote the book of love
Tell me, tell me, tell me
Oh who wrote the book of love
I’ve got to know the answer
Was it someone from above
It really is a simple song with much repeated, but it was asking a question that we often ask, who wrote the book of… fill in the blank. When we read the Bible, some of the books are obvious who wrote them while others are not so obvious. Then you get to a book like Psalms where it’s possible there was a dozen or so different authors of the 150 different psalms. We know that David wrote between 1/2 to 1/3 of the psalms and we know some others are clear about who wrote them. In fact many authors are actually mentioned in the writings themselves while other Psalms are left without a known author. Or so it would seem.
Because the truth is that every word in the Bible has but one author, The Holy Spirit. Several books were written by direct revelation from God and it is plainly clear while others were more inspired. All have a tone of the human author but a message of the divine author. Knowing the human author can help to add value in understanding the context of the writing, but it can also cloud the message… if the reader gets too burdened by who the human author is.
It is important to remember that the entire Bible has but one author with many pen names. The Holy Spirit wrote through Moses, David, Paul, etc. The Book of Psalms is no different. While there were many human authors (or scribes) of the words, we should never lose site of the fact that these words were a result of the Holy Spirit himself.
I find it interesting that of all the Psalms, there are only a few that are left to truly unknown authors. Both the first and the last fit this category. The book of wisdom buried in the middle of the Bible starts and ends with unknown human authors, yet both have incredibly important messages.
Psalm 1 sets the tone for the entire book. It’s all about meditating on God’s instruction and avoiding the wicked.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
Then Psalm 150 sums up the entire purpose, to praise and worship Him.
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!”
In the end, we can actually sum up all of the Psalms in these two chapters with unknown human authors…
Focus on God, meditate on His word and praise Him with all that you have.