Psalm 3:1—How could David have written this Psalm when critics insist that most Psalms were not completed until much later?

Problem: The inscription on this psalm, as on many others, says, “A Psalm of David.” However, biblical critics argue that the form and style of the psalm reflects a much later period than David’s time.

Solution: Most scholars do not believe these inscriptions are part of the inspired text, but were added later. However, there is strong evidence that David did write this psalm, as well as some 70 others attributed to him. Consider the following.

First, these inscriptions are very old and reflect the most ancient documentary evidence about the authors of these psalms.

Second, David, being a true poet (cf. 2 Sam. 1:17–27) was certainly capable of writing these psalms.

Third, there is evidence that David possessed the rich imagination needed to write Hebrew poetry (cf. 2 Sam. 1:19–27).

Fourth, David was also a good musician (cf. 1 Sam. 16:18–23) which would greatly aid him in composing these psalms that comprised the ancient hymnal of Judaism.

Fifth, David probably composed the music used in Solomon’s temple (1 Chron. 6:31–32) in which these psalms were later sung.

Sixth, the Bible declares that David was endued with the Spirit of God (1 Sam. 16:13), thus enabling him to write such inspired poems.

Seventh, David was deeply spiritual in both character and heart (cf. 2 Sam. 7), something obviously true of the author of the psalms attributed to him.

Eighth, Psalm 18, for example, is also recorded in 2 Samuel 22, where it is directly attributed to King David.

Ninth, David swore on his death bed that God spoke through his mouth as the “sweet psalmist” of Israel (2 Sam. 23:1).

Finally, both our Lord and NT writers verified by name that David wrote specific psalms attributed to him in these OT inscriptions. For example:

Psalm 2 is cited in Acts 4:25–26 as by David

Psalm 32 is cited in Romans 4:7–8 as by David

Psalm 95 is cited in Hebrews 4:7 as by David

Psalm 110 is cited in Matthew 22:44 as by David.

In brief, there is an ancient and unbroken teaching extending to modern times, which includes our Lord and His apostles, that King David is indeed the author of the psalms attributed to him. No one has provided any solid evidence to the contrary, but have offered instead mere speculations about literary form which generally either beg the question or are based on the fallacious argument from ignorance.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.