29 Apr

Children singing PsalmsPsalms is the next book I would take to evangelise a desert island. Why?

What’s the book about?

Psalms is a book of songs and prayers, many written by David and other named characters and some by unnamed authors.

Why did I choose this book?

Psalms teaches us about how God’s people should respond to God and make requests to him. It contains Psalms on various themes:

  1. Praise for God’s actions in history
  2. Laments over the sad state of Israel
  3. Trust in God
  4. Petition
  5. Wisdom
  6. Confession of sin

Many of the psalms also point forward to the coming of Christ, either as King or sacrifice. It one of the most quoted (if not the most quoted) book in the New Testament.

Psalms are a great way for people to express their emotions to God. It is a pity they are so rarely studied, prayed or sung in the modern church.

If you would like to introduce Psalms to your church, the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland have made a metrical version of all 150 psalms in Psalms for Singing, with 21st Century lyrics. Well worth using.

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4 Responses to “Psalms”

  1. rjs1 April 30, 2008 at 10:02 am #

    It is indeed a great pitty that the Psalter is so largely ignored in ‘modern’ evangelicalism. Every Psalm is centred upon Christ which is what makes them very interesting to study. If I may make some suggestions:

    Futato, M. (2007) Interpreting the Psalms: An Exegetical Handbook. Handbook for Old Testament Exegesis. Kregel Academic & Professional.

    Kidner, D. (1981) Psalms 1-72. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. InterVarsity Press.

    Kidner, D. (1981) Psalms 73-150. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. InterVarsity Press.

    I hope you enjoy your studies!

  2. Tim Wilson April 30, 2008 at 4:08 pm #

    Sounds really helpful. By the way very impressed with your blog devoted to the Psalter, looks very interesting and helpful.

  3. rjs1 April 30, 2008 at 4:43 pm #


    Thanks for saying so. I certainly hope you find it helpful, after all that is why I set it up ;-)

    The Psalms are something of a passion of mine and have been for a while. If you want to jump right into the Psalms then bear in mind that the structure is as follows:

    Pss. 1 & 2 – Introduction
    Pss. 3-41 – Book 1
    Pss. 42-72 – Book 2
    Pss. 73-89 – Book 3
    Pss. 90-106 – Book 4
    Pss. 107-145 – Book 5
    Pss. 146-150 – Conclusion

    The introduction, of course, sets the theme of the Psalter and Robert Cole sums up Pss. 1 & 2 thus: “Psalms 1 and 2 were not read as two disparate Torah and royal psalms respectively in the final redaction of the Psalter; rather, both depict the ideal Joshua-like warrior and king who through divinely given authority vanquishes his enemies. From this eschatological perspective the Psalter opens and sets the tone for all subsequent psalms.”

    Read in this light, the psalms come alive! Any way, to start with I would certainly suggest the following posts from my blog:

    “A Form-Critical Classification of the Psalms”
    “Bruce Waltke Sermons on the Psalms”
    “Christ in the Psalms”
    “Recent Trends in Psalms Study”

    God bless!

    PS: It’s a small world, I live in Hartford :-)

  4. Tim Wilson May 1, 2008 at 5:40 am #

    No way! When I have my time commitments start to cool down I’ll definitely have a gander. Thanks for the link.

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