Jesus and the Holy Innocents
Readings: Psalm 123; Mark 10:13–16; Matthew 2:1–20. The Magi: Pursuing Wisdom We don’t know much about the Magi. There are lots of theories and ideas— snippets of both fact and fiction. There may, or may not, have been three Wise Men—three gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh do not necessarily imply three Magi. They were… Continue reading
Cohen’s ‘If It Be Your Will’: Song, Prayer, Psalm
Leonard Cohen described If It Be Your Will ‘as more of a prayer’ than a song during his introduction to its performance by the Webb Sisters and Neil Larson. Here I suggest that it is not only a prayer but more specifically a psalm. Even the title is highly suggestive of a key feature of… Continue reading
Responding to the Psalms: On Poetic Freedom
Poetry is an art and not a science. Rather than existing by virtue of agreed rules, or laws, it has conventions. The art of poetry is to obey and, at times, break these conventions. Over time, these conventions evolve and change. Some fossilise and are admired at a distance or honoured by the homage of… Continue reading
An Enarratio of Psalm 2: Behold God’s Anointed
This post follows on from an earlier post: An Enarratio of Psalm 1: Behold the Man. This is therefore the second in what is an experiment which asks what we miss with modern biblical criticism and what we can gain by sympathy with some aspects of Augustine’s interpretive paradigm for reading the Psalms. It bears… Continue reading
Why do the Nations Conspire?
The Psalms as Psalter The Psalms have been called an anatomy of the soul. The reformer Calvin said, in the opening of his commentary on The Psalms, that: I have been accustomed to call this book, I think not inappropriately, “An Anatomy of all the Parts of the Soul;” for there is not an emotion… Continue reading
Book Review, Part 2—The Psalter as Witness: Theology, Poetry and Genre
This is the second, and final, part of this review of The Psalter as Witness: Theology, Poetry and Genre, Dennis Tucker, Jr. and W. H. Bellinger, Jr. (editors), Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 2017. 216pp. hb. $49.95, ISBN 978-1-4813-0556-3 Part 2: Theological Themes in the Psalms Human Transience, Justice and Mercy: Psalm 103, Johannes Schnocks In this… Continue reading
P is for Psalms
The Psalms are 150 compositions that defy monochromatic definitions— they are never solely poems or prayers or songs. In their threefold nature they are words addressed to God and at the same time the editors of the Hebrew Bible saw in them a greater value as Scripture. In some sense they are authoritative and normative.… Continue reading
O is for Old Testament
A few posts ago the term Hebrew Bible was explored with a view to appreciating why the label is more than just an alternative to the Christian term of ‘Old Testament’. In this post the idea that the existence of the Old Testament can be understood as a re-reading of the Hebrew Bible is considered.… Continue reading
Psalm 149—Singing a New Song in 2017
Purple Rain: 2016 2016 was by any standards a remarkable year. On two days I awoke to the opposite outcome to that which I had expected in a national vote – I was personally disappointed on both counts. This time last year no one would have predicted all of the big events on the world… Continue reading
Journeying through the Psalms
This weekend I planned some teaching on The Book of Psalms for a staff and postgraduate Christian fellowship lunchtime meeting at the University of Surrey—this is my place of work. I have realised that the handout I have prepared is self-contained enough to be useful for a wider audience and so have lightly adapted it… Continue reading
This blog’s central aim is to explore all aspects of how the Psalter (the biblical psalms) functions as Scripture today.
To this end it will also include book reviews on the Book of Psalms and related topics.
Some posts will reflect more broadly on biblical interpretation or hermeneutics.
If you like what you see here and want to arrange for me to give a lecture, run a teaching event or a short retreat based around The Psalms then contact me so we can discuss how this might work.