Psalm 102: Bird on a Wire
This is the third of a series of occasional posts on the penitential psalms. Here we will focus on a single aspect of Psalm 102: its use of ornithological imagery. Pictorial language is not only central to the very nature of the psalms, but it is also key to understanding them. Focusing on the threefold… Continue reading
The Scorpion: Jesus in the Wilderness
This post is inspired by The Scorpion, one of Stanley Spencer’s Christ in the Wilderness series. Here the painting is not a replacement for the Bible but rather a means to a fresh perspective on some aspects of Jesus preparing for his ministry. Given recent world events we don’t need to work hard to remember… Continue reading
A Review: Rachel Mann’s ‘Spectres of God’
Rachel Mann, Spectres of God: Theological Notes for an Age of Ghosts, My Theology, Darton, Longman and Todd, 2021 Rachel Mann writes as poet-priest in a short book which is one of fifteen in the new ‘My Theology’ series. These books can be read in a single sitting but might be better imbibed more slowly.… Continue reading
Psalm 32: The Second Penitential Psalm Today
This is the second of seven posts that aim to show how the Penitential Psalms—Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130 and 143—have been read by interpreters such as Augustine, Cassiodorus, Luther and Calvin. One reason for doing this is the conviction that we can learn from past interpretations as we compare them with modern… Continue reading
Psalm 6: The First Penitential Psalm Today
This post will provide some examples of penitential commentary on Psalm 6 from the likes of Augustine, Cassiodorus, Denis the Carthusian, Luther and Calvin. In this way it introduces the reader to ancient readings and a facet of psalm interpretation which is unpopular today but was once immensely generative in doctrine, personal piety, Lenten practice,… Continue reading
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
Book Review: ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd: Psalm 23 for the Life of the Church’ by Richard S. Briggs
Richard S. Briggs, The Lord Is My Shepherd: Psalm 23 for the Life of the Church, Touchstone Texts, Baker Academic, 2001. At the outset of this review, I am pleased to say that this is an engaging and delightfully readable book. Like all good guides Briggs ensures his company know precisely where they are at… Continue reading
Jesus, Psalm 19 and Empty Words
The Sound of Silence Jesus had something to say about empty words. We’ll get to these words a little a later after we’ve encountered some other words, as well as some silence. Simon and Garfunkel rereleased The Sound of Silence as a single some fifty-six years ago in September 1965 to some acclaim. Its previous… Continue reading
Ephesians 6:18 and Psalm 1—Prayer as the Church’s Banquet
This post is a reflection on prayer with references to Ephesians 6:18, Psalm 1 and George Herbert’s poem Prayer (1). All three are shown below for convenience. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all… Continue reading
Johnny Cash’s Psalm 1: I Walk the Line
Johnny Cash the Psalmist perhaps sounds a little unlikely. And to be fair it is probably by some peculiar coincidence that there are so many connections between Cash’s I Walk The Line and Psalm 1. But the intertextual and thematic connections are worth considering. I suggest that both texts are enriched by reflecting on the… 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.