George Herbert and the Psalms
Regular readers of this blog will probably be aware that the penitential psalms (Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130 and 143) have featured prominently here over the past year, or so. This is because of an ongoing project on these psalms. As I have spent time with these seven psalms I have become increasingly… Continue reading
Malcolm Guite’s ‘David’s Crown’: A Review
Malcolm Guite, David’s Crown: Sounding the Psalms, Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2021 Malcolm Guite conceived and wrote this book during the earliest months of the pandemic. There is an irony in this origin, for corona, a word that had eluded most of us until a year ago, can refer to a crown or coronet of poems.… Continue reading
We are Poetry in Motion
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10, NIVUK Introduction The film Memento came out in the year 2000. It is directed by Christopher Nolan. He is now famous for doing strange things with time in many of his… Continue reading
Psalm 32: As Stubborn as a Mule
Dissecting Butterflies Have you ever sat through someone else’s holiday photographs? It is rarely an edifying experience. Have you ever heard someone waxing lyrical about an event that you never experienced? It is difficult to draw any excitement from someone else’s experience. Something is lost in translation as we hear of experiences second-hand. Even as… 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
Psalmody by Maria Apichella: A Review
Maria Apichella, Psalmody, London: Eyewear Publishing, 2016 How does one review poetry? The critical propositions of analysis seem ill at ease when juxtaposed with lyrical beauty. And yet review I must. How else can I have any chance of persuading another to imbibe this book? And like scripture it indeed deserves to be eaten. Who… Continue reading
Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah as Midrash
Midrash is a complex type of Jewish exegesis that blossomed as Judaism become Rabbinic. One, and it is only one, of the tools of midrash is using diverse texts from the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh) to answer questions asked by hearers of the text. In this way a deep reverence for the text is combined… Continue reading
T. S. Eliot and Reading the Psalms
I recently stumbled across an essay on Literary Criticism by T. S. Eliot. A number of issues that Eliot explores in the paper resonate with how we might read the Psalms appropriately. I hope that looking at Eliot’s essay will bear fruit for our use of the Psalms today. I need to be clear from… Continue reading
What is the Context of a Psalm? Part 1: Poems, Prayers and Songs
The importance of taking the context of any text into account is an obvious part of interpretation. The notion of context with regard to biblical psalms is, however, a rather complex one. This post does not attempt any resolution of the matter, but rather aims to be a starting point for readers to rethink what… Continue reading
An A-Z of Praise: Psalm 111
In looking at this specific psalm we shall see how the idea of an acrostic works and at the same time consider how this specific psalm raises some broader issues that any A-Z of the psalms must address. Here is this psalm laid out so that the acrostic device can be seen: 1. Praise Yah!… 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.