Quotes from How to Read the Psalms

I have been wont to call this book (the Psalms) not inappropriately ‘An Anatomy of All Parts of the Soul;’ for there is not an emotion of which any one can be conscious that is not here represented as in a mirror. (A quote from John Calvin, Pg. 13)

As C.S. Lewis commented, ‘the Psalms are peoms, and poems intended to be sung: not doctrinal treatises, nor even sermons.’ We may agree with Lewis but the Psalms do teach doctrine…The Psalms give us theology written in intimate relationship with God and in close touch with life.” (Pg. 52-53)

“We can’t ignore the fact that the psalmists speak out of the context of covenant.” (Pg. 57)

“Jesus is the focus of the Bible as a whole.” (Pg. 65)

“As New Testament believers, we may sing psalms to our savior.” (Pg. 68)

“The Psalms teach us that our emotions are grounded in our faith, our covenant faith.” (Pg. 81)

“We find the worship leader frequently exhorting the people to worship the Lord. As we study these commands in the Psalms, we should be stirred from the common attitude which American Christians take toward worship. Worship in many churches is a spectator sport. If we listen to the commands of the psalmist, our worship will radically change. It will become both communal and enthusiastic.” (Pg. 84)

“Why are there so many metaphors and similes in the Psalms? What do they add to the message of the Psalms? First of all, it must be admitted that images are not as precise as literal language…Remember that precision is different from accuracy. A metaphor may be less precise than a literal sentence and still be without error…whatever is lost in precision is gained in vividness of expression…they stir our emotions, attract our attention and also stimulate our imaginations as well as help us to discover some new truth about the objects compared.” (Pg. 116)

“It would take a page of prose to communicate what the psalmist has stated in a clause, and it would do so with less impact.” (Pg. 117)

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