About this Book
‘You have to experience the Psalms to understand them. They’re art, not essays. You understand art when it surrounds and barrages your senses, like it would at a gallery, a museum, or surrounded by paint and canvasses in an artist’s studio. This book is a gallery where you can play with the art.’ – Peter Nevland
The introduction of this book encourages readers to ‘mind the gap’ between the distant ancient culture of the psalmists and our current world. The author outlines his method of interpreting the psalms (a nine-step interpretive process) before proceeding to explore 30 of the 150 psalms.
The book has an unusual design – more like a montage of comments than a commentary in the traditional sense. It doesn’t examine the selected psalms in their canonical order, but starts with Psalm 45, goes to 85, then to 23, then to 100, 24, and so on. Each commentary on the psalm is followed by a poem written by the author – a kind of lyrical exploration of some of the ideas in the psalm, which is, of course, itself a lyrical medium.
I had such high hopes for this book when I saw it. And although there are certain aspects of it that I really enjoyed there were other aspects that I didn’t.
First what I liked about the book. The overall idea around the book is excellent! The author takes a Psalm and gives some history behind it. Then he ask some follow-up questions to challenge the reader to think more about the Psalm. Then the author would rewrite the Psalm as a poem or a song or just a narrative.
It is at the narratives that I struggled. I couldn’t relate with his tomes, which doesn’t mean they are wrong, it just means they didn’t resonate with me.
**Disclaimer: ** Authentic Media via netgalley.com provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.