Exposing the Psalms

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.


My Review

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.

The Open Bible – Review



The Open Bible was one of the first study Bibles I ever had as a young Christian, so when I saw that Thomas Nelson was releasing an updated version I had to check it out.

The review copy of this Bible is the hardcover which makes for a durable Bible that can take a beating but is a little bulky. The version is New King James, which you may or may not like. My first version was King James so I do find the New King James a great update, but still prefer the English Standard version. However, I do appreciate the fact that the translators of the NKJV used the original KJV as a benchmark, while working to produce an accurate and modern word-for-word translation.

I appreciate the features of this study Bible. It opens with a “How to guide…” to orient people to the features of the study bible and continues with a six and a half page guide for how to study the bible. The author of this section encourages the reader to dig deep into the scriptures. This is a good bible for new Christians with a section called, “The Christian’s Guide to the New Life.”

This bible contains not only a 94 page concordance but an almost 300 page Biblical cyclopedic index that is a special kind of subject index that comes the best features of a concordance, and a topical index. The authors include a useful how to for using this index.

Between the Old and New Testament you will find an introduction to the visual survey of the Bible that includes a timeline  and history of the early world, a basic history of Israel. There is a life of Christ chart that compare and contrast the Gospels.

Each book of this bible begins with an introduction of the book, including information about the author and the time of the writing. There is also a section in the introduction that focuses how Christ in the book. The introduction also includes an outline of the book.

The text includes cross references and many passages have additional notes to help the reader better understand the passage.

After the book of Revelation this study bible includes a harmony of the Gospels, prophecies of the Messiah fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and a Guide to Christian workers that focus the reader on the Great Commission and a question and answer section for help in dealing with people. There is more information backed into this Study Bible, but I want to leave you with a few things to discover for yourself.

This is an excellent choice for a Bible for a new Christian who desires to learn more about God and His Word. It is also a good choice for those who love the King James but want a good study bible. The downside (for me) is that it’s only available in New King James.

I would like to thank Thomas Nelson for the opportunity to review this Study Bible, I was under no obligation to give anything but my honest opinion.

 


675615: NKJV Open Bible, Bonded leather, black NKJV Open Bible, Bonded leather, black
By Thomas Nelson

The study Bible that gets you quickly and fully into the Word.
Find what you need! The Open Bible, New King James Version is designed for the hungry reader. This Bible is filled with amazing study aids including comprehensive book introductions and outlines, 64-page concordance, Read-Along references and translation notes, and the classic Biblical Cyclopedic Index covering more than 8,000 textual entries. The Open Bible, New King James Version also features a seven-step method on How to Study the Bible, a Visual Survey of the Bible, The Christian’s Guide to the New Life, and The Greatest Archaeological Discoveries of the Bible.

Features include:

  • New King James Version (NKJV) text
  • Biblical Cyclopedic Index
  • Christian’s Guide to the New Life
  • Visual Survey of the Bible
  • Book introductions and outlines
  • Concordance

675622: NKJV Open Bible, Bonded leather, black indexed NKJV Open Bible, Bonded leather, black indexed
By Thomas Nelson

The study Bible that gets you quickly and fully into the Word.
Find what you need! The Open Bible, New King James Version is designed for the hungry reader. This Bible is filled with amazing study aids including comprehensive book introductions and outlines, 64-page concordance, Read-Along references and translation notes, and the classic Biblical Cyclopedic Index covering more than 8,000 textual entries. The Open Bible, New King James Version also features a seven-step method on How to Study the Bible, a Visual Survey of the Bible, The Christian’s Guide to the New Life, and The Greatest Archaeological Discoveries of the Bible.

Features include:

  • New King James Version (NKJV) text
  • Biblical Cyclopedic Index
  • Christian’s Guide to the New Life
  • Visual Survey of the Bible
  • Book introductions and outlines
  • Concordance

More Beauty, Less Beast: Transforming Your Inner Ogre–Debora Coty

263478: More Beauty, Less Beast: Transforming Your Inner Ogre More Beauty, Less Beast: Transforming Your Inner Ogre
By Debora Coty / Barbour Publishing

If you ever wrestle with that out-of-control inner ogre that threatens to destroy the divinely beautiful princess hidden within, this witty and wise book is for you. With simple, practical tips for taming that nasty, unsightly beast, you’ll discover how to transform its unattractive snarl into inner and outer beauty – refashioned, revitalized, and renewed.

Review Summary: Let me just start by saying I found this book both funny and encouraging. And overall, I could related to what the author was saying.  I’m not a typical girly girl that gets excited about purses and shoes. So some of her examples leave me rolling my eyes. However, when she got to the third section where she broke down the fruit of the Spirit she really got me.  She did a great job of driving home key points that I believe scripture is trying to teach us. This would be a great book for personal devotion and I think it would be a kick to use as a Bible study.

Digging Deeper: As I said the first section was tough for me, in that, I’m not a typical woman, growing up on a farm with no brothers I was expected to work hard feeding cattle and hauling wood.  But I the first section titled “Outer Beauty” the author looks at many of the traps that ensnare women, such as judging by appearances or Maturing Gratefully.  Each chapter begins with verses of encouragement and ends with suggestions on how to tame the beast that lives within so many of us. 

The second section the author moves from the outer beauty to the inner beauty.  And really hits hard the crux of the matter that in the big picture it’s the inside that really matters to God.  Here she deals with overcoming adversities in our lives as well as dealing with our self-esteem and guilt that we women tend to carry.

In the section she refers to as the undergarments is the fruit of the Spirit working in our lives. And thankfully she equates God’s fruits to fruits we recognize not pieces of underwear!  Yes, I realize as I’m sure the author does that Galatians says the Fruit of the Spirit, not fruits, but I feel that she through scripture leads in God pleasing growth.

Finally in section four, she reminds us of the importance of making a difference in our world. She through the  eight chapters will make you cry and laugh, but even more importantly think. How can I make a difference in the world around me.

The only potential downside to using this book as a Bible study is the fact there are 34 chapters.  However, the chapters are short and at times you could probably cover two chapters a week.  However, if you don’t mind an extended time I could see how this book could enrich the lives of a group of women drawing them closer to God and each other.

If you would like to learn more about Debora check out her website

Disclaimer: I want to thank the publisher for the opportunity to review this book.  The only obligation I was under was to give my honest feelings about the book.