Tuesday, July 19, 2016

David and the Psalms


Rating: 4 Stars

I read this one in a matter of just a couple days (Thank you BookBub for the great deal!) and I am so glad I did. I must make a confession that there was a period in my life in college and grad school (roughly 2001-2011), that religion took a backseat. I toyed with agnosticism and even atheism. But they never felt right to me, even when I was rebelling against faith. I was not brought up in a strict religious home, but we did attend church every Sunday, I participated in Sunday School, then Confirmation classes on Wednesdays in high school - but even then I was not reading the Bible closely, and as I got older I was not reading it at all.

Then I had a baby and wow, did that quickly bring the big picture into focus.

I feel so behind in where I should be in my knowledge of God, Jesus, and the Bible. So, I am forever grateful for books like this that help dumbdumbs like me play catch-up. While different branches of Christianity hold very different beliefs (the author is Catholic; I am baptized Lutheran, confirmed Methodist, now a member of a Covenant church), there is still much that can be learned from one another, especially when delving into material such as the Bible, which we all use.

My knowledge of the New Testament is much better than the Old Testament, so when I found this one, I knew I had to read it. I am personally quite fond of the King James Version, which lyrically is beautiful, even if not entirely accurate compared with other versions of the text. The problem then, is that sometimes takes me a few readings to understand the Early Modern English (sorry kids, it's not Old English).

This book is a very easy to read discussion of the life of David. In fact, the first 70% or so is dedicated to his story before even getting into the Psalms. I feel like I have a much better knowledge of David now, aside from the basics that everyone seems to know - son of Solomon, Bathsheba, etc. And perhaps because of my supreme lack of knowledge, the rest of his story seems enlightening to me, and that is kind of embarrassing. But I have to start somewhere, and this is a good place. I feel like those who have a better grasp of David and his life might already know a lot of what is contained here, but it is a good read for this with less knowledge of him, like myself.

Following the analysis of David's life, the author moves into the Psalms themselves that have been attributed to him. The Psalms are analyzed as well, and then there is discussion of what a Psalm actually is.

This was highly informative and an easy read. That is something I consider important for those like me who are new to really studying the Bible in-depth. It is easy to get overwhelmed, and thus give up, in Bible studies. When books to guide are easily accessible, it makes the journey a lot less intimidating. Definitely recommended.

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