Saturday 7 May 2011

Book Review: The Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms

I have not often been able to find an easy, insightful and helpful look into the Psalms, either in groups or individually. The Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms is all of these things.

It begins with introductory explanations of the Psalms, both from perspective (i.e. the Psalms as songs, ceremony, prayers or book) and from groups, outlining Psalms of praise, Psalms of thanksgiving, Psalms of lament, etc.

The authors, Brian Webster and David Beach, included everything necessary for someone new to the Psalms. Anyone could pick up this (eye-pleasing) book and read it alongside the Bible and gain "key insights for reading God's Word", as the subtitle of the book claims.

Each Psalm is given a page's worth of explanation. The authors delve into seven insights per Psalm:

- Theme
- Type
- Author
- Background
- Structure
- Special Notes
- Reflection

Each of these, fitting all together on a page, gives enough information to get the idea, while leaving it simple enough to understand. I found the special notes, structure and background especially fascinating.

I could easily pass this book on to my younger siblings as a helpful study of the Psalms. Likewise, I could just as easily give this book to any pastor or teacher as a resource for their preaching or teaching. I would definitely recommend it.

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By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach. ~Winston Churchill

Smart guy.