The Case for the Psalms

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The Case for the Psalms

Why They Are Essential

There are 150 chapters in the Book of Psalms, and you would think that a book trying to “make a case” for this book of the Bible would therefore be a large one. Surprisingly, it’s not. This little book, The Case for the Psalms by Bible scholar N.T. Wright does indeed make a case for this lengthy book in the Old Testament, but does so by breaking down sections of the Psalms into different categories. These categories, the author claims, are ones we need to be paying attention to, and I found his explanations about why the Psalms matter to be very interesting indeed. Of course, his ideas are just one man’s opinions, but they sound about right, and coming from someone who has studied, read, pondered and even sang the Psalms his whole life, that’s saying a lot.

I have always enjoyed reading the Psalms. It has happened so many times where a chapter or a single verse in The Book of Psalms has held my interest, inspired me or drew me closer to God in some way. The psalms in this book have moved me many times, and often I would stop while reading them to think about what exactly they are saying. Who knew that there was so much more there in the Book of Psalms, and now this book has helped me to have a better grasp of what exactly I am reading. Indeed, after reading this book, I will be reading the Book of Psalms in an entirely new way.

But the Psalms are not just meant to be read, the author claims. They are meant to be sung. The original psalms, the very first of them, were sang, not read, and often used as songs to sing during church service. It makes sense that most of the Psalms, if not all, are meant to be sung. The Book of Psalms is perhaps one of the most poetic and entrancing books in the Bible. Reading the Psalms is almost like reciting poetry, so I can see how many of them are meant to be sung. As it is, many verses from the Book of Psalms were turned into hymns I sang in church.

The Case for the Psalms is a thoughtful, endearing book that goes in-depth on what the psalms in the Bible mean, and just why they matter more today than ever before. It is a book that rekindles a passion and interest in this book of the Bible and one that should be on the reading list for anyone interested in Bible study.

What do the Psalms really mean and why do they matter? In The Case for the Psalms, Bible scholar N.T. Wright breaks down this lengthy book in the Bible into categories that help the reader understand what the verses mean and how to read them with a more understanding eye. N.T. Wright has spent nearly a lifetime reading and singing the psalms, and here he brings to the reader a better understanding of this poetic book of the Bible.


Book Blurb for The Case for the Psalms

Widely regarded as the modern C. S. Lewis, N. T. Wright, one of the world’s most trusted and popular Bible scholars and the bestselling author of Simply Christian and Surprised by Hope, presents a manifesto urging Christians to live and pray the Bible’s Psalms in The Case for the Psalms.

Wright seeks to reclaim the power of the Psalms, which were once at the core of prayer life. He argues that, by praying and living the Psalms, we enter into a worldview, a way of communing with God and knowing him more intimately, and receive a map by which we understand the contours and direction of our lives. For this reason, all Christians need to read, pray, sing, and live the Psalms. By providing the historical, literary, and spiritual contexts for reading these hymns from ancient Israel’s songbook, The Case for the Psalms provides the tools for incorporating these divine poems into our sacred practices and into our spirituality itself.


Night Owl Reviews Oct, 2013 5.00