Peter Gomes and the Psalms by Kevin Adams


In The Good Book, former Harvard Chaplain Peter Gomes writes,

“No one can read the Psalms without the sense of the psalmist’s psychological insight into the depth and breadth of human experience.”

I once advised a woman about to undergo surgery for cancer to read the psalms straight through, preferably in the King James Version. I wanted her to read the whole thing in one or two sittings in order to have an immersion experience into the soul of the writer, and I wanted her to read it in an unfamiliar yet evocative translation where there would by rhythmic power and imager just slightly anachronistic so that she would have to enter into it and not simply be carried along by the familiarity of it all.

She did as I suggested and when I asked her how it went, she replied that she had had no idea that the psalmist knew who she was, her precise condition, and what she needed and when. “When he rejoiced so did I.” she said, “and when he howled and cried out, I did too.”

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