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The Psalms Paperback – November 1, 1997
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From Library Journal
Prayed for thousands of years, the Psalms address human pain, anger, confession, thanksgiving, and more. This commentary by poet/essayist Norris (The Cloister Walk, LJ 3/15/96) is not the usual psalm-by-psalm, verse-by-verse historical, linguistic, and theological exposition but instead a lengthy introduction first to the Psalms themselves and then to the King James Version (KJV) of them. Norris points out that the Psalms are an excellent introduction to the Bible because of their many themes (e.g., Exodus, the giving of the Law, the outcry against injustice), and she argues for the KJV because its English best reflects the original Hebrew and its language is unforgettable. The Psalms are printed with ample space between verses, calling for meditative reading. A welcome addition to religion and spirituality collections.?John Moryl, Yeshiva Univ. Libs., New York
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Kathleen Norris is the award-winning, bestselling author of Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith; The Cloister Walk; and Dakota: A Spiritual Geography. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, in various anthologies, and in her own three volumes of poetry. She divides her time between South Dakota and Hawaii.
Top customer reviews
For one thing, the translation used is the King James Version which, for all its literary strengths, is problematic for many readers. For another thing, Norris' "commentary" is limited to a single short essay, mostly explaining why she used the King James Version.
But the biggest problem is that the book is too large (more than 8 inches tall) to be carried around easily, and its type is too small, like 9 point, with huge spaces between each verse. For the life of me, I can't figure out why they laid the book out this way, but it makes it extremely un-user-friendly.
I got the overall sense that this book was prepared by the publisher mainly to give Norris' many fans, who were drawn to her practical yet poetic explanations of devotion in "The Cloister Walk," something else to buy for the holiday season.
If you are one of the many people who are illiterate when it comes to the Bible, this is a good place to start. As a "slow-learning Christian" I found this book a comfort. I purchased my first copy and will be ordering many more. To give as gifts to those who are hungering for spiritual direction.