Psalms For Life
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Grateful Acknowledgment

I must say here how deeply indebted I am to many of the Psalms commentaries and scholarly studies listed below. I couldn’t possibly have written my paraphrases or expositions on the Psalms without relying heavily on the work of such leading scholars. I’ve rarely credited them in my psalms chapters in order keep my text and expositions as spare and readable as possible. I’ve included a few other books on the Psalms in the bibliography below that I believe readers may find helpful also, although they’re not scholarly studies per se.

Allen, Leslie C. Psalms 101-150 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2002).

Alter, Robert. The Art of Biblical Poetry, rev. ed. (New York: Basic Books, 2011).

Alter, Robert. The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2005).

Anderson, A. A. Psalms, 2 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980 and 1981).

Anderson, Bernard W. Out of the Depths: The Psalms Speak for Us Today, 3d ed. (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000).

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1974).

Brown, William P. Deep Calls to Deep: The Psalms in Dialogue Amid Disruption (Nashville: Abington Press, 2021).

Brown, William P. Psalms (Nashville: Abington Press, 2010).

Brown, William P. Seeing the Psalms (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003).

Brueggemann, Walter, Bellinger, William H. Psalms (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Brueggemann, Walter. The Message of the Psalms: A Theological Commentary, 2d ed. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1985).

Byassee, Jason. Praise Seeking Understanding: Reading the Psalms with Augustine (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007).

Calvin, John. A Commentary on the Psalms, 4 vols. Golding, Arthur, transl. & Parker, T.H.L., ed. (London: James Clarke & Co. 1965).

Calvin, John. Heart Aflame: Daily Readings from Calvin on the Psalms (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 1999).

Chung, Brian and Ye-Chung, Bryan. Psalms with Guided Meditations, with contributions by Kathy Khang, 2 vols. (Downers Grove: IVP, 2020).

Craigie, Peter C., Tate, Marvin E. Psalms 1-50 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Academic, 2004).

Davidson, Robert. The Vitality of Worship: A Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998).

deClaissé-Walford, Nancy, Jacobson, Rolf A., Tanner, Beth LaNeel. The Book of Psalms (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014).

Futato, Mark D. The Book of Psalms (Carol Stream: Tyndale House, 2009).

Goldingay, John. Psalms, 3 vols. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008).

Goldingay, John. Songs from a Strange Land: Psalms 42-51, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1978).

Grant, Jamie A., Tucker, W. Dennis, Jr. Psalms, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2018).

Grogan, Geoffrey W. Psalms (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008).

Guite, Malcolm. David’s Crown: Sounding the Psalms (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2021).

Hamilton, James M., Jr. Psalms, 2 vols. (Bellingham: Lexham Academic, 2021).

Jaki, Stanley L. Praying the Psalms: A Commentary (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2001).

James, Elaine T. An Invitation to Biblical Poetry (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022).

Kidner, Derek. Psalms, 2 vols. (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1981).

Lewis, C. S. Reflections on the Psalms (New York: HarperOne, 2017).

Longman, Tremper III. Psalms (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2014).

Mays, James Luther. Psalms (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011).

Mays, James Luther. Preaching and Teaching the Psalms (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006).

Mays, James Luther. The Lord Reigns (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994).

McCann, J. Clinton, Jr. Psalms (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2015).

McCann, J. Clinton, Jr. A Theological Introduction to the Book of Psalms: Psalms as Torah (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1993).

Moyise, Steve, and Menken, Maarten J. J., eds. The Psalms in the New Testament (New York: T & T Clark International, 2004).

Peterson, Eugene. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2021).

Peterson, Eugene. Psalms: Prayers of the Heart (Downers Grove: IVP, 2000)

Reardon, Patrick Henry. Christ in the Psalms (Ben Lomond, CA: Conciliar Press, 2000).

Robertson, O. Palmer. The Flow of the Psalms: Discovering Their Structure and Theology (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 2015).

Santucci, Peter. Everyday Psalms: Ancient Prayers in Everyday Language (Berkeley: Apocryphile Press, 2020).

Sire, James. Learning to Pray Through the Psalms (Downers Grove: IVP, 2005)

Tate, Marvin E. Psalms 51-100 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2005).

Taylor, W. David O. Open and Unafraid: The Psalms as a Guide to Life (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2019).

Waltke, Bruce K., Houston, James M. The Psalms as Christian Lament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014).

Wenham, Gordon J. Psalms as Torah: Reading Biblical Songs Ethically (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2012).

Wilcock, Michael. The Message of Psalms: Songs for the People of God, 2 vols. (Downers Grove: IVP, 2001).

Wilson, Gerald H. Psalms, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Academic, 2002).

Wright, N. T. The Case for the Psalms: Why They Are Essential (New York: HarperOne, 2016).


Every translator of the Psalms must decide how to handle God’s personal name, YHWH or YHVH, which occurs repeatedly in its Hebrew text. Translators of the King James Version usually translated it “LORD” (all caps) and sometimes transliterated it (badly) as “Jehovah.” Likewise, all modern translations either translate or transliterate it. Some other options for translating it are “the Eternal,” “the Almighty,” or “the Sovereign Lord.”

While translating it aims to make it more accessible to readers, transliterating it seems to me more faithful to the text since it’s not a word at all, but rather God’s uniquely personal name. This roots it more firmly in the biblical story as the name God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. Meaning “the self-existent One who answers to no one,” the name YHWH set Israel’s God apart from all the gods of Israel’s neighbors.

Personal names are, well, very personal. Even the sound of a name can evoke strong emotion. I’ve chosen to transliterate only YHWH’s consonants since the earliest Hebrew manuscripts contain only consonants, the vowels being added much later. My aim in doing so is to honor God’s name and set it apart, as unique.

One problem with YHWH is that we aren’t sure how it was pronounced since Jews long ago stopped saying it out of reverence. (They read Adonai instead whenever they come to YHWH in the text.) I take the advice of my esteemed Hebrew professor, Raymond Dillard, who advocated pronouncing it as Yahveh (Yah·vay). He favored that over the standard Yahweh since the modern Hebrew pronunciation of its third consonant makes the name sound more robustly Jewish. It also makes it sound more robust, period.

Finding strength in the ancient psalms

May these psalms be a light to you in dark times. You can read more of Mark Anderson's writings on Christianity, culture, and inter-faith dialogue at Understanding Christianity Today.