Review: Psalms for Everyone, Part 1: Psalms 1-72

psalmsPsalms for Everyone, Part 1: Psalms 1-72 by John Goldingay
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of Westminster John Knox Press via NetGalley

I finished reading The 30-Day Praise Challenge on a high and thought that I’d like to continue this praise by reading through the book of Psalms. At first, I was just going to wade in myself and see how I go but then I came across this title on NetGalley: Psalms for Everyone. I thought this would mean that the target audience of the book will be the average Joe (or Jane) and will probably be within my brain capacity.

The Bible translations I would normally read would either be NIV or ESV and I couldn’t find or even tell which version of the Bible is being used in this book. I read back to front and I must’ve been blind to completely miss it but I did. In any case, I found it fairly hard to get my head around this translation of the Psalms and it caught me off balance. In addition to having had to read an unusual version of the Psalms, I also found it very difficult to read through Goldingjay’s commentaries on the chapters. He wrote approximately a page commentaries per chapter (for some long chapters, the chapters are divided).

The personal anecdotes were ones I loved as they shared of author’s real experiences in life and spiritually. The page length commentaries, however, were quite choppy. The ideas did not flow smoothly from one paragraph to the other. I was actually getting really anxious as to whether I was losing my mind since I was struggling really badly with these commentaries that I asked my non-reading husband to read a chapter or two. His view was that Goldingjay had tried to fit in too many points in one page so that the effect was that we get superficial thoughts over numerous ideas / points. There were instances that I found I didn’t agree with the author though I wonder whether that was a case of misunderstanding (miscommunication).

This book is, unfortunately, not one I’d be recommending to my friends. I think there needs to be some serious editing before it really is for everyone.

Thank you, Westminster John Knox Press for copy of eARC via NetGalley

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