Book Review, Michael Paddy May 11, 2008
Other Writings of Similar GenrePulling three books from my own library on the subject of the Psalms in comparing style, content,substance and teaching, I was surprised to see many similarities when I thought I would see morecontrasts in representing the Book of Psalms to the reader.Starting with my favorite expositor of the Psalms, Derek Kidner and his work, Psalms, An Introduction &Commentary,
I was surprised to revisit these two volumes to see that Kidner starts off in hisintroduction with the subject of Hebrew Poetry.
His expanded thoughts were on the Old Testament in general but the idea was that the Psalms must belooked at in its literary style of poetry to be understood and interpreted correctly.
Much like Lewis heinfers that reading the Psalms must first be read in this literary genre and context.The differences in writing style is obvious to the reader in that Lewis as stated tended to be musing,thinking out loud, while Kidners style is well formatted with ideas, thoughts and comments laid out withmore examples and more contributed notes, texts, authors, and examples from the Psalms itself.Where Lewis used a collection of thoughts or anthological abbreviated style of looking at just a fewPsalms, Kidner sets forth in his Introduction a more complete reference for the reader to go back to asthey work their way through the entire book of the Psalms.Style of writing and intended purpose of the books differ but should in no way give credence to onebeing more better, or more correct. What it shows arethat both, though different in style, content, andpurpose; can be used to enlighten one in understanding the Psalms.A second book chosen to interact with in this study was written by a more popular, contemporaryChristian writer, Charles Swindoll. His two volumes, Living Beyond the Daily Grind,
are more in linewith Lewis as the subtitle of Swindolls book is Reflections on the Songs and Sayings in Scripture. Notlimiting himself to the Psalms, Swindoll breaks down his two volumes using an A B style in both volumes.He selects a collection of Psalms and a collection of Proverbs giving devotional thoughts to each.Swindolls books has an introduction to lay out his purpose in writing, The right combination of words,melody and rhythm seldom to work like magicthe pressures and demands folks like us are forced tocope withwe could use a little magic.
Immediately Swindoll uses the literary style of the Psalms as a focal point in bringing clarity to ones lifeand especially the daily grind that accompanies it using what he calls the magic of song.
The veryfirst distinction in this volume(s) and Lewis is that where Lewis says his book is for the unlearned and in
, Derek Kidner, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, D.J. Wiseman, Editor, Intervarsity Press, 1973
Derek Kidner p.1
Derek Kidner, p.1 ff.
Living Beyond the Daily Grind
, Charles R. Swindoll, Copyright 1988 by Charles R. Swindoll, Word Publishers
Charles R. Swindoll, p. ix, Introduction
Charles R. Swindoll, pp. vii-xi, Introduction