Lament and Laughter; The Psalms in English Verse

ISBN 978-1-80329-000-3
234 pages.
Published 7/10/2021

6.99 - 21.99

Hardcover, Paperback and Kindle

This complete collection of Psalms in English verse is presented both to provide texts for singing and to help today’s readers enjoy and become familiar with the full and rich range of these ancient songs. Hopefully, they will encourage readers to return to their Bibles to develop their knowledge and use of the Psalter.

The language is today’s English, freed from the tired accents of Victorian and pre-war devotion, yet not lapsing into casual colloquialisms. Many of the texts have benefited from the close criticism of Pastor Erroll Hulse and hymn-writer Christopher Idle. The verse is in traditional English forms with rhythm and rhyme, and should appeal to all parts of the English-speaking world.

The author has sought to be as faithful to the Hebrew texts as the discipline of verse will allow, using not only a range of English translations from NASB and JB to TNIV and ESV, and from GNB to NLT and Eugene Peterson, but also studying a range of commentaries, and idiomatic renderings (Chouraqui, Motyer, Goldingay) and consulting experts from time to time. Hence great care has been taken to render the various names of God precisely, along with key Hebrew words such as “hesed”, “barak” and the eight distinct terms for God’s law in Ps.119.

The Psalter’s ancient division into five books is clearly marked, the significance of which is discussed in the Introduction.

A list of suggested tunes, one for each Psalm where available, is provided at the end of the book, though individuals and congregations in varying times and places will have their own preferences, or compose their own.

MA Modern Languages (Oxon), PhD on the poetry until 1970 of Pierre Emmanuel (1916-1984) of the Academie Francaise. French teacher 1963-7 at a minor Public School, teacher  at secondary school in Zambia 1967-8, lecturer in French language and literature 1968-79 at Ahmadu Bello University, N.Nigeria, theological editor at Inter-Varsity Press, 1979-1983. French teacher 1983-1996 at Reading School (founded 1225), a leading Grammar School; 1996-2000 member of the Editorial Board of “Praise!”, a contemporary-language hymn-book.In retirement working on Psalms in English metre in modern English, together with other writing and editorial work.

I am passionately enthusiastic about the Psalms as our scriptural way of praising God and protesting to God, I am deeply distraught when they are not part of Christian worship, and I am enthusiastically appreciative of my friend David Preston’s versions of them. In his foreword our mutual friend Chris Idle has said it all about David, a humble, wise, courteous, Jesus-loving versifier who didn’t make King David sing like a Christian but he has left Christians with even less excuse for not singing like David. John Goldingay

In this collection – almost a life’s work – we are in safe hands. David Preston writes as one to whom the Psalms have long been a means of grace. He would ask nothing better than that these versions should be read or sung to the glory of God, and the blessing of his people. Timothy Dudley-Smith

David Preston laboured over many years to provide fresh and contemporary renderings of each Psalm, oft en including reference to the fulfi lment of the promises in the gospel age … I would warmly commend not only reading these, but singing them [and suggested tunes are listed at the end of the book]. They provide a rich resource for personal devotions and family prayers, as well as corporate worship.  Sharon James



Foreword by Christopher Idle

The Psalms in English Verse






Valuing and Using the Psalms

Metres and Music

Other books you may like

Products not found