Talk:Psalm 23

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Removal of POV OR[edit]

Psalm 23 when examined and compared is very similar to a hymn sung to Osiris, a pagan saviour-figure in ancient Egyptian mythology which preachings and life in many senses is similar to that of the Christian saviour-figure Jesus. The original hymn appealed to Osiris, the Good Shepherd to lead those who have died to the "green pastures" and the "still waters" of the nefer-nefer land, Osiris was to restore the soul to the body and give protection in the "valley of the shadow of death".

When sung in connection to a prayer, the prayer began with "O'Amen, O'Amen, who are in heaven" and also ended with "Amen" as the end of every prayer. Although the etymology of "Amen" is different, there is great similarity.

I have removed the above paragraph for the following reasons:

  1. To state that Ps23 is 'very simillar' to another work is POV (and perhaps even OR). Says whom? If some schollar has made this comparison, we may say 'x has suggested', or (if the evidence alows) 'many scholars suggest'. But we cannot state a judgement as an objective fact.
  2. To say Osiris is is like Jesus is also POV. Says whom? In what ways?
  3. None of the material is referenced in any way. --Doc ask? 13:31, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Response to removal[edit]

Several scholars (i.e. the as of 2005 late Alan Dundes) have made clear the similarity, read the hymn for you self, I don't have it here any more but I read it as part of a study on Egyptian mythology for class, it was about as different to Psalm 23 as King James version is to the newest translation. Merely rewtritten that is, probably due to retranslation of the psalm anyway.

Don't make all religion stuff so holy the origins can't be questioned, for they have been several times.

Reasons for readding:

  1. One will have to judge for one self how great the similarity is, but the striking similarity has been made aware of several times by several scholars (for example see above).
  2. Alan Dundes himself made several points to show the similarity with other saviour-type heroes like Herakles, Osiris, Dionysos, Horus etc.. Though he's not exactly alone in that area.
  3. Study the book of Am-Tuat (yes, you deleted the reference) yourself and have a look. ---ramz- ask? 01:25, 27 March 2006 (CET)
I deleted an amazon link, we don't do those - reference the book per WP:CITE if you want, but not an Amazon advert. Yes, we can record that several scholars suggest that there are similarities between Ps 23 and and Egyptian song, but we can't say whether they are right or wrong to do so (that's POV or OR). Again we could record that some scholars note similarities between Jesus and Osiris (again not saying whether thay are correct or not), but that's not directly relevent to this Hebrew Psalm anyway. I've removed your version, please re-write it in conformity to WP:NPOV if you wish. --Doc ask? 14:10, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
If you think it's not NPOV then rewrite it yourself instead of erasing the entire section. You ask for reference and when I provide it, you delete it! I've seen liks to bookpages on Amazon several times. But well, fine, leave the link abcent then, but don't snack up a "citation needed" then. Regarding the connection Osiris-Jesus, the psalm/hymn obviously enough plays quite a great point there being as similar in both religions and regarding both figures and this very connection has been academically regarded as you admitted yourself. No, we can't say that they are right or wrong, but we can mention their statements. We can mention there's a debate here, we can mention why they've made the connection (Being the similarity). ---ramz- ask? 20:31, 27 March 2006 (CET)
OK, I've cleaned it up and de-POV'd it. Since this is a Jewish Psalm comparisons between Osiris an Jesus are irrelevant - that material belongs elsewhere (try Jesus). You do stlll need a citation, not an amazon link, please insert into a 'reference' section the name of the book in question, the author, publisher and page numbers . If you can't give a real citation, then all the material will need to be removed. --Doc ask? 19:09, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
I've removed the 'Amen' material, as Psalm 23 does not end with 'Amen'. You also infered that every prayer ends with Amen, that's palpably false. You also refered to 'both religions', I was not at all sure which religions you were refering to. --Doc ask? 19:12, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree, this version is more compact and satisfying (less beating around the bush), though Alan Dundes is hardly alone in making this remark, I just used him as an example, so the more non-subjective "Scholars" is more a more agreeable term.
I've rewritten the "both religions" to "Judaism/Christianity and Egyptian Mythology", Amen is traditionally used as the ending of a prayer in Christianity and Judaism so I'd say the expression is justifiable. Note that I've have not written that Amen is used in the hymn itself, only in connection to prayer in Egyptian Mythology. ---ramz- ask? 21:55 27 March 2006 (CET)
Amen is not in Psalm 23, only in settings of it. If you want to compare the general Judeo-Christian use of Amen to that of Egyptian mythology, I suggest you contribute to the Amen article. --Doc ask? 20:08, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Naming the scholar is better than using the generic 'Scholars say'. That could cover many/most or two very minor ones that no one has heard of. 'Scholars' unqualified constitutes weasel words --Doc ask? 20:13, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Many scientists regard the theory of relativity to be true, still if I provide you with the name of a reknown physics professor, we wouldn't write that only he regards the theory to be true. Neither do we write a number of names if there are several who have made this recognition. Since it's an accepted theory supported by several scientists we write something along the lines of: "Modern-day scientists regard the theory to be true". The connection in this article is recogniced academically (there are several who notice the connection, in other words it's a theory). Therefore "Sholars" (like "scientists") seems more appropriate than finding and writing a list of all those who recognice the connection.
What's up with the possible detetion of the article btw? Psalm 23 should be noticable enough to be on Wikipedia. ---ramz- ask? 13:30, 29 March 2006 (CET)


Does anyone have the actual text of the Egyptian prayer? I'd be very interested in seeing it and I think it would be worth adding it as an external link in the paragraph about the possible connections, or if there is truely a debate among scholars on it, it could have its own article or more prominent Controversy section. I searched the Am-Tuat on the internet but didn't find any passage that resembled Psalm 23.

The section regarding Jewish uses talks about it being recited between hand washing and the blessing over bread. This is patently false (as far as I know), as there is a (AFAIK) universal custom not to speak at this time. Singing a psalm would not be in line with that custom. If someone knows of a community where this is practiced, I'd love to hear about it.-Ze'ev

In popular culture[edit]

Isn't there a part in Titanic where one of the passengers is reciting this psalm and Jack asks if he could walk through that valley a little faster?74.225.50.69 13:05, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

In the movie 'In Cold Blood' (1967) this psalm is recited when Perry Smith is about to hang.

In the movie 'Infamous' (2006) this psalm in recited during the execution scene.

I notice the 'In popular culture' sections are common in wikipedia, but this seems like overkill to try and reference all of these mentions in movies, books, etc. It's Psalm 23, it's in everything. :P Isn't it enough to say it's common in popular culture, music, films, etc? Bane1998 (talk) 08:01, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Further... who decides which musical settings are 'notable'? Should wikipedia strive to include every reference of the Psalm? Bane1998 (talk) 08:04, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

When is it in the movie "X2"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.212.130.16 (talk) 06:34, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

It's also in War of the Worlds", the 1953 movie. Sylvia's uncle walks out toward the Martian war machines, reciting it, and the Martian blasts the guy as he finishes and displays his Bible. GBC (talk) 03:55, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

A folk etymology of the phrase "23 skidoo," popular in the 1920s, has it being a reference to the 23d Psalm started in the Civil War following the coinage of the word "skedaddle." According to some, a chaplain in charge of burying a large number of dead after a battle shortened his recitation of the Psalm honoring the deceased, just saying "23 skedaddle" -- meaning that the spirit of the deceased should go quickly to be with God in Heaven. But his repetitions were many and became automatic, such that a reporter watching the scene heard "23 skidoo" (see the Wikipedia entry for "mondegreen") -- and the reporter's later recountings provided the origin of the phrase. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.23.81.149 (talk) 22:45, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Judaica Press[edit]

I like having their translation in this article, but i am concerned about possible copyright violation. What is our basis for including it?--agr 02:37, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Psalm 23:4[edit]

This article is nothing more than a comparison (and an incomplete one, at that) of one verse out of this well-known Psalm. If it needs to be kept, it should be combined with the article on the complete Psalm. Quidam65 17:21, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Alice In Chains[edit]

I am aware that said line is quoted in Sickman, but "My Cup Runneth Over" is a line in their song "Bleed The Freak" as well, should that not be mentioned too? User:Jagged Fel —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.253.219.130 (talk) 10:38, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Recent Vandalism[edit]

I have noticed over the last couple of weeks that this page has been edited regulary be several IP's. They have been reverting the old english translations with modern versions of Psalm 23 without seeming to understand the idea. Please leave these translations AS IS, as these were how they originally looked when translated across to old english. I appreciate people's efforts in cleaning Wiki, but please read the article and the CONTEXT that the article is written - what appear to be spelling mistakes are sometimes deliberate due to translations in documents etc. Thank you Floorwalker 22:59, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Drop text[edit]

It is proposed on Talk:Psalms to drop the text of psalms from the individual psalm articles. If you wish to weigh in, please do so there. Tb (talk) 21:27, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Someone needs to actually have Psalm 23 on the page. It is very frustrating to read the article when the most important piece of information is missing: what the Psalm actually says. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.209.194.117 (talk) 22:33, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

I sympathise with the point you raise. You've also raised it on the main Talk:Psalms page, as it potentially applies to all the psalm articles. So let's keep the discussion there. Feline Hymnic (talk) 19:55, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Why aren't the words to the psalm available? If the page is about the Psalm the surly the words should be on there. Could some one please explain why the're not. DanielR235 (talk) 16:35, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Fair point. I've added a link in the article pointing to the wikisource version of one of the English translations. I think that's the wikipedia-approved way to do such things. Hope that helps. Feline Hymnic (talk) 20:37, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

OK, seriously, this article is useless without the actual text. A few links hidden deep within the article are not sufficient. Remember, WP specifically states to ignore all rules that obstruct the creation of a better article. See also WP:BURO, which says in as many words "If the rules truly prevent you from improving the encyclopedia, ignore them." Suck up the infighting and such, pick a translation, and include the text, with notes on alternate translations if needed. Otherwise the article is so useless it might as well be nominated for deletion. Mokele (talk) 17:10, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Group or band – which one?[edit]

We are holding a straw poll (in a very friendly way, of course) to decide if The Beatles should be called a group, or a band. You can add your user signature to one or the other by clicking this link, Group or band – which one?. Thanks.--andreasegde (talk) 23:59, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Removed Lists of Musical Settings and References in Popular Culture[edit]

I removed the lists of Musical Settings and References in Popular Media and Culture because they appear to violate Wikipedia policy against such lists. Wikipedia is not a repository for lists of trivia. If you disagree with me, please discuss here before reverting my two edits. If I am reverted without discussion here, I will restore my edits, and will continue to monitor this talk page. I apologize sincerely to all who contributed to those lists with good intentions, but I think it simply comes down to the question of whether they comply with Wikipedia policy. I studied the lyrics of several songs referenced, and found either none of the words of Psalm 23, or just the barest allusions to it. Psalm 23 is Psalm 23, and the fact that it may be set to some musical score or another, or is adapted in any number of ways, seems utterly irrelevant to what Psalm 23 is. Taquito1 (talk) 00:49, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

I suggest that editors propose criteria here for maintaining a list of some sort. Perhaps there are elements in the lists I deleted that are of interest and salvageable. Here are some starting criteria to consider (from Wikipedia:"In_popular_culture"_articles):
When trying to decide if a pop culture reference is appropriate to an article, ask yourself the following:
1. Has the subject acknowledged the existence of the reference?
2. Have reliable sources which don't generally cover xkcd pointed out the strip?
3. Did any real-world event occur because of the reference?
If you can't answer "yes" to at least one of these, you're just adding trivia. Get all three and you're possibly adding valuable content.
I will argue that a song merely containing some words from Psalm 23 does not merit inclusion in this list, nor does a movie in which Psalm 23 is recited. A setting of the complete psalm to a musical score, or an orchestral rendition? Yes, perhaps they could be notable. An artistic work called "Psalm 23", presented by the artist as being inspired by the psalm? Yes, probably.
See these Wikipedia references:
Wikipedia:Lists
Wikipedia:"In_popular_culture"_articles
Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_an_indiscriminate_collection_of_information
Wikipedia:Listcruft
Taquito1 (talk) 01:56, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Ugh, Wikipedia policy. Quite likely the stupidest reason to do anything. Wikipedia policy has all the stability of a straw hut.
Try a much simpler concept: if you look up this topic in Wikipedia, what kinds of information would you hope to find? What kinds of information would be disappointed not to find? James470 (talk) 02:34, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Those lists were patently absurd (and the remaining lists are still mostly absurd). I made changes that seemed right to me, and found policy that supported my action for the policy wonks. Now, speaking of the remaining lists you restored, they are terribly flawed. I challenge anyone to find the Psalm in "Dis Ain't What Ya Want" at the bottom (you'll need to look up an old version of the article because I am deleting that reference momentarily). And I checked a handful of others and they contained vague hints of allusions to it...at best. I suspect we don't really disagree much on what should be here, but your views on policy beg the question, if someone is disappointed in not finding a comprehensive list of all places "the valley of the shadow of death" is mentioned in popular media, are they right to add it? Of course not. THAT is policy. Taquito1 (talk) 04:40, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia policy can be used to justify anything whatsoever at all, if you're high up enough on the food chain. Your understanding of policy is completely irrelevant if Jimbo decides a particular rule is too inconvenient for him.
I really don't care to listen to any song titled "Dis Ain't What Ya Want" for whatever the reason may be, but speaking just for myself, I would be disappointed not to find at least a listing of classical settings of a psalm by the great composers. I would also hope to find an insightful overview of how different composers reacted to the meaning of the text, but no scholar able to write such paragraphs would waste them on Wikipedia. James470 (talk) 00:00, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

West Bromwich Albion[edit]

As far as im aware this is the only english football league club that openly sings a psalm from the christian bible correct me im sure. Stephen Wintle centelec@hotmail.com —Preceding unsigned comment added by 120.17.233.236 (talk) 00:23, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

There is a Wikipedia article that mentions this, at least when I checked: West Bromwich Albion F.C.#Supporters James470 (talk) 01:08, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

The/the Beatles[edit]

Yes folks, it's here again. Please look at this link [1] and leave your vote. I thank you.--andreasegde (talk) 08:07, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

File:The Sunday at Home 1880 - Psalm 23.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:The Sunday at Home 1880 - Psalm 23.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on January 17, 2012. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2012-01-17. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 08:20, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Psalm 23

An illustrated version of Psalm 23, from The Sunday at Home, a 19th-century compendium of religious texts. Originally included in the Hebrew Bible, the psalm is popular among both Jews and Christians, is often alluded to in popular media and has been set to music. The most widely recognized version of the psalm in English today is undoubtedly the one shown here, drawn from the King James Bible.

Image: Religious Tract Society; Restoration: Adam Cuerden
ArchiveMore featured pictures...


Sir Philip Sidney's translation of the Twenty-third Psalm[edit]

The metrical translation by Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586) predates the King James Version by two decades. It was circulated by admiring poets for centuries (in manuscript) before its first print appearance in the early 19th century. Might there be a way of incorporating a stanza or two into the article, to provide counterpoint to the far more familiar KJV version? The copy below was edited by the late Sidney scholar David Kalstone and read at his 1986 memorial service by his friend James Merrill (see Merrill's Collected Prose, Knopf, 2004, pp. 365-366). — Sandover (talk) 15:47, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

  The lord the lord my shepheard is,
     And so can never I
        Tast misery.
  He rests me in green pasture his.
     By waters still and sweet
        He guides my feet.

He me revives, leads me the way Which righteousness doth take, For his name's sake. Yea tho I should thro vallys stray Of death's dark shade I will No whit feare ill.

For thou Deare lord Thou me besetst, Thy rodd and Thy staffe be To comfort me. Before me Thou a table setst, Ev'en when foe's envious ey Doth it espy.

With oyle Thou dost anoynt my head, And so my cup dost fill That it dost spill.

Thus thus shall all my days be fede, This mercy is so sure It shall endure, And long yea long abide I shall, There where The Lord of all Doth hold his hall.

– Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)