Talk:Psalms

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Only a portion"[edit]

"Only a portion of the Book of Psalms claims David as its author. Other inspired poets in successive generations added now one now another contribution to the sacred collection, and thus in the wisdom of Providence it more completely reflects every phase of human emotion and circumstances than it otherwise could." -- who said this? If we're going to use a quote, we should include the source. -- Zoe

Does anyone else think that this sounds like an advert for the psalms? also citations needed Joshden (talk) 18:16, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Plasms is cool. I like dem. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 12.196.136.130 (talk) 18:27, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Also, michtam and shiggaion had "q.v." after them, which I removed. Can someone define them, please? -- Zoe

Psalms are used heavily in the Catholic and Orthodox hours, but I don't know if there is a wiki article on the hours (not sure what it would be called). I'd presume this is true for Anglican monastics as well.

Book of Psalms[edit]

Hi, I've just thought: wouldn't it be better to move the current page's contents to Book of Psalms, 'cause there are many psalms and this article deals only with some of them (as is honestly stated in the preamble). 62.118.157.5 20:40, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Probably not. The Psalms are different from the book. However, to agree with one of the above authors, we really should have an article on the Divine Office. -- Penta 19:44, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Numbering Standard[edit]

There appears to be a systemic bias to the Hebrew numbering. Can we establish a standard (both for here and for individual Psalm articles) that will show both Greek and Hebrew? For example, Psalm 22/23 instead of Psalm 23. We could also expand the table to show exactly where, for example, Hebrew Psalm 116 divides to make Greek Psalms 114 & 115. JHCC 16:58, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

If I am not mistaken, the accepted standard in academia is to cite Psalms either with the Hebrew alone, or with the Hebrew first and the Greek in parentheses. At least this is the method used in the literature I have seen. When citing Psalms 1-8, this is not necessary. --Jadorno 03:04, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
I can see the view that adopting one numbering system might give the feeling of excluding the other. But on the other hand, simple clarity when reading the text can be impeded by having to view an 22/23-type of syntax on each and every occasion. (And what syntax would one use at those awkward cross-over psalms such as 9/10, 114-115/113 etc.?) Also I note that the Psalms article says: "modern Catholic translations often use the Hebrew numbering". So I would suggest that:
  1. for the most part we keep to the Hebrew scheme (so "The Lord is my Shepherd" is number 23);
  2. in sections such as "Eastern Orthodox usage", where the Greek numbering is more natural, the Greek numbering is used in the readable text (so a human would read "In Psalm 22, 'The Lord is my Shepherd' ..." and the behind-the-scenes technical wiki-link would go to 23), supplemented by a small italicised text below the section title saying something like "Greek numbering used in this section".
Seem reasonable, legible, and workable?
Feline Hymnic 22:37, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Liturgy of the Hours[edit]

I changed the text regarding the Liturgy of the Hours to read "two or four week cycle." I believe this reflects more accurately the options available according to the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours.

True, the General Instruction lists a four-week cycle (General Instruction 126). However, the original Liturgy included seven hours: vigils, lauds, terce, sext, none, vespers and compline. This practice was altered by the Second Vatican Council; the three daytime hours (terce, sext, and none) were combined into one hour of “midday prayer.” (General Instruction 76) The four-week cycle reflects only the "current psalmody," utilized by those who pray only one hour of the daytime prayers. [Vigils/lauds (morning prayer), terce/sext/none (midday prayer) and vespers/compline (evening prayer)]. (General Instruction 81)

The original practice of praying seven hours is retained in many monasteries under the direction of General Instruction 76. Those monasteries that utilize the seven-hour cycle (including the Abbey of Gethsemani, where I was a monk) pray the Liturgy in a two-week cycle, utilizing the “complementary psalmody.” (General Instruction 81) Reference here.

Thus, the Liturgy of the Hours may be licitly prayed in either a two or four week cycle, depending on whether the individual or community praying the liturgy utilizes a three or seven “hour” day. Essjay 05:23, May 25, 2005 (UTC)


You are right about what was the traditional number of hours: seven. But the arithmetic will seem strange to you. In your list you omitted the hour of Prime, and what you call Vigil was in fact called Matins. To keep the number seven, in line with Ps 118(MT 119):164 “Seven times a day I praise you”, Matins and Lauds were counted as a single hour.
The whole psalter was distributed in a one-week cycle, as I well remember. But in 1964, well before the actual revision of the Liturgy of the Hours (previously called the Breviary), Prime was suppressed and permission was given to recite only one of the hours of Terce, Sext and None. This involved omitting the psalms assigned to three of the shortest hours, so that the complete Psalter was no longer read during the years of this provisional arrangement..
The revision, as you know, distributed the Psalms over a four-week cycle. Some contemplatives preferred to say the whole Psalter each week. They had been doing so even during the years since the suppression of Prime, by using one or other of at least two new arrangements of the Psalms, different from what had been in the Roman Breviary. I know from experience that contemplative Benedictine nuns in Buenos Aires do use one of those arrangements, covering the whole Psalter in a single week.
I think it is quite possible that some religious use a two-week arrangement of the Psalms, but I have no knowledge of such an arrangement. Your description of the practice in Gethsemane Abbey does not make it clear that they do actually have a two-week cycle. You speak of the “complementary psalmody” of the Liturgy of the Hours. This consists merely of nine Psalms (119, 120, 121; 122, 123, 124; 125, 126, 127), with alternatives allowed for two of them. These are used by those who wish to celebrate more than one liturgical hour between morning and evening. Each of these Psalms also appears at least once within the hours that are obligatory for non-contemplatives. If Gethsemane Abbey does have a two-week cycle of the Psalter, this cannot be because of using these complementary Psalms in two of the three daytime hours. If the Abbey does have such a cycle, it must come from having at some hours, perhaps especially (cf. General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours, 70-73) at the hour known as the Office of Readings or the Vigil that may prolong it, more than the three psalms or canticles that are allotted to each hour in the four-week cycle. It is definitely so for the Argentine Benedictine nuns’ one-week cycle, and doubtless, for reasons of mathematics, it is necessary even for a two-week cycle – unless indeed the complementary psalms are not used for the extra two daytime hours, as is the case in the one-week cycles of which I know.
If you can obtain confirmation of actual practice of a genuine two-week cycle, the text of the article can be modified to say that contemplatives use a single-week of two-week cycle.
Lima 13:56, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Sorry for my carelessness. The reference you give in the article does state clearly that that the Trappists use a two-week cycle, without explaining how the Psalms are arranged within it.
Lima 14:00, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)


If you look here, you will find a table of which psalms are sung at which service in the Cistercian Office. This is from the Trappist monastery New Melleray Abbey and clearly shows a "genuine two-week cycle". JHCC 14:12, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I've put the messages in proper chronological order. Please excuse this further instance of carelessness.
Lima 14:53, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Psalms in Islam[edit]

The Psalms, known as Zabur in Islam, are according to the book revealed by Allah the Holy Qur'an, one of the holy books revealed to humanity. To muslims, they are as important as the Torah and the Gospels. In Islam, it is considered that David is associated with the Psalms in the same way as Moses to the Torah, Jesus to the Gospels, or Muhammad to the Qur'an. Still according to the Qur'an, the Psalms are the holy book of the Sabians who are considered as of People of the book in the same way as Jews and Christians. icewizard 07:00, June 17, 2005 (GMT)

I think you should wikify and add this text to the article. I would do it myself, but as a personal rule, I never add anything to an article that I don't know about on my own. Essjay · talk 08:21, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)
I put it here because I haven't done much research to densify the article. I didn't do much research in the Holy Qur'an to give a plain explanation and association between the Psalms and the Zabur. I understood it is true, but if I can, I will make a nice section for this in the article when I have enough references. By the way I found a new resource on the internet with the website http://www.al-kitab.org/zabur.html icewizard 02:36, June 18, 2005 (GMT)

Categorization[edit]

I like the idea of a Category:Psalms, but I think that it is being misapplied here. SimonP is incorrect when he says that the other categories are subcategories of Category:Psalms. In fact, psalms are a subset of Jewish texts (the Talmud is not a psalm) and a subset of Old Testament books (the Song of Songs is not a psalm). There is religious music and chant which is not psalmody. However, categorizing Psalm 151 or Psalm 23 within Category:Psalms is perfectly correct. JHCC (talk) 13:38, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

JHCC, I think you hit the nail on the head with regard to how this article should be categorized. Wesley 16:15, 11 July 2005 (UTC)


Book of Psalms[edit]

Is there a reason why the name of this article does not start with "Book of"? All the other articles in the Old Testament category start that way. If there are no objections, I'll have it changed.

See the very first topic on this page. And not all of them start this way: Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon at least do not start with "Book of".
In my view, in this particular case the title you propose would be ambiguous. The other books of the Old Testament are not usually bound seperately, but Psalms is. "Book of Psalms" could easily refer to a Psalter. "Psalms" by itself is clearer, I think. TCC (talk) (contribs) 20:41, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
I concur with the two preceding comments. JHCC (talk) 21:14, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
Those were both my comments above. Please don't assume the indents are incorrect. I just think paragraphs are more readable when there's a space between them. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:54, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
Sorry about that. I misread the edit history and thought that the first paragraph was from an anon who hadn't signed their comment. Forgive me, brother; your way is better than mine. JHCC (talk) 13:41, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

I apologize that I cannot figure out how to login from my remote location, but a glaring issue is the phrase "In Jewish usage, the Psalter is divided . .". Earlier a psalter is defined as a Book of Psalms printed for Christian use. Therefore a psalter cannot have a Jewish usage, in fact, the Jewish view would not even recognize such a word as "psalter" as a legitimate word. In any event the sentence is inherently contradictory and should be changed to "In Jewish usage, the Book of Psalms . . . " Thank you. Tuvia613 (talk) 08:31, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for the change. Tuvia613 (talk) 08:31, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Chapters[edit]

The current statement "It is incorrect to speak of these [the psalms] as chapters, since their individuality antedates by at least 1500 years the division of the other books of the Bible into chapters" seems a bit dogmatic. So what if the chapter divisions follow more ancient practice? I'd propose: "The Psalms are often referred to as chapters, though their individuality antedates by at least 1500 years the division of the other books of the Bible into chapters." --agr 03:59, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

Dogmatic? It's simply correct. In actual practice I'd dispute your "often" anyway, since I can't say I've ever heard it in any church I've ever belonged to. It's always "Psalm 23" or "the twenty-third Psalm", not "Psalms, chapter 23". The point is that these are not chapters as in the other books i.e. thematic or narrative divisions whenever devised, but that each psalm is an individual composition. TCC (talk) (contribs) 05:01, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
The fact that Psalms aren't referred to as chapters in the churches you attend doesn't make the usage incorrect. A Google search on "psalms chapter" (quotes included) turns up plenty of examples. (Google says there are about 276,000; I didn't check all of them). Here is one example from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/psalms/psalm23.htm where it actually says "Psalms, Chapter 23". The Wikipedia articles Bible and Chapters and verses of the Bible refer to psalms as chapters. And quotations from the Book of Psalms are invariably given in standard chapter and verse form (e.g. Psalms 23:4 "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, ..."), where the chapter number is the Psalm number. If you have some authority for your position, please cite it. I'd accept "The Psalms are sometimes referred to as chapters,..." if you are more comfortable with that. --agr 10:57, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
"Some authority" for what part of "my position"? That the Psalms are individual compositions is a longstanding tradition dating from Judaism; I'm certain there are numerous references for this and the Psalms represent themselves that way. If you meant the use of "chapter", then I was just reporting my own experience in the Reformed, Catholic and Orthodox traditions. I have no more references for it than you do for yours. (A Google search cannot be made to stand as a statistical usage analysis.) But yes, "sometimes" is perfectly acceptable: I never said they're never called "chapters". And of course the standard chapter:verse notation style is very convenient however the divisions originated, which is why it's become universal. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:40, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
I think we ought to be able to agree on a text. How does this strike you? "When the Bible was divided into chapters each Psalm was assigned its own chapter, enumerated according to the Psalm numbers. Psalms are sometimes referred to as chapters, though their individuality antedates the chapter assignments by at least 1500 years." --agr 23:19, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Ashkenazi Transliteration[edit]

I've made a perfunctory effort to excise some of the transliteration yielding Ashenazi pronunciation ("Shabbos" changes to "Shabbat," "Shachris" to "Shachrit"). Probably a good idea throughout Wikipedia's Judaism-related pages, except where such pronunciation is appropriate (e.g., in reference to Yiddish or particularly Ashkenazi concepts). -- Light is Sown (12/13/05)

What about the music?[edit]

very little is said in the article about the musical aspect of the psalms. when was it written? was it handed down aurally? are there many versions? do the jewish, christian, etc, versions differ musically? i'm asking because i don't know.

There are Cantillation marks in the Hebrew text that are quite old, but it is far from certain that they reflect the original music of ancient times. The Hebrew text of the Psalms suggest several different musical forms. There is a long tradition in Western music of setting Psalms to music, with many different compositions for the same Psalm. Also see Gregorian chant. --agr 11:36, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
And in Eastern Christianity, the Psalms are often sung within the system of the Octoechos. The exact melodies and styles of singing vary by local chant tradition. I'm not sure whether this is really worth presenting in the article, because there's very little that's specific to the Psalms in the way they're sung. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:19, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Psalm forms[edit]

I have added a heading for the main psalm forms in anticipation that three of my students will add the articles that they have written on them. Others may fill in the other categories as necessary. RGW 02:38, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Creating a Wikipedia page for every psalm[edit]

Is the above task feasible? Several psalms (like Psalm 82 and Psalm 14) redirect to the Psalms article page (while others, like Psalm 119, do not). It might be useful to create a sourced analysis of every psalm, historical context, author, debate over author, and other such things. I can gather the resources to do it. Is it a good idea? Gracenotes T § 00:44, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Why not do one and we can see what it looks like?--agr 01:16, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Over time, the "See also" section will become too long if it includes a link to every Psalm that has a wikipedia page (eg Psalm 119. May I suggest that the links to these Psalms be replaced a single statement, along the lines of, "For wikipedia pages on individual Psalms, please see "Category:Psalms". Or better still, perhaps we can start a "list of" page, ie: List of Psalms? Bernard S. Jansen 10:09, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I've half answered my own question. If you go to Category:Psalms now, you'll see that all the Psalms are listed in order. I've done this by 'piping' the category tags (some had already been done). I still think that links to individual Psalms should be removed from the "See also" section. Bernard S. Jansen 06:05, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Kathisma table[edit]

I moved Kathisma table in the Eastern Christian section to its own page at Kathisma. MishaPan 00:24, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Adding a Link[edit]

Can we add a link to [*http://www.torahforme.com/files/Tehilim_Classes/] Classes in Tehilim for Beginner and Advanced. and a link to [*http://www.torahforme.com/files/Tehilim2/] audio readings of Tehilim with the cantilation notes. Shadchan 15:13, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Organize external links[edit]

Shouldn't the external links be organized better, say according to religion? Shadchan 14:48, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Psalm 82[edit]

I wanted info on psalm 82, but it redirects to here. Some psalms have individual articles, others don't. If psalm 82 (and others?) redirects, how can anyone ever create an article about it? PiCo 12:52, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Go to the redirect page and write the article there in place of the REDIRECT link. If you look at a redirected page, you'll see a note at the top beneath the title "Redirected from blahblah". The last bit links to the redirect page in such a way as to drop you on the page itself rather than the redirect target.
In general, only particularly well-known or theologically important psalms have their own article. Psalm 82 may not be high on anyone's list in that respect. TCC (talk) (contribs) 23:59, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I don't feel competent to write an article myself, but it's nice to know it's still possible. Psalm 82 is possibly the strangest of all the psalms, hence my interest.PiCo 04:35, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

When were the psalms written down?[edit]

The text says that psalms authoured by David must have been oral for a long time because they weren't written down until 6th century bce. How is it known when they were written? Jewish tradition considers them to have been written literally by David (in contrast with Isaiah which was written by other people who knew his prophecies) why is this assumed to be false?Benignuman 14:00, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Psalms in popular culture[edit]

The existing sections about psalm use and references are within some sort of religious context: "Use of the Psalms in Jewish ritual" and "The Psalms in Christian worship". Might it also be useful to have a section for psalm use outside such worship contexts? For instance the existing "U2" reference from "Trivia" could more properly located in such a section. Likewise I suspect that some of the entries in "Psalms set to music" (currently a subheading under "...Christian...") might better go there. And I can think of a couple of other secular-context songs with strong psalm-based resonances. So I propose adding a "Psalms in popular culture" section soon. Does that seem OK? Feline Hymnic (talk) 18:10, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm not strongly against that, but I have another proposal. Are the Shakespeare and KJV bits even notable? Shakespeare I would say is nn, and the KJV I think belongs on the KJV's page, not here. Similarly, why shouldn't the U2 bit be on the song's page? It is nn for an article about all the psalms. Yes, we already have a trivia section, but as the article notes, such sections are discouraged. I sorta feel like "in pop culture" is trivia under a different name, and both will attract nn trivia, which is why I would be more comfortable just doing away with them. As for the "Psalms set to music", why don't we just create such an article and link to it from this one? I imagine that could easily balloon, so it would be better to have it on its own rather than in here. Carl.bunderson (talk) 19:48, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Carl. Good thoughts.
  1. "Shakespeare and KJV bits...": (Currently in "Trivia".) A bit of a digression at present, I think. How about leaving them there to languish for the moment. (Or start up another "Talk" item.)
  2. The U2 song: References, briefly, to such things are, I think, useful for the general reader as a springboard. But any expansion beyond such link-like brevity should, I agree, be at different pages.
  3. "Psalms set to music" is currently just a list, which could grow. Again, it is a digression (I think) from a "Psalms in popular culture" section. Also, its current list is mostly (not entirely) of worship-based (rather than culture-oriented) items, so complements the "The Psalms in Christian worship" section (or which it is currently a subsection).
  4. My provisional "...in popular culture" may not be the right name. "...in secular culture"? "...in non-worship contexts"? "...in <something else>"?
Feline Hymnic (talk) 22:16, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

The Psalm 23 article is now about half such "popular media". (My attention was drawn by a recent edit which I think is unfortunate. And there is a similar reference earlier in the list.) I believe the principle of such a section, or list of references, is worth keeping. But we ought to have some agreed guidelines about content. For instance:

  1. each item must include a link to a relevant Wikipedia article;
  2. each item should fit on a single line of a typical computer display screen, ensuring brevity;
  3. any detailed expansion that the editor wants would be in the referenced article.

Thoughts? Feline Hymnic (talk) 08:42, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

problematic layout[edit]

The boxes in the lead are very disruptive. If they must be in the article, as one editor has claimed, they need to be moved lower down. At the moment, the article looks like a big jumble, and I would consider lowering the current B-article ranking.--Gilabrand (talk) 17:03, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree completely that fixing the layout would be wonderful. Changes that fix the layout are a good thing. But you should not do what you just did: insist on your change by simply reverting it back. If you do not have a way to fix the layout, then you should leave it be, but deleting information for cosmetic purpose is not correct. As I said, there is an important consistency style here, that all the Biblical books follow a common layout, especially by containing the important boxes which give conceptual and navigational information. Your views about layout are interesting, but I think you need to consider what would be a good strategy for *all* the several dozen pages in question, and not just insist that this page should be different b/c you think it would be prettier. Most of the problem seems to be caused by the table of numbering, anyhow. So I have simply moved that section lower down. Please do not re-delete the box. Tb (talk) 18:58, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I think I have a rearrangement that looks pleasing. Tb (talk) 19:10, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I agree that looks much better. But you see, I disagree about "leaving things be." From my experience on Wikipedia, the way to improve things is to DO something, even if it means deleting, in order to shake things up and get people to put their thinking caps on. So thanks Tb, for caring enough to do that.--Gilabrand (talk) 19:35, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
well, i think that can be destructive too. we're all trying to make things better...and i think the way to improve things is to DO something to make it better, not making things worse to provoke people into making it better. i don't like feeling provoked. it makes me get into an adversarial mode. surely a cooperative mode is better than one which works on "shaking people up." Tb (talk) 19:51, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

New psalm articles[edit]

Have just spotted two new(-ish) psalm articles: Psalm 30 and Psalm 92. Both could benefit from additional work but could eventually prove useful additions to the overall work of building up the psalm collection. Feline Hymnic (talk) 11:59, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

I've added them to the template. Tb (talk) 14:36, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Psalms set to music[edit]

The list of psalm settings is, it seems to me, unmanageable. WP:NOT#DIRECTORY comes to mind. I think it should be deleted, and replaced with some general reflection on the ongoing popularity of the psalms in music. What think ye all? Tb (talk) 14:39, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Almost in agreement. Certainly, settings of any particular psalm would belong with that psalm's own article, rather than in this current list. The "almost" qualification is because of pieces like Chichester Psalms for which a case can, I think, more justifiably be made for referencing from this article. And there is also a case for keeping a section to be an overview (description, not list!) of compositional techniques applied through the ages, in different cultures, and across the range of psalms. Does that help? Feline Hymnic (talk) 15:15, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Right. I thought of Chichester Psalms and Symphony of Psalms, but am I then just importing my own judgments of what is musically important? The danger then is that everybody loves something; I suspect nearly everything on the list was added by someone who loves that one. So I agree with putting some of the more monumental examples, but it will be difficult to sort out which ones to keep then, and also what to do about settings for psalms that don't have their own pages. Tb (talk) 15:26, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Propose: Setting of psalm nnn to be in the article "Psalm nnn", not here. Non-existence of a particular nnn article need not affect that: the enthusiast for the setting can create (or co-create) article "Psalm nnn". As for Chichester Psalms (and Symphony of Psalms etc.), I was unclear. I mentioned them from the viewpoint of their being collections of several psalms (so not able to fit with a "setting on psalm's own page" guideline). How does that seem? Feline Hymnic (talk) 15:40, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I've made some inroads. All the psalms which have individual pages are now listed on those pages and not here. I've added some introductory material. I'm of two minds about removing the ones without pages: some are important and it's clear that the better thing to do is to make the necessary pages, as with some of the gradual psalms and the great hallel (146-150). I think you're right about the "multiple psalms in one composition" metric, and that will work well. Tb (talk) 16:15, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Psalm forms[edit]

The list of "psalm forms" is one of the more common, but not the only one. Brueggeman's is a more recent type of classification, not so much based upon genre but upon emotional affect. An editor deleted the third (printed in the middle) loose categorization, but that one also has some scholarship behind it, so I restored it. But all this needs work. So I'll get some secondary sources from the library tomorrow or Monday (i'm at a seminary, donchaknow, should be simple) and put some documentation in. Tb (talk) 22:18, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Psalm texts[edit]

Many of the pages devoted to individual psalms contain the texts in various translations. This is an invitation to increase the number of translations as everyone includes their favorite. But Wikipedia is not a repository of such things. It is therefore proposed to drop the translations on individual psalm pages. Please discuss. Tb (talk) 21:25, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I have now done this. Tb (talk) 18:03, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
At least one translation needs to be available at every article, otherwise they will miss the most important information the article should have: the Psalm itself and what it says. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.209.194.117 (talk) 22:39, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

I see the point you raise. But inevitably the question then arises "Which translation?". What had been creeping in over the years was that everyone (well, almost everyone!) was putting in their own favourite translation. So the encyclopedia article, which is supposed to be about the Psalm (history, commentary, usage, etc.) had been getting swamped (overloaded, obscured) with multiple translations of the Psalm. (To take an admittedly extreme analogy, should the article on Tolstoy's massive War and Peace novel include the text of the novel itself? And in multiple Russian->English editions?)

So the consensus was to concentrate on the surrounding information, whilst including links to (but not copies of) translations. On each individual psalm page there ought (in theory!) to be links to Wikisource translations of the Psalm. For instance in the current version of the Psalm 23 article, the table near the top "Complete Psalms 1-150" contains links to several different translations.

Hope that explains why things have been tidied up to the way they are now. I suspect the consensus would still be to keep to the current principle ("have links to, but not inline copies of"). But I'm sure we'd be open to suggestions about adjusting some details. Does that help? Feline Hymnic (talk) 19:55, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

I still very much disagree with the "consensus" to NOT include the text of the Psalm in the document. Or at the very minimum, include a prominent link to a site, such as the BibleHub, which will allow everyone to choose their own favourite translation. Not all readers are expert in the contents of the actual Psalm. In fact, most are not and have never read it at all. It's like attempting to review a movie without ever having seen it in the first place! How is this different? Perhaps include links to the Top 10 most popular translations, but at least to the KJV. All translations have problems, but excluding them all is not the answer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Davetastic (talkcontribs) 17:26, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Where and when did this discussion and consensus take place?2601:7:6580:5E3:2877:96CA:AE3D:957D (talk) 07:30, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Good question! It was over six years ago, and my memory has faded. If I recall correctly this was a period of great activity across a lot of individual Psalm articles; much of this was to try to bring some sort of consistency of style (there had been a thorough hotch-potch of styles prior to this). I have a vague recollection that this may have discussed on several Talk pages of such articles as part of that overall style-drive.
(Brief summary: Lots of articles had been overloaded with multiple translations of the Psalm itself. But the point of a wiki article is to be about the topic, not wholesale import of literary material in multiple forms. That information was small, and swamped; yet that information is the important point of the article. And in the case of Psalms, the various texts can easily be made available as links, without being included inline.)
Presumably you have a current reason for asking about this, and probably a likely suggestion or proposal. So rather than attempting some wiki-archaeology of the past, perhaps it would be good to re-open the discussion for future development and improvement. Feline Hymnic (talk) 10:46, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Succession Box[edit]

A succession box has appeared, linking the books of the Bible in order. I'm not sure how valuable this really is; it's an unusual case, to be sure. My initial thought is, "not valuable", but what do others think? Tb (talk) 17:56, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I would keep it. The user added it to all the books' pages, it seems, and I at least find it interesting. Neat to see how the different traditions order the books differently. And I'm not the type to let cruft stay. Carl.bunderson (talk) 02:10, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Psalms set to music[edit]

Someone with time please put these in numerical order. Thank you in advance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.44.137.5 (talk) 18:45, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

It's not quite as straightforward as that. Several of the items comprise a collection more than one Psalm, so ordering by number wouldn't work. (I suppose that item could be repeated at each point in the list; but that would give duplication and worse, and risk bloating the article.) The ordering given is by composer birth year, which I think is a good compromise for the article as it stands. (Going further heads in the direction of needing some SQL query engine...) Feline Hymnic (talk) 19:17, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

What about Prophetic psalms?[edit]

It seems like the list lacks any reference to prophetic psalms like Psalm 22 (The Christian psalm 22). "O God, O God, why have you forsaken me?" —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.31.244.176 (talk) 01:21, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

A useful question, that requires care. This article is basically a descriptive article about the collection of Psalms from the Hebrew Bible (i.e. its original, Jewish context) and about its use in mainstream Jewish and Christian traditions. Your question concerns Christian interpretation of the Hebrew Bible (roughly equivalent to the Protestant Christian Old Testament) in general (of which Psalms are but one part). There is already a substantial Bible prophecy article. So that might be a good starting point for taking the Christian "Old Testament (including Psalms) viewed as prophecy of Christ" angle. Or if you want to focus on "Psalms viewed as prophecy of Christ", then perhaps you might begin such an article. Does that help? Feline Hymnic (talk) 19:24, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Different traditions[edit]

I could not figure out how to add a new section for this. The article states "Jewish and Muslim traditions maintain that the Psalms are the work of David (seventy-three Psalms are with David's name), basing himself on the writings of ten ancient psalmists (including Adam and Moses)" as the entire explanation of the Book of Psalms according to Jewish tradition. Talk about leaving stuff out! Jewish tradition does not view the Book of Psalms in a similar manner to Islam whatsoever. Right away we jump in the next sentence to the "modern" viewpoint. Would anybody mind if I put in the traditional Jewish perspective? Please advise. Tuvia613 (talk) 08:38, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I've moved this to a new section as you request. Feline Hymnic (talk) 20:41, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

You raise some fair points. I understand that Christian perspectives build on traditional Jewish perspectives. But about Muslim perspectives I have no knowledge. So how might we structure this information? Would having three subsections (Jewish, Christian and Muslim) be a good starting point? Would you be able to sketch a Jewish subsection? And perhaps begin a Muslim subsection? Citation of your information would be very useful. Hope that helps. Feline Hymnic (talk) 20:51, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry about the delay in response. I could and would be able to do the Jewish subsection, and I have no problems with citations. Where (literally where on the page, not a rhetorical where) do I start? BTW, I would probably suggest starting with sub-topics of composition, authorship, use in modern liturgy, use in the First and Second Temples in Israel, Talmudic traditions/statements, content summary. Those are in no particular order. What say you? Tuvia613 (talk) 06:58, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

There is currently a section "Use of the Psalms in Jewish ritual". That appears to cover both history and current usage. Perhaps work on that, not necessarily retaining its current title. Wikipedia encourages editors (such as you and me) to be bold, so in that sense just "go for it". On the other hand you can always experiment and prepare material in your own "sandbox"; in your case that would be User:Tuvia613/Sandbox. If you wish, when you've got something taking shape there, drop me a message, and I'll try to take a look. Hope that helps. Feline Hymnic (talk) 21:57, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

I added a paragraph to start with. Tuvia613 (talk) 19:22, 8 October 2009 (UTC)



a prophetic psalm realized very recently is chapter 108 verse 10, which reads: "unto Edom shall i cast my shoe" Rubidubi (talk) 20:23, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Degrees and Ascents[edit]

And on another subject, the statement "Psalms 120–134 are referred to as Songs of Degrees" is not accurate in any Jewish viewpoint. It is always called Songs of Ascent.Tuvia613 (talk) 08:41, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I've moved this to a new section as suggested in your related query (itself now under a new section). Feline Hymnic (talk) 20:41, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

The main Wikipedia article is called Song of Degrees. There is a Song of Ascents, but that is simply a redirect to that '...Degrees' article. I'm not in a position to judge which is the better name. (From a Christian perspective, I believe that either name would be acceptable as the 'main' name.) Perhaps you should first start a discussion on the Talk page of that article, or somewhere in Wikipedia:WikiProject Judaism, to establish consensus on the best name. Once that is agreed and sorted out (renaming that article if necessary), then we can adjust the reference from this Psalms article (and other articles). How does that sound? Feline Hymnic (talk) 21:02, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

I did start a section under the Song of Ascents page, but I was the first and only comment so far on the discussion page, so I am not sure if I will get a response or not. Tuvia613 (talk) 07:04, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

That article looks very quiet (history of page the article and its Talk). So I've also asked the question on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Judaism‎ which looks quite active. Let's see if someone there can help. Feline Hymnic (talk) 21:45, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm personally in favour of using "ascents" as there is clear precedent for this term in Jewish sources. I'd be interested to know why the term "degrees" is used, and how commonly. JFW | T@lk 21:54, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

"degrees" is being used as an old-fashioned term for the same thing, meaning "step". No semantic difference is intended by the variation between "ascent", "degree", and "gradual", which are all the same in this context. "ascent" is, imo, clearly the most natural for modern English. Tb (talk) 20:28, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

material added to lead[edit]

Leads are supposed to be able to stand alone as concise summaries of the topic. I added some basic material to it. Leadwind (talk) 18:40, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Encyclopedia Britannica Online[edit]

"Psalms." in Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Leadwind (talk) 17:23, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

"Protestant" usage[edit]

As a Lutheran, the description of:

[formerly the psalms] ... were typically sung to the exclusion of hymns.

sounds very foreign to me. That was Calvinist usage. The likely former condition for Lutherans was that psalms were used beside hymns like the conditions are today. In writing about "protestants" (formally all dissenters, except Anglicans, with a movement dissenting about in the 16th century), one must take care to distinguish anabaptists, Calvinists and Lutherans. In modern time also maybe Millerites and pentecostals. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 07:40, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Original instrumentation and tunes?[edit]

Hi. The article currently states that "most of the psalms are believed to have been intended for singing (some even include instrumentation and the names of tunes to sing to)" Please forgive my ignorance, but where can I find these notes about instruments and tunes? I am currently just reading the psalms out of the KJV of the christian bible and I see notes that attribute authorship and dedicate psalms to various musicians etc, but nothing about tunes (that I have been able to recognize as such). I would be personally very interested in learning about this, and it may be worth adding some more info on this or examples to improve the article. Thanks in advance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.134.3.102 (talk) 03:50, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

You should see this in something like "The Jerusalem Bible", or a good commentary (such as Peakes). If I remember I will check those. Rich Farmbrough, 00:16, 17 July 2010 (UTC).

See the cantillation marks in the Masoretic Text — Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.95.35.20 (talk) 07:04, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Pronunciation of "psalm"[edit]

There is no pronunciation key for this article, yet this is not a word which is easily pronounceable.  Zippanova 17:03, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

"Overview" and "Usage and translation" sections: unsalvageable?[edit]

User Livebymyheart has added two large sections, "Overview" and "Usage and translation", which contain no citations and have a bizarre advertisement/fan POV feel to them. Another user, Jcboyle, deleted these sections for being "biased, un-cited", but Livebymyheart put them back. The author presumes to speak for "us" (and John Adams), and presents much personal analysis as though it were fact. It's full of rhetorical questions, artistically fragmented sentences, and very non-neutral language. I don't think any of it belongs in an encyclopedia and I'm going to delete it. I'm writing this to explain my reasoning and invite anyone who thinks all or part of it deserves to stay to explain their reasoning.

Appears to be copyvio of http://www.outskirtspress.com/psalmsofdavid/. The website reports the publication date of that book to be Mar 29, 2012, significantly before Livebymyheart added them here. There's also a press release at http://www.free-press-release.com/news-powerful-new-work-a-guide-to-the-psalms-of-david-published-by-outskirts-press-1337100163.html dated May 15, again before the addition. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 22:12, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Much of the text also appears at http://www.guidetothepsalms.com/ , a website created to publicise the book. NebY (talk) 13:32, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
OTRS confirms the release of the text so that it's not a copyvio, but it's still not really appropriate, for the reasons mentioned by the first poster above. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 02:13, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Suspect numbers in a list[edit]

Two numbers in "Pss. 1, 2, 3, 4; 6 + 13; 9 + 10; 19, 20, 21; 156 + 157; 69 + 70; 114 + 115; 148, 149, 150." look suspect to me.
"156 + 157;" should probably be "56 + 57;". DFH (talk) 13:07, 29 December 2014 (UTC)