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Psalms

Author Simon P Stocks
Publisher BRF  £6.95
Format pbk
ISBN 9780857467317

This book is small in size, but substantial in content – 111 pages filled with important ideas and helpful insights. It is part of the BRF ‘Really Useful Guides’ series, and this designation is most apt. Stocks has written for a wide audience, including those with little previous knowledge of the psalms, but those who have used them daily for many years will nonetheless find much that is new and fascinating. He is especially strong on the poetic imagery of the psalms, and how these relate to the context of life in ancient Israel. I was also impressed by the way the author is not afraid to address the difficult questions posed by the so-called ‘vengeful’ psalms, including the seldom-used Psalm 58. While some of these may never become favourites, the ideas described will open our minds to wider issues, including the overriding need for justice. This book will help readers to pray the psalms with new hearts, and greater dedication, and is strongly recommended.

ELIZABETH HOGG

Old Testament Analysis