In most English translations, the Psalms sound smooth and polished. Elizabethan rhythms and style dominate. As literature, they are beyond compare. But as prayers--expressions of anger, praise, and lament toward God--a vital feature of them is often overlooked.
"Prayer is elemental, not advanced, language," writes biblical languages scholar Eugene H. Peterson. "It is the means by which our language becomes honest, true, and personal. In the original Hebrew, the Psalms are not genteel--they're earthy and rough. They are not the prayers of nice people, couched in cultured language. But they have an immense range of gut-level honesty and passion that provides them with terrific energy."
Peterson brings these ancient prayers to life for modern readers by translating the rhythm and idiom of the original Hebrew into American English, all while maintaining the song-like meter and lyrical quality of your favorite translations. If this is your introduction to the Psalms, you will understand them instantly. And if you are a longtime student of the Word of God, you're invited to read the Psalms again--for the very first time.