The Psalms through Three Thousand Years: Prayerbook of a Cloud of Witnesses

By William L. Holladay | Go to book overview

Introduction

When I was a soldier in the American army in 1946, there was distributed at the chapels, I believe by the courtesy of the Gideons or the Y.M.C.A, a small edition of the Scriptures that would fit in our Ike-jacket pockets, and I took one. It was not, however, a full Bible—it was simply the New Testament and the Psalms. I knew, of course, that the rationale for this edition was a matter of economics and convenience. A full Bible that could have fitted in my pocket would need to have been printed on India paper, an impractical measure for the thousands of copies to be offered to members of the armed forces. But still, subliminally or not so subliminally, the edition suggested that the New Testament and Psalms were all that was really needed. And theologically untrained though I was at the time, the matter bothered me. Why is the Old Testament only represented by a single book?

From my vantage point today I know that 1946 was not the only year when an edition of the New Testament and Psalms appeared: only recently I received a volume containing the New Testament and Psalms in the New Revised Standard Version.1 Indeed in the eighth century, in the Balkans, a sect emerged called the “Bogomils”; they accepted only the New Testament and the Psalms, holding the rest of the Old Testament to be the work of the devil. For this belief and others the group was declared heretical by the church.2

But, in a way, the answer to my question as a soldier is obvious: the book of Psalms has held a unique place in the lives of both Christians and Jews—the Psalms have been a primary vehicle for worship. For two millennia this collection of 150 individual psalms has helped to shape the public and private worship of Jews and Christians; I am not aware of any other body of religious poetry that has been so influential for so long a period of time, and for such a variety of religious communities.

The uniqueness of the Psalms has always been recognized. Athanasius, who was a bishop in Alexandria, Egypt, in the fourth century, wrote a letter to a man named Marcellinus, who was perhaps a deacon in the church in Alexandria; Marcellinus, during an illness, had set himself to study the Bible and wanted guidance from Athanasius on the Psalms. The bishop wrote, “All Scripture of ours, my

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Psalms through Three Thousand Years: Prayerbook of a Cloud of Witnesses
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 395

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.