Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

About the Psalms

October 17th, 2013, Promulgated by Bernie

I once asked a religious –many years ago— if she could recommend a couple of books about the Psalms. She was about to give a series of talks over nine days on the subject of the Psalms. She couldn’t think of any! I decided not to attend the series.

There are, of course, about a million books on the Psalms (I probably exaggerate a little).

Herewith are a couple I like.


This is the commentary I rely on, most of all, for background information and reflection.


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Be sure to use your reading glasses or a magnifying glass when consulting this commentary. It’s in fine print and exhaustive, literally a line-by-line explanation.



A more personal but insightful look at each Psalm.



This is the latest book by N. T. Wright and offers a good overview of the importance of the Psalms. This is not really a source for daily reflection on individual Psalms but rather makes the case for why daily praying of the Psalms by every Christian is essential. Many Psalms are, of course, discussed in support of his premise and you will pray the Psalms in a new light.



An excellent source for academic background on the poetry of the Psalms as well as their content. I think it’s more like a textbook. Instructive.


4 Responses to “About the Psalms”

  1. ArchangelMichael says:

    One of my favorite books on the Psalms is St. John Chrysostom’s Commentary. It comes in two volumes but it only covers about 50 psalms or so because the rest have been lost in time.

  2. snowshoes says:


    Thank you, I’m getting one of these books. I say Morning and Evening prayer, but have many questions about the psalms, so thanks for the encouragement. Do you chant/sing the psalms? Have you ever chanted the Gelineau psalms? Not easy to learn, but powerful. The current 4 vol psalter is the English translation which corresponds to the Gelineau psalmody. My luck, they’re going to update the breviary and use a different translation. Sed, as long as it’s in Latin, of course, no problema… God bless, and St. Luke pray for us.

  3. Bernie says:

    ArchangelMichael: I ordered both volumes after you posted your comment.

    snowshoes: I use the four volume Liturgy of the Hours. I usually do Morning and Evening Prayer, and the Office of Readings (but, at mid-day). Sometimes Daytime Prayer. I periodically chant the Psalms – a simple plain chant– out loud or to myself. I have the Mundelein Psalter but I haven’t used it.

  4. Kevin says:

    N.T. Wright is fascinating.

    But I hope to either find an older copy of the Divine Office or buy one of Baronius Press’s reprints. I found a full series of it in a parish library down in D.C. once, but I wasn’t sure if I should ask the priest for it or not. Probably hadn’t been touched in years though.

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