Page 8, 21st July 1978

21st July 1978
Page 8
Page 8, 21st July 1978 — Songs from a Strange Land

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Songs from a Strange Land

by John Goldingay (InterVarsity Press £2.1 5) The author begins his Introduction with the words attributed to St Athanasius:

"Most of Scripture speaks to us, while the Psalms speak for us."

This is certainly true of the psalms on which the author has commented. He points out that in the psalms there "are scores of examples of the things we can say to God." He wants us, as far as possible, to enter "the strange land" from which the psalms sprang and to try and enter the minds of their creators.

At the same time we are to see how relevant they are for our own day; for our worship, praise and repentence. There are very many themes expressed in the psalms 42-51 with which the author is dealing — longing for God, help from Him, courage, death kingship, to name only a few. •

He stresses also their symbolism. Rivers, streams, fountains, wells are used, for example, as images applied to God since water was of supreme importance in the Israelite consciousness because of the prevalence of drought. This is a scholarly work, but it is not only a book for scholars. Anyone can read it with advan


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