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PSALMS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

in the Third Millennium

Jane Reichhold

Book 1 Psalms of the New Testament 1 - 30

Book 2 Psalms of the New Testament 31 - 59

Book 3 Psalms of the New Testament 60 - 89

Book 4 Psalms of the New Testament 90 -119

Book 5 Psalms of the New Testament 120 - 150

 

A translation of the Old Testament Psalms reflecting changes in the concept of God

With the coming of Christ, the message to the Jewish people, and the rest of the world, changed from describing a god of vengeance and revenge, judgment and damnation to picture the concept that love from person to person and from persons to their idea of god would cause a greater good in the ever closer cultures. As we learn that war is not the way to settle disputes, that killing only hurts, that anger and fear harm the hater and the hated, it seems love is the greatest good that we know. Therefore, lacking anything better to describe the mystery and majesty of the Divine Force that wills and works the Universe, and not knowing what greater emotion we can offer to this silence, we offer up our love pitiful as it may seem at times. Yet it is better, cleaner, brighter than our fears and our cowardly submission to a frightening and easily angered imaginary authority figure. As we come to believe that not only is God our greatest Mystery and Mover of the Creation, we also believe that a Spark of that same Force is within ourselves. Thus, in order to reach out to touch the Greatest we have to be accepting of its position of also residing within each of us. As hard as this may be to believe, especially when we have been taught to hate our bodies, or our selves, or our emotions or our feelings or our desires, the message of love, as taught by Christ, is exactly that! That we shall love ourselves, our neighbors, our planet and in this manner be able to touch the God Spirit within each of us is a teaching that is slowly gaining credence across the boundaries of the various religions of the world.

As beautiful as the Psalms of the Old Testament are, the refrain of nearly every song is the idea that the God of the Israelites will not only protect them from their enemies, but they actually pray that their god will destroy the persons they hate. Personally, I could not repeat such words in my daily devotions. So, with prayers and supplications to the best within myself, I have transposed these marvelous poems, back into their old genre of parallelism with the thinking as revealed by Christ.

If we take the words of Christ, that "God is Love" then could we not refer to this Unknowable entity as our Beloved? This is nothing new. In the original Hebrew the word for God was often "Adonia" (related to the Greek god Adonis from which English takes the term 'adored'). So even at the time the Psalms were written, God was seen the object of the writer's love.

In the oldest ghazals, the Persian poets constantly moved between the love from person to person and from person to god so that in many of their poems one cannot be sure to which relationship the phrases refer. For these reasons, I felt comfortable in testing out the word "Beloved" substituted for God or "the Lord he" in the Psalms. With this change it seemed the songs were more comforting to me, easier to grasp and understand, but most of all, they were easier for me to feel. Out of this closeness came new understanding and appreciation of the marvelousness of these old songs.

I see the Psalms as rituals for feeding the spiritual aspects of life with my own blessedness. In addition, the words and precepts have become an instruction and comfort in the times of darkness or insecurity. May all beings know Compassion. Blessed be!

Dedication

This work is the result of the witness by the monks at the Christ in the Desert Monastery, in Abiguiu, New Mexico, during my visit there in 2000. The teachings of Saint Benedict in his book of Rules set my feet on this path of beauty and joy. 

Book 1 Psalms of the New Testament 1 - 30 

Book 2 Psalms of the New Testament 31 - 59

Book 3 Psalms of the New Testament 60 - 89 

Book 4 Psalms of the New Testament 90 - 119

Book Five Psalms of the New Testament 120 - 150

AHA Books Online

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Copyright Jane Reichhold 2001