Saturday, September 23, 2006

Psalm 145

My first acrostic - how would you color and translate an acrostic?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Psalm 8

Psalm 8 is now available in the emerging content. Drafts now 1/25 complete :). The overall content - I wonder to what extent it will yield to abstraction. If God will not so yield, I doubt that the image will either.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Psalm 3

Psalm 3 has a first draft. Not only am I learning Hebrew - and soon will do a diagram of Hebrew verb forms; but I am learning to find colours for concepts. Psalm 3 was not an easy one. Looks early to me (like the work of a young and not so experienced poet). The danger of assuming that enemies are other than of our own making and projection is a serious one. Psalm 1 mentions the wicked more than the righteous. So I have coloured Psalm 3 showing the wicked (from David's point of view - and who was Absalom anyway - eh - just his son by Bathsheba - right !!) in the same colours as David. Did David love his enemies? Of course - if he was, after all, a man after God's own heart. Not only is our piety 400 years old, but also our attitudes to colonial righteousness. We still make war - in contrast to the prophetic word in Psalm 46. Psalm 3 is now in a completely updated table of contents - you will see that all 150 psalms are ready for a high-level colour coded hierarchic, chiastic, form-critical, supercalifragelistic view.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The first cut at a table of contents

The tool I am using is amazing for learning - no limit on nodes, lots of hooks for links, queries, alerts, charts - but I am not using these yet; a colour palate way beyond my abilities - and now some pending improvements in publishing allowing the linked diagrams and all their supporting links to be published at the click of a mouse.
In the meanwhile, I have a manual portrait of the psalter and the four and a half psalms I have done so far (see the sidebar for the full map).

The general comments are from Creach, Jerome F. D. Yahweh as Refuge and the Editing of the Hebrew Psalter ( JSOT SS 127 1996). When I finish, I am not likely to have such a high-level summary, but his starting point has been very helpful. Note also the link to a Wiki site on an overview of the psalter.

more to come ...

Psalm 138 - and jpegs

Here is this short psalm. I find every psalm is taking time - an average of two weeks per psalm. I am not in a hurry, but at this rate it will be 6 years before I get to the end. Undoubtedly, my understanding will improve - but then I will have to review all the first work to consider the howlers in my translation. Oh well... Click to show psalm 138 portrait in colour.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Psalm 138

A short psalm in three; an I section, then a they section, then an I section; but the content is not at all obvious. A portrait will appear, but not yet...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Why the Psalms

Why study the Psalms: 3 reasons for me. First, the dialogue between the Father and the Son in the Epistle to the Hebrews is comprised of words from the Psalms. What was that first-century preacher doing? Second, structure is an intriguing study. Third, can one communicate across 2500 years with an ancient mind?

My first diagrams on Hebrews are here - there are about 7 diagrams including a structural overview which I derived from the work of Albert Vanhoye.

Psalm 46

I did a first portrait of Psalm 46. Looking at it, I wonder if the reconstructed refrain should not be omitted except for the one word Selah. The reason is that the centre piece, the security of Jerusalem, is lost with the extra chorus. In the background also is the eschatalogical vision of the second to last section, followed by God in the first person, hinted at throughout the Psalm.

So here is an alternate portrait - making the Psalm bi-partite with God's presence and promise at the centre of each part. here

Ibn Ezra connects the river whose streams make glad the city to that of Psalm 1 (Four Approaches to the Book of Psalms - Uriel Simon p 322) . It is the same phrase in both psalms. It is a reference to God's fruitfulness and the tree of life. Dahood suggests fertility instead of desolations in verse 9. This is a reading that fits the movement of the Psalm.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Psalm 23 has some surprises; currently working on psalm 46 – I think I will skip through the 150 by 23’s or the like to get a first cut.

Psalm 23 is usually read as the ultimate piety - but I think that the poet had less than that in mind. He was more concerned with the marvel of YHWH's presence as blessing and as correction. Having been blessed in correction by God (as opposed to by persons, however much they play a role) it shows the poet that God is with him in all forms of distress. In fact, Psalm 23 has an entrenchment metaphor - the same Torah metaphor as Psalm 1 running through it. So I have avoided the usual translation of HSD as loving kindness - and used the rare reproof. For such real presence in trouble - and trouble is often of our own making - is as great as the cup overflowing. That word for cup, כּוֹסִי can also be translated owl - due to the shape of the face - it would make a good poem also - as in that book I heard the Owl call my name. It has the sense of unclean. But the poet is telling us that a vessel that overflows because God fills it cannot be unclean. So I chose in great piety myself a word that would resonate with that close relationship to God that is embedded in the marriage idiom.

Raabe is very detailed on Psalm 46 and critiques several proposed chaistic structures. I will do mine first then read his critique.