I’m tired of only being negative on this blog all the time, so here’s something positive.

Certainly there’s nothing in Scripture binding such a practice, but I have found that going through the Psalms daily is a great encouragement.  I began using the Book of Common Prayer 1928 (U.S. version, it’s online many places like here) for that purpose.  Not the whole book, obviously as its an Anglican/Episcopalian book containing a lot of stuff of no interest to me.  But I mean using the “Psalter” part, which is just the book of Psalms divided into a 30 day schedule which operates according to the numerical day of the month.  It further divides each day into morning and evening.  The result if you follow it is reading about 6 Psalms a day until you finish reading all the Psalms by the end of day 30.  Of course, when I say 6 Psalms a day, I mean some have been divided into smaller Psalms, like for instance Psalm 119 which is treated as 22 Psalms.  It uses a modified Coverdale translation. If it were straight Coverdale it would be about 60 years older than the KJV, but its been modified some.

In any case, I find it comforting, and encouraging in the faith.  The Psalms are not like other parts of the Bible in that they are mostly just praise of God, not doctrinal harangues like in Paul, which makes them optimal reading for when you need a spiritual boost.  You can’t read the Psalms and not come away uplifted, in other words.  And if you reject false doctrines like faith alone, certain Psalms, like Psalm 119 will comfort you greatly in the sea of heresy we have to live in.

Anyway, reading through the Psalms in this way is something I did for a few months last year. But I lost track of it.  I’ve started again and hopefully will stick with it.

Some would poopoo on this practice saying its a Catholic or monastic practice.  So wait? You’re telling me that only Catholic monks can read the Psalms?  But in reality, its not a Catholic practice at all.  The BCP (whether the 1662 or 1928) takes the Psalms in numerical order from 1 to 150.  It does so at the pace of 30 days, but it goes in order.  Catholic and monastic practice is to rearrange the Psalms into some new order created by a monk guru, and assign them to certain hours, make certain ones repeat more often than others, etc..  See for example this site Psalter Schemas for a wealth of information on various monastic and Catholic schemes or rearranging the Psalms.   Unlike these schemes, what the BCP has done is to just incrementally go through the Psalms in order, just as you might if you were to pick up your KJV and just read 3 to 6 Psalms per day with a bookmark (except doing that, you lack the ready made division of longer Psalms into smaller units). That would be a good idea too, especially if you don’t like the Coverdale translation as found in the BCP 1662 or the modified Coverdale in the 1928.  The KJV is always good, and there are certain Psalms we probably already have memorized in it, like Psalm 23, which makes you stumble sometimes when trying to read another translation.

In any case, my point is simply this: when I first found out that anyone reads the whole book of Psalms over a period of 30 days, then starts again the next month, and just keeps doing this, I thought basically “Why didn’t I think of that?”   Its such a simple and useful thing, but not something immediately obvious to do if nobody ever suggests the possibility.

PS: I just found this. If you want to see what changes were made to the Coverdale translation of the Psalms between the 1662 and 1928 versions of the BCP, this site shows that.

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