Book Review for Central Psalms to Know

Central Psalms to Know by D.G. Reagle is a carefully curated selection of religious psalms, which encourages readers to engage with wider conversations and debates. Think “religious book club”, for smaller congregations.

Each of the ten psalms are prefaced with a short introduction with analysis between the variations presented in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), the New International Version (NIV) and the King James Version (KJV) scriptures. Reagle’s analysis is presented in the format of bullet points spanning between one and two pages. Introductory notes include observations and titbits of information readers might not be aware of, giving the impression of direct and punchy insights, a lot like the pop-up format often deployed by film and TV. Following the introduction, there are the three differing versions of the psalms, and then a follow-up page of questions which aim to promote healthy conversation within groups, or spiritual reflection for solo readers. The psalms contained in this collection are 23, 27, 51, 46, 139, 91, 22, 1, 150, 119.

The book as a whole is a well considered collection by Reagle and nicely formatted in such a way that makes the psalms engaging. It is a book which anyone can enjoy, regardless of individual religious perspective or outlook. It opens up educational access to religious texts to a broad spectrum of audiences. The bullet point format feels more geared up to readers wanting to drop in and out of the book, as opposed to those wanting to read the book cover to cover in one sitting.

Central Psalms to Know is a good book, presented by a well-informed and accredited author on theological studies. A solid starting point for new and established readers of theological texts, the only piece of feedback would be that the lack of an overarching introduction does Reagle’s talents a disservice. A rationale behind why these ten psalms were selected for the collection specifically would have helped.

A thumbs up from me!

AEB Reviews

Coram DEO Theology

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