cover image The Case for the Psalms: 
Why They Are Essential

The Case for the Psalms: Why They Are Essential

N.T. Wright. HarperOne, $22.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-06-223050-8

Wright (Simply Christian) preaches on the page. He knows the Bible about as well as he knows his name, and on this go plumbs the Psalms, the biblical book a songwriter such as Bob Dylan might have written had he lived a long, long time ago. The Psalms sing, praise, curse, and offer a view of a relationship to God that is by turns humble and assertive, joyful and mournful. Wright offers an insider’s appreciation; it helps to have some familiarity with this remarkable group of prayers, because Wright quotes liberally, as if his interpretation will be obvious as soon as he cites the passage he is exegeting. Wright’s deep knowledge is in New Testament, not Old, yet few readers will want to quarrel; the book is not addressed to scholars, although its origin is a gathering of pastors and theologians. Rather, the author’s reflections are pastoral, urging the reader to understand and then pray and sing the Psalms. Reading is easier, and more rewarding, if a Bible is nearby to provide context and references. (Sept.)