Uniqueness of the Psalms

“Each of these books (of the Old Testament), you see, is like a garden which grows one special kind of fruit; by contrast, the Psalter is a garden which, besides its special fruit, grows also some of those of all the rest.”[1]

“among all the books, the Psalter has certainly a very special grace, a choiceness of quality well worthy to be pondered; for, besides the characteristics which it shares with others, it has this peculiar marvel of its own, that within it are represented and portrayed in all their great variety the movements of the human soul. It is like a picture, in which you see yourself portrayed, and seeing, may understand and consequently form yourself upon the pattern given. Elsewhere in the Bible you read only that the Law commands this or that to be done, you listen to the Prophets to learn about the Saviour’s coming, or you turn to the historical books to learn the doings of the kings and holy men; but in the Psalter, besides all these things, you learn about yourself. You find depicted in it all the movements of your soul, all its changes, its ups and downs, its failures and recoveries. Moreover, whatever your particular need or trouble, from this same book you can select a form of words to fit it, so that you do not merely hear and then pass on, but learn the way to remedy your ill.”[2]

“The Book of Psalms is unique. It is a hymnal. It is the only book of the Bible with God as the audience and God’s people as its appointed speakers. This is an important feature of the Psalms with significance for how we should use them in the church today. The Psalms are words for God’s people to sing to him… In the Psalms, God speaks to us about the things we need to sing to him.”[3]

1Athanasius. “The Life Of Antony And The Letter To Marcellinus.” Athanasius.com. Web. January 16, 2016.
3Lefebvre, Michael. Singing the Songs of Jesus. Rosshire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2010, page 16.