Psalms 1-8


Here’s a message about in-group/out-group characteristics, with some very strong language and threats: Don’t associate with sinners, for ‘the ungodly shall perish’, and ‘the wicked are like worthless chaff…They will be condemned at the time of judgment’. Nice! Note, though, no specific mention of a literal hell. I would also argue that verse 3, implying that the righteous always prosper, is demonstrably false.


This is clearly a warning to kings to recognize the higher authority of god and not get too big for their britches, so to speak. Note that the word ‘heathen’ in v 1 of the KJV is translated as ‘nations’ in modern versions. Political correctness? And don’t miss the egomania and violent tendencies evident in v 8-9.


Here is the first of the psalms attributed to David. There is some dispute among scholars about exactly which these are, but for the purposes of this bible study, and since I’m no expert, I’m gonna stick with the 73 that are generally agreed upon (by apologists) and not delve further. Otherwise it could take us another year….. (That said, there is actually no hard historical evidence for David being the author of any of the psalms). If you’ve been reading along and are familiar with David, you won’t be surprised that the theme here seems to be ‘poor me. I’m so persecuted. Why do my enemies hate me? God will rescue me, won’t you, God? Pretty please?’ I have a feeling we’re gonna hear a lot of David whining like this…..


This has at least one line of good advice in it: “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.” (v 4) This is another psalm of David and one of the 39 which are clearly intended to be sung, since they begin with instructions for the choirmaster. The other word to remark on in this psalm is the Hebrew “Selah”, which is used almost exclusively in Psalms (it also appears 3 more times in Habbakuk and nowhere else in the bible). Its meaning is unclear but there is a whole page on Wikipedia about it if you’re curious. It is generally thought to mean ‘pause’ or ‘stop and listen’, and in some bible versions it may be translated as ‘interlude’.


I’ll make it easy here by just saying that psalms 3-9 are all attributed to David. This one is just more self-righteous poor-me drivel. V 5-6 were used by Fred Phelps to justify his ‘god hates fags’ campaign.


More of the same repetitive poor-me drivel. Note v 5 – doesn’t it suggest that the writer views death as final?


More whining. V 11 says ‘god is an honest judge’ – I’d dispute that. V 12-13 imply violence from a vengeful god. But what did I expect?

psalm 8#8

Make sure to read this in the KJV, because you will recognize the familiar clichés and turns of phrase. This is one of the cherry-picked well-known psalms. Note also the dominionism depicted in v 6-8.






Here is a video of children’s choirs performing an arrangement of Psalm 8. (As noted, you cannot escape Psalms if you are a musician.) And look at the sheer numbers of kids being exposed and indoctrinated, not as part of a church, even, but in music education.


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