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Reflections on the Psalms (1961)

by C. S. Lewis

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2,650144,204 (3.88)18
In one of his most enlightening works, C. S. Lewis shares his ruminations on both the form and the meaning of selected psalms. In the introduction he explains, "I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself." Consequently, he takes on a tone of thoughtful collegiality as he writes on one of the Bible's most elusive books. Drawing from daily life as well as the literary world, Lewis begins to reveal the mystery that often shrouds the psalms.… (more)
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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Thoughtfully superb, as is most of Lewis' work.

May I learn to love judgement as the Psalmist does. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
My interest in Lewis' spiritual writings is deepened with each one I read. Reflections on the Psalms only bolstered that confidence. Despite his usual disclaimer regarding his theological pedigree, he illuminates the great themes and purpose of the Psalms to bring new light to understanding. Moving from "Judgement' in the Psalms, he progresses through 'cursings,' death,' nature, and other narrations of his extended reflection to finally teach, really, a word about allegorical meanings.

Of particular interest is his treatment of Melchizedek, who drifts into view as priest and king in Genesis and is highligted in Psalm 10. This mysterious man assumes a superiority accepted by Abraham, the father of the faith, without question. Lewis describes him as a "numinous figure" who God provided with unforgettable impressiveness, "...the idea of a priesthood, not Pagan but a priesthood to the one God, far earlier than the Jewish priesthood which descends fro Aaron...somehow superior to Abraham's vocation."

This is a book I will re-read. ( )
  hbuchana | May 19, 2020 |
See also: 378L8
  holycrossabbey | Oct 29, 2019 |
See also 224.9MD2
  holycrossabbey | Oct 29, 2019 |
The thing I love most about this little book is the speculative nature of it, which Lewis owns from the first sentence: "This is not a work of scholarship." He's conjecturing based on his knowledge of ancient cultures and the context of the whole Bible. I'm not sure about some of his conclusions, but he isn't either. He asks questions such as, did the inspired writers always know what they penned was inspired? Do the psalmists ever sin with their words (cursing their enemies, etc) and if so, what use are such writings to the Christian (i.e. why does God want us to read them?).

Lewis compares and contrasts often: other ancient works of similar literary genre to the psalms, the ancient Jewish perspective to the Christian perspective. He references specific psalms as well as the book in general to muse about topics like death, joy, praise, nature, the Law, and the Messianic "second meanings." I would not start a reader here to discover his nonfiction work, but for those of us who enjoy spending time with his humble, honest reflections on any topic, this book is certainly worthwhile. ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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In one of his most enlightening works, C. S. Lewis shares his ruminations on both the form and the meaning of selected psalms. In the introduction he explains, "I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself." Consequently, he takes on a tone of thoughtful collegiality as he writes on one of the Bible's most elusive books. Drawing from daily life as well as the literary world, Lewis begins to reveal the mystery that often shrouds the psalms.

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