1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter

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Tyrese

Puritan Board Sophomore
What are some reasons to continue to use the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter, and what are some good reasons to update to a more modern version? We sing only Psalms during family worship and at the moment we us the The Psalms of David in Metre.
 

JML

Puritan Board Junior
The 1650 is faithful to the original Hebrew and was approved by the godly men of the Westminster Assembly. Another positive is the entire psalter can be sung if you only know one common meter tune.

There are psalters with updated language. One of which is the Book of Psalms for Worship put out by the RPCNA. My family uses this edition for family worship. Although many will disagree, for us the language in the 1650 is too out of date for us even though there are many positives.
 

Tyrese

Puritan Board Sophomore
The 1650 is faithful to the original Hebrew and was approved by the godly men of the Westminster Assembly. Another positive is the entire psalter can be sung if you only know one common meter tune.

There are psalters with updated language. One of which is the Book of Psalms for Worship put out by the RPCNA. My family uses this edition for family worship. Although many will disagree, for us the language in the 1650 is too out of date for us even though there are many positives.

I feel like some of the psalms are a bit outdated. There are many that are very simple to understand. I'm wondering is it a good idea to go ahead and teach my kids the language in the 1650 that is unfamiliar to them.
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
It is a very faithful translation - and was authorized by the Church of Scotland, so has the stamp of approval of the church. That is of great value, and it provides a great companion to the King James. It has also stood the test of time as a faithful psalter.

That said, I too find it a bit hard to use, though have always benefitted from singing from it. In addition, it's not as "user-friendly" as the newer RPCNA psalter (Book of Psalms for Worship) which is laid out like a hymnal, and even has an iOS/Android app to go along with it.

My family loves singing from the RPCNA psalter, and it's also (by virtue of being an RPCNA church plant!) the same psalter we use at church. It too is authorized by and is the work of a church body (RPCNA). I've introduced it to many folks, who have used it in their own family worship to great profit - even folks who are not Exclusive Psalmody.
 

irresistible_grace

Puritan Board Junior
We use the 1650 in corporate worship.
For family worship we use the Psalms for Singing (C&C), Psalms for Worship (also Crown & Covenant) and/or the 1650.

I think we (speaking for my own family) make up way too many excuses for not using the 1650 more than we do.
The 1650 is faithful to the original languages. It is in English. It has been approved for corporate as well as family worship. My children have never complained about not understanding the 1650. They love it and are better at it than I am at times. When they sing psalms at random throughout the day, it is the 1650 they sing.
 

JML

Puritan Board Junior
The 1650 is faithful to the original Hebrew and was approved by the godly men of the Westminster Assembly. Another positive is the entire psalter can be sung if you only know one common meter tune.

There are psalters with updated language. One of which is the Book of Psalms for Worship put out by the RPCNA. My family uses this edition for family worship. Although many will disagree, for us the language in the 1650 is too out of date for us even though there are many positives.

I feel like some of the psalms are a bit outdated. There are many that are very simple to understand. I'm wondering is it a good idea to go ahead and teach my kids the language in the 1650 that is unfamiliar to them.

That is a decision that only you should make. I can't answer that for you. I chose the Book of Psalms for Worship because I considered that same question. I personally think it is important to use modern language for multiple reasons but that is the decision I came to and I definitely would not fault someone for their use of the 1650.
 

Tyrese

Puritan Board Sophomore
It is a very faithful translation - and was authorized by the Church of Scotland, so has the stamp of approval of the church. That is of great value, and it provides a great companion to the King James. It has also stood the test of time as a faithful psalter.

That said, I too find it a bit hard to use, though have always benefitted from singing from it. In addition, it's not as "user-friendly" as the newer RPCNA psalter (Book of Psalms for Worship) which is laid out like a hymnal, and even has an iOS/Android app to go along with it.

My family loves singing from the RPCNA psalter, and it's also (by virtue of being an RPCNA church plant!) the same psalter we use at church. It too is authorized by and is the work of a church body (RPCNA). I've introduced it to many folks, who have used it in their own family worship to great profit - even folks who are not Exclusive Psalmody.

I'm extremely interested in the Book of Psalms for worship. There fairly expensive though. Anyone know of any web sites that sell them at a good price or used?
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior

JP Wallace

Puritan Board Sophomore
Tyrese

When we were choosing a psalter for family and church use we elected to go with a more modern translation. Not, however because there was/is any inherent great problem with the SMV, but because I prefered to use more modern language. I view this as a case of 'added value' in the newer versions rather than a 'lack' in the old. I do not believe the version of psalter is an issue for division, I am sure I would very happily use any currently published version. My preference is strongly for as close a following of the text of Scripture as possible (accomodating the constaints of metrification), thus I am not too keen on some of the 1912 versions which are incorporated in the Trinity Hymnal.

Having said all that our psalter retains some of the best loved SMV versions for many psalms, and in my opinion many of them cannot be bettered, e.g. Psalm 1, Psalm 51 etc.

Being based in the UK we use the the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland's 2004 version - The Psalms for Singing: A 21st Century Edition, which has some very excellent modern renditions which faithfully follow and reflect the orginal.

I agree with John - it's your call! :)
 

JP Wallace

Puritan Board Sophomore
Here is a review of the Book of Psalms for worship:

Virginia is for Huguenots: Book Review: The Book of Psalms for Worship

This a useful read, I probably disagree on the archaic language but a number of his other points are very well made. I am thankful our psalter is more 'conservative' (just to be sure I am not imputing liberality to the editors of the RPCNA not the denomination, just to the contrast between approaches to the 2 psalters I am most familiar with).
 

JML

Puritan Board Junior
Being based in the UK we use the the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland's 2004 version - The Psalms for Singing: A 21st Century Edition, which has some very excellent modern renditions which faithfully follow and reflect the orginal.

I have been wanting a copy of this psalter but it is very expensive over here. The cheapest I have found is $42.00 for one copy.
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
Being based in the UK we use the the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland's 2004 version - The Psalms for Singing: A 21st Century Edition, which has some very excellent modern renditions which faithfully follow and reflect the orginal.

I have been wanting a copy of this psalter but it is very expensive over here. The cheapest I have found is $42.00 for one copy.

Same here! I've been very interested in this Psalter, but cannot find it at a decent price :(. As to the review of the Book of Psalms for Worship, it is good to note that some of the criticisms in the review were fixed in later editions as a comment on that very review indicates.
 

Tyrese

Puritan Board Sophomore
Being based in the UK we use the the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland's 2004 version - The Psalms for Singing: A 21st Century Edition, which has some very excellent modern renditions which faithfully follow and reflect the orginal.

I have been wanting a copy of this psalter but it is very expensive over here. The cheapest I have found is $42.00 for one copy.

Same here! I've been very interested in this Psalter, but cannot find it at a decent price :(. As to the review of the Book of Psalms for Worship, it is good to note that some of the criticisms in the review were fixed in later editions as a comment on that very review indicates.

Are the versions of the Book of Psalms for Worship that are currently available at Crown and Covenant the revised editions?
 

Tyrese

Puritan Board Sophomore
Tyrese

When we were choosing a psalter for family and church use we elected to go with a more modern translation. Not, however because there was/is any inherent great problem with the SMV, but because I prefered to use more modern language. I view this as a case of 'added value' in the newer versions rather than a 'lack' in the old. I do not believe the version of psalter is an issue for division, I am sure I would very happily use any currently published version. My preference is strongly for as close a following of the text of Scripture as possible (accomodating the constaints of metrification), thus I am not too keen on some of the 1912 versions which are incorporated in the Trinity Hymnal.

Having said all that our psalter retains some of the best loved SMV versions for many psalms, and in my opinion many of them cannot be bettered, e.g. Psalm 1, Psalm 51 etc.

Being based in the UK we use the the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland's 2004 version - The Psalms for Singing: A 21st Century Edition, which has some very excellent modern renditions which faithfully follow and reflect the orginal.

I agree with John - it's your call! :)

Thanks Pastor Wallace for your response. I agree that the 1912 version is weak. We have decided to no longer use the Trinity Hymnal for family worship. We have found it to be more profitable to sing the Psalms. As a matter of fact one of your sermons on worship we listened to a while back was one of the resources we used to come to the conclusion that we should use only the Psalms.
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate

Hi Tim. Thanks for sharing. Has there been a change of opinion after the revisions have been made to BoPW? What psalter does your Church use?

Tyrese, my congregation uses the Book of Psalms for Worship. To the best of my memory, the revisions concern the "insertion of uninspired words in Psalms" criticism in the review being discussed; I don't think the other concerns have been satisfied. I will be checking on this, however.
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I think the 1650 is the most accurate available psalter, but I would not be opposed to a careful update to some of the language -- especially if it could be done in a manner that would foster greater unity among Reformed churches rather than less. I would prefer that the thees and thous be kept, but there are certainly some very archaic words in there that are foreign to most English speakers. Thankfully those words are rare, but they are present. The use of the divine name and titles in the Scottish Psalter could also stand to be improved. In the meantime, however, I am not aware of a more accurate psalter, and truly it is a joy to sing from it.
 

Cymro

Puritan Board Junior
My preference is for the 1650. It is a strange thing that working class people, of which
I am one, had no difficulty and have no difficulty in understanding the seemingly outdated
language. It was the practice for the Minister to give a short explanation of the verses to be
sung. And so over a period of time the substance and meaning would be assimilated even by
the young. As with the KJV the language is suitable to their spirituality.
The translation is faithful, and for instance Ps 23, was revised 6 times by the Scottish
Commissioners, so that it cannot be bettered. This modern age has produced a proliferation
of Bibles, causing unnecessary expense to the churches; a weakening of translations; confusion
in the pews with different Ministers with pulpit preferences of their own. The same is happening
with the gradual multiplying of the Psalter.
But my concern is that a diversity of Psalmodies inevitably destroys the uniformity of Worship.
To go anywhere in the world where there are psalm singing congregations, and to pick up the familiar
Psalter would be a blessing of unity and concord.
On one point alone would I concede, and that over a few archaic words that could be altered eg,
"kyth'st and wight", which I believe are Scottish. Otherwise, leave it alone!!!
 

irresistible_grace

Puritan Board Junior
We are not high tech at our house. We like CDs and hardcopies of books!

That said, we purchased this a while back and found it is worth the price tag...
The Book of Psalms for Worship Starter Kit
It is like buying 4 CDs & getting 2 Psalters for only $10 more.
And, we can listen to the CDs in our car etc. I love them.

However, as I said earlier, the PfW is more of my own preference, NOT my children's. They love the 1650 SMV & I am learning to love it as well. If you decide to go with the PfW rather than the SMV, just be honest and say it is your own preference. Don't blame it on the kids! We like to dumb things down a lot but our children are hungry beyond our expectations. If you tell your children that the 1650 is archaic, outdated, or in another language... they will start to believe that lie. If you use the 1650 and don't complain in front of them about your own lack of comprehension, you will all grow to love the 1650 more. I am speaking from experience (and speaking to myself as well).

What ever you decide, I'm glad you are singing God's Word with your family!
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would recommend sticking with the Scottish Psalter.

Aside from accuracy, historical usage, etc., one of the main reasons I prefer the Scottish Psalter is the ease of singing compared with other Psalters. When my wife and I sing in family worship, we never have to pause at a selection, go over the tune, figure out if we know it or could possibly struggle our way through. We just sing.

I created a website (that needs some updating) advocating the use of the Scottish Psalter. Hope you might find some of it useful.

The 1650 Psalter | Faithful. Simple. Still a Classic.
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
If you decide to go with the PfW rather than the SMV, just be honest and say it is your own preference. Don't blame it on the kids! We like to dumb things down a lot but our children are hungry beyond our expectations. If you tell your children that the 1650 is archaic, outdated, or in another language... they will start to believe that lie. If you use the 1650 and don't complain in front of them about your own lack of comprehension, you will all grow to love the 1650 more.

Yes indeed! Children are language-learning machines.
 

JML

Puritan Board Junior
Have no idea what it would cost to post but here is the official supplier over here

Covenanter Bookshop

Scroll down page for psalters.

Thanks. I found that page as well. However, I have no clue about pound to dollar conversion so I am not sure how much those cost.
 

JML

Puritan Board Junior
Are the versions of the Book of Psalms for Worship that are currently available at Crown and Covenant the revised editions?

Yes and no. Last time I ordered some, I ordered 2 of the regular blue editions and they were updated. But I also ordered 2 of the mini psalters for my daughters and they were the old version. This may not be the case anymore, I don't know for sure.
 

JML

Puritan Board Junior
If you tell your children that the 1650 is archaic, outdated, or in another language... they will start to believe that lie.

Respectfully, I disagree that I am lying to my children. Not sure if this is referring to me or not since I did say earlier in the thread that we did not use it because I felt it was outdated.
 
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