Best Psalms in the Trinity Hymnal (rev. ed.)

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Jake

Puritan Board Junior
I would like to encourage Psalm-singing in my church. There are often opportunities to call out hymn numbers to sing, for example. We only have the red Trinity Hymnal (i.e. the revised edition) and it seems to not have very many faithful renditions of Psalms, even if many claim some source of a Psalm at the bottom of the page.

I am looking for Psalms that are faithful to the original (less of paraphrases) and contain the entire Psalm or at least a continued part (not skipping verses in the middle). My two "go-to" Psalms from the hymnal have been Psalm 100 (hymn #1) and Psalm 23 (hymn #85 -- I prefer the version without the repetition added). Psalm 100 is not even as great of a rendition, and they strangely change "mirth" to "fear" (away from the text as far as I can tell).

I know there are a lot of selections from the Psalter of 1912, but I have found these to be disappointing by and large. What Psalms have you found to be the most faithful to the text and so able to be rightfully called Psalms?
 

irresistible_grace

Puritan Board Junior
Your OP reminded me of a "review" I read when I was in the OPC asking myself a similar question. We were trying to use the Trinity Hymnal in family worship because that is what was used exclusively in worship. Having become convinced that we are only to sing the God's Word in worship we began searching bottoms of each Hymn looking for Psalms... in vain.

From the 32nd footnote
Many consider the*"Trinity Hymnal"*to be the best hymnal ever produced. Out of the 742 selections in the hymnal very few are actually Psalms. Out of the 150 inspired songs of the Psalter at least 50 have been completely omitted. Most of the others are gross paraphrases or hymns based on the Psalms. “If one only considers those selections that are categorized as a metrical translation of a psalm or a psalm portion…then there are only 41 psalms represented in this hymnal…. [and most] of the psalms that are represented are incomplete. The 150 psalms of the inspired Psalter contain a total of 2461 verses. If one rejects a hymn that claims a tenuous relationship to some psalm, or a loose paraphrase replete with many human interpolations, as representing God’s word then not much is left. The 41 psalm and psalm portions, that are metrical translations of the original psalms, contain only 370 verses of those originals. An astounding 85% of the Psalter has vanished” (Louis F.*DeBoer,*"Hymns, Heretics and History: A Study in Hymnody"*[Sanderstown,*RI: American Presbyterian Press, 2004], 150-151).*
A Review of Iain Murray's "The Psalter—The Only Hymnal"
 

Dearly Bought

Puritan Board Junior
I do not have the red Trinity hymnal accessible to me right now, but I seem to recall a pretty faithful version of Psalm 72? Perhaps it was even the old Scottish Metrical version?

On Edit: Ah yes, the list linked above shows it to be #11.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Junior
Jessica,

Thanks for the numbers. I was wondering how many Psalms were represented and I realized the number had to be quite small. Another interesting quote I found from a review:

"Because of its amazing lack of a complete psalter, either sung of spoken, the NTH cannot be considered seriously as a Reformed or Presbyterian hymnal, if measured by Calvinistic history and doctrine." From: Biblical Horizons » No. 17: A Review of the New Trinity Hymnal, Part 2

...yet some would consider it the best hymnal every produced? Judging from my experience in churches I have visited and in going to the PCA college, it seems that singing any Psalms at all is becoming rarer and rarer in Presbyterian and Reformed circles. I am glad that the OPC/URC are working on a Psalter Hymnal. I don't know how good it will be, but just by consciously including all 150 Psalms it must be a step in the right direction.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Junior
I do not have the red Trinity hymnal accessible to me right now, but I seem to recall a pretty faithful version of Psalm 72? Perhaps it was even the old Scottish Metrical version?

On Edit: Ah yes, the list linked above shows it to be #11.
That is one that I actually requested recently. However, I'm not sure it's a good version given how much it skips around in the Psalm. It's listed as Ps. 72:8, 11, 12, 18, 19.
 

Dearly Bought

Puritan Board Junior
I do not have the red Trinity hymnal accessible to me right now, but I seem to recall a pretty faithful version of Psalm 72? Perhaps it was even the old Scottish Metrical version?

On Edit: Ah yes, the list linked above shows it to be #11.
That is one that I actually requested recently. However, I'm not sure it's a good version given how much it skips around in the Psalm. It's listed as Ps. 72:8, 11, 12, 18, 19.
Here's your goal: see if you can expose what a wonderful doxological function verses 18-19 can serve in a service. Psalm 72:18-19 as a regular doxology is your best single shot at increasing the amount of psalm singing in your congregation. :)
 

Hamalas

whippersnapper
Jessica,

Thanks for the numbers. I was wondering how many Psalms were represented and I realized the number had to be quite small. Another interesting quote I found from a review:

"Because of its amazing lack of a complete psalter, either sung of spoken, the NTH cannot be considered seriously as a Reformed or Presbyterian hymnal, if measured by Calvinistic history and doctrine." From: Biblical Horizons » No. 17: A Review of the New Trinity Hymnal, Part 2

...yet some would consider it the best hymnal every produced? Judging from my experience in churches I have visited and in going to the PCA college, it seems that singing any Psalms at all is becoming rarer and rarer in Presbyterian and Reformed circles. I am glad that the OPC/URC are working on a Psalter Hymnal. I don't know how good it will be, but just by consciously including all 150 Psalms it must be a step in the right direction.
Just as a point of encouragement, I have actually observed the opposite of this. I don't have any hard statistics, but I have heard far more "buzz" about singing Psalms lately than I did even ten years ago. Many of the young men I know coming out of seminary (both those headed into the OPC and the PCA) have Psalm-singing on their radars and it's not too hard to find respected Reformed voices (Carl Trueman and Joel Beeke both come to mind) who are strong advocates of this. I think the upcoming OPC/URC Psalter-Hymnal is evidence of this revival. The 20th century was undoubtedly rough on Psalm-singing, but hopefully the 21st will see a strong comeback!
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
If you can, try to grab the Trinity Psalter at the very least. It is relatively inexpensive and contains metrical psalms that are much better than anything in the Trinity Hymnal. My old church (Christ Presbyterian, PCA in Flower Mound, TX) uses it for 1 or 2 psalms per service. What a blessing that simple Psalter was for me - it was the first time I had sung God's Word. I thank the Lord that He used that Psalter and that Congregation to start me down the road of Psalmody.

There is no music inline, it is words only but the tunes are listed for each psalm for reference. It's a good companion as a more proper psalter to the Trinity Hymnal.
 
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Jake

Puritan Board Junior
Ben,

I certainly hope this is true. I know I have talked to some people who are in churches that have recently got Psalters to use in addition to hymnals, so this is always encouraging. I hope the trend continues... and more Presbyterians adopt the practice of the Westminster Divines!


Rom,

The church I go to at home (I'm a member of the church near when I go to college) uses the Trinity Psalter at least once per Lord's Day. The session of my church has not presently expressed interest in buying another song book besides the Trinity Hymnal, but that would be a good contender, just because it uses familiar tunes, it isn't costly, and it fits in well in the pew racks. I like many of the settings as well.

I too was first introduced to the idea of a Psalter through a church that used one in addition to the hymnal. The first PCA church I visited had the BPS. I found a text the other day that I sent to a friend back home after I first used it... "a psalter instead of a hymnal? hmm..." If only I had kept thinking! ;)
 
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