Experience the Psalms in a New Translation

Experience the Psalms in a New Translation

Brought to you by the Faith Formation Team

What does it mean to say, “God is still speaking”? One thing it probably means is that God’s Word in Scripture should never sound old-fashioned to our ears. Our Protestant forebears took pride in translating the Bible into their living vernacular, and we have the same responsibility to bring God’s Word into the contemporary in our worship.

 To that end, for the next four Sundays, we’ll be experimenting with a new English translation of the Hebrew Bible, published in 2018 by the renowned Hebrew scholar and Cal professor Robert Alter. Each week in worship, we’ll experience a favorite Psalm in Alter’s translation.

 Our experiment will culminate in a second-hour discussion on September 22, led by Jonathan Sheehan, director of the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, where we compare some of Alter’s choices with our favorite translations from the past.

 Alter’s Hebrew Bible has been widely celebrated, critiqued, and discussed by scholars! But as far as we know, we are one of the only congregations actually experimenting with using this new translation in a worship setting.