Seeing the Psalter is a unique insight into the Psalms. These 150 poems are at the heart of the faith of Israel and of Christendom. No book of the Bible is more popular. Seeing the Psalter highlights and shows the patterns of repeated word usage in each poem and across the collections of poems. In this book, the Psalter is read and analyzed in sequence revealing a deliberate organization and a coherent message formed over centuries: how do we learn to rule in the midst of enemies?

Each poem is laid out in a very easy to read form. For the English reader, the translation is close and concordant, as far as that is possible. The concordance has been managed through a sophisticated database analysis of the glosses chosen. Seeing the Psalter includes a complete Hebrew-English and English-Hebrew glossary of all words used in the Psalter. The list of all uses of a Hebrew root in the Hebrew glossary enables an in-depth study of word usage. For the Hebrew reader, or for one who wants to learn Hebrew, the text is laid out in a form that enables memorization and the learning of the intricacies of translation. The poetry is phrase by phrase side by side with the English.

Each chapter shows in color the patterns of word recurrence in the poems. Many chapters show the close (or distant) relationships of poems with each other. As you study this work, you will find that all sorts of questions open themselves to you related to the history of the collections, the character of the faith, and the construction of the Psalter itself. A comprehensive index of Biblical references, names, and themes is included allowing you to find things easily in the text.

Each major section of Seeing the Psalter contains brief summaries outlining and highlighting inter-poem relationships and enabling the memorization of the whole. The Psalms are the dialogue between God and his people. It's not a conversation one would want to miss. You will love this book and reading it will show you the love that is before all things.

With charts in full color.


  • Bob MacDonald has made astounding discoveries in the patterns of word usage in the Psalter. His positioning of the words as in the original brings a totally new freshness to them. I have chuckled with delight and have also been moved to tears. His personal observations, devout and imaginative, Biblically informed, have touched me.

    Hannah Main van der Kamp
    Teacher, editor, columnist and poet

  • Benedictines use Jesus’ prayer book, the Psalms, as our daily prayer. In the psalms, every soul can find itself speaking. This unique translation uses semantic language markers to plunge deep into the meaning of each psalm and draws the soul deep into the Semitic heart as it contemplates the holy. This reading of the psalms brings us to new levels of understanding the songs of Israel. Even for one who does not read Hebrew, this Psalter allows me to enter in a deeper level of praying and study. Every Biblical scholar should pray this version of the psalms to see the holy.

    Dr. Martin Brokenleg, OSBCn
    Prior, Anglican Benedictine Canons

  • Bob MacDonald has somehow managed to combine the poet’s love of words with the mathematician’s love of structure. His analysis of the psalms allows us to see (quite literally) their organization and focus and his careful, low-punctuation translation draws us into the life-giving art of these sometimes difficult but always beautiful poems.

    Paul Teel, PhD (Philosophy of Science)
    Teacher, Mathematics and Christian Studies, Pacific Christian School, Victoria BC

  • The Book of Psalms is like a gathering of treasures for celebration and worship, from across the layered centuries of Hebrew scripture, and from the less settled expanse of human feeling and spiritual journeying. Bob MacDonald's approach for presenting the resonances and refractions of words throughout the Psalms, and his complementary account of their broader patterns, open up inroads for insight into this treasure-trove, and help to broaden our experience of the whole Bible.

    Charles Douglas

Book Data
Pages 528
ISBN10 1-938434-41-2
ISBN13 978-1-938434-41-9

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Tags: Psalms, Old Testament, Hebrew, Biblical Studies