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Below is a rather woodenly literal translation of Psalm 1 I came up with a couple of years ago; and beneath that is a file containing the annotated version which explains the reasoning for various grammatical and lexical choices.  

Additionally, for anyone wishing to become better acquainted with the Psalter ('God's hymnbook') I would recommend this little volume published by Concordia Publishing House.  This book has a number of features to commend it: the translation is ESV which will be familiar and/or preferred by a growing number in Reformed and Lutheran circles; each Psalm is preceded by a short reflection from Luther's Summaries of the Psalms, 1531 and followed by a prayer; appendices include a division of the Psalms by category, a two week schedule for reading/singing the Psalms following the Daily Office, and another (four week during Ordinary Time) schedule for reading/singing the Psalms in conjunction with the Morning and Evening Prayer; but perhaps the most singularly commendable feature of this book is that the texts are pointed for singing/chanting and eight tunes (five major and three minor key) are provided at the front, any one of which may be used with any Psalm.  While there are quibbles to be had with the pointing, most notably that divisions are done by verse rather than by line meaning that occasionally you get an unnaturally long note which is hard to sing vigorously, overall it is still a great resource for those wishing to get in the habit of singing the Psalter.  It combines the resources needed to sing the Psalms (which they were intended to be) in a good translation with some really great brief devotional material in a slim, well bound volume that is easy to toss in a book bag, stick in the glove box, etc.  And while singing/chanting may seem unnatural and difficult at first it really is worth the time and energy investment.  It's the best way to learn the Psalms, and it is much closer to how they were meant to be experienced than simply reading them.  


"The Psalter ought to be a dear and beloved book, if only because it promises Christ's death and resurrection so clearly and so depicts his kingdom and the condition of all Christendom that we may call it a little Bible.  Most beautifully and briefly it embraces everything in the entire Bible; it is made into a fine enchiridion, or handbook.  Therefore it seems to me that the Holy Spirit wanted to take the trouble of compiling a short Bible and a book of examples of all Christendom or of all saints, with the purpose in mind that whoever could not read the whole Bible would here have practically an entire summary of it, comprised in one booklet...

The Psalter is the book of all saints, and everyone, whatever his situation may be, finds psalms and words in it that fit his situation and apply to his case so exactly that it seems they were put in this way only for his sake..."

--Martin Luther (Reading the Psalms with Luther, pg. 7)



(1) O how happy is the man
         who walks not in the counsel of the wicked 
         and in the way of sinners does not stand 
         and in the seat of scorners does not sit.

(2) But rather in the teaching of Yahweh is his delight
        and in his teaching he murmurs, day and night.

(3) He is like a tree planted beside streams of water 
       which its fruit it gives in its time
       and its leaf does not wither.
       And all that he does prospers.

(4) Not so the wicked
      but rather (they are) like chaff that the wind drives away.

(5) Just so the wicked will not stand in the judgment, 
      and sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

(6) Because Yahweh knows the way of the of the righteous,
      and the way of the wicked will perish.

Psalm 1 Translation.doc
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