Author Topic: Questions regarding the Psalter  (Read 683 times)

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Offline Big Chris

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Questions regarding the Psalter
« on: May 21, 2012, 12:27:09 PM »
Hello,

I know some of you think that I am troll - and, in all honesty, I have acted like one these past few days.  For that, I apologize - and I apologize to each of you whom I've like a jerk towards.  There really is no excuse for my uncharitable words.  By God's grace, you will surely see a change in my attitude around these forums for the better.

With that being said, I was wondering if some of you would mind answering my questions concerning the Psalter - something which has been the cornerstone of my daily prayer life for months now, if not years.

First, as Orthodox Christians, how do you (individually) prefer to pray the Psalter?  Who here prefers using an actual Psalter (such as the pocket Psalter produced by HTM)?  Who here prays the Psalter straight from a (larger) Bible?

Second, is it acceptable to use a Psalter which is not based on the Septuagint?

Third, does anyone know of a website or some list which specifically cites each of the translational discrepancies between the Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Septuagint Psalters?  The reason why I ask is because I would like to mark in my Bible where the most significant of these translational discrepancies occur and what they are.

Thank you,
Chris
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Offline witega

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Re: Questions regarding the Psalter
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2012, 12:46:09 PM »
I use the HTM psalter because it fits conveniently in my hands and I find the division into kathismata and stases makes it easier to maintain a steady pace (given how much individual psalms vary in length).

I know some people get worked up about the difference between the Septuagint and Masoretic, and if you are using it for doctrine, particularly doctrine that depends on specific phrasing (i.e., a 'virgin' shall be with child) then obviously you should be using the Septuagint. But for straight devotional use, I don't think it makes a huge difference--it's not like the Masoretes were working from a radically different text than the Seventy. If you can get a translation from the Septuagint that meets your other needs (cost, portability, etc) then I'd recommend it, but in the meantime there's nothing wrong with using a Masoretic-based version to pray with.
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Offline age234

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Re: Questions regarding the Psalter
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012, 12:54:34 PM »
I have an HTM pocket psalter that I like to use. It's inexpensive, very good quality, and convenient.

I would use Septuagint translations if possible, but I wouldn't lose sleep over it. As far as I'm aware, there's nothing flagrantly heretical in the Masoretic Text. It does not express some aspects of Orthodox theology as well as the Septuagint that the Fathers were using, but it's not a big deal.

Those little New Testament + Psalter books the Gideons give out would be great for Orthodox use. You can read the Psalter and the appointed daily readings all in one place.

I don't have one, but I've often thought this would be a helpful book also. In addition to the NT and Psalms, it has some icons and daily prayers. It's intended for people in the military, but it would seem useful all around: http://www.orthodoxmarketplace.com/bibles/english-rsv-/military-orthodox-new-testament-and-psalms-leadership-100-rsv.html
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 12:57:07 PM by age234 »

Offline Big Chris

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Re: Questions regarding the Psalter
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2012, 01:13:52 PM »
I know some people get worked up about the difference between the Septuagint and Masoretic, and if you are using it for doctrine, particularly doctrine that depends on specific phrasing (i.e., a 'virgin' shall be with child) then obviously you should be using the Septuagint. But for straight devotional use, I don't think it makes a huge difference--it's not like the Masoretes were working from a radically different text than the Seventy. If you can get a translation from the Septuagint that meets your other needs (cost, portability, etc) then I'd recommend it, but in the meantime there's nothing wrong with using a Masoretic-based version to pray with.

The reason why I ask pertains to portability.  I try to read the Bible everyday, including the Psalms.  Rather than carry around my prayerbook, the HTM Psalter plus a Bible, it would make so much more sense to not carry around the additional Psalter; however, I have done so in order to be using the canonical Psalter.  I am now wondering just how superfluous this might actually be.  Like you, I try to stay within the division of kathismata/stases, but I don't think you need the HTM Psalter to accomplish this as the kathismata/stases can be marked in a regular Bible, taking note of Masoretic numbering.

Concerning your point about the doctrinal matters contained within the Septuagint, this is why I would like to see a full list of those differences.  Where appropriate, I could insert a marginal gloss for ease of reference.
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Offline Timon

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Re: Questions regarding the Psalter
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2012, 01:20:51 PM »
Quote
I don't have one, but I've often thought this would be a helpful book also. In addition to the NT and Psalms, it has some icons and daily prayers. It's intended for people in the military, but it would seem useful all around: http://www.orthodoxmarketplace.com/bibles/english-rsv-/military-orthodox-new-testament-and-psalms-leadership-100-rsv.html

only 5$?? Thats not a bad deal.
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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Questions regarding the Psalter
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2012, 08:53:48 PM »
When I pray it, I use the HTM Psalter, because of the division into Kathismata, and because the larger print usually keeps me from suddenly realizing that the word I just said makes no sense, and then stopping to see what the actual word was.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Questions regarding the Psalter
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 09:00:28 PM »
When I pray it, I use the HTM Psalter, because of the division into Kathismata, and because the larger print usually keeps me from suddenly realizing that the word I just said makes no sense, and then stopping to see what the actual word was.

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Offline LBK

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Re: Questions regarding the Psalter
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012, 09:01:24 PM »
When I pray it, I use the HTM Psalter, because of the division into Kathismata, and because the larger print usually keeps me from suddenly realizing that the word I just said makes no sense, and then stopping to see what the actual word was.

Butter mountain. :)

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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Questions regarding the Psalter
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 09:05:25 PM »
When I pray it, I use the HTM Psalter, because of the division into Kathismata, and because the larger print usually keeps me from suddenly realizing that the word I just said makes no sense, and then stopping to see what the actual word was.

Butter mountain. :)

One of my favorites!  :laugh: :laugh:

Why suppose ye there be other mountains? :)
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Questions regarding the Psalter
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2012, 09:21:08 PM »
When I pray it, I use the HTM Psalter, because of the division into Kathismata, and because the larger print usually keeps me from suddenly realizing that the word I just said makes no sense, and then stopping to see what the actual word was.

Butter mountain. :)

I lol'd and then had no come back.
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Questions regarding the Psalter
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2012, 11:20:42 PM »
I like the HTM Psalter but will use what ever is available. The important thing is to use it the Lord will take care of the blessings that come from it.

Thomas
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