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Author Topic: Psalter of Dormition Monastery  (Read 1956 times) Average Rating: 0
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"My god is greater."


« on: October 14, 2012, 12:15:05 AM »

Another English edition of the Orthodox Psalter has been published by HDM Press (the publishing arm of Holy Dormition Monastery. For whatever reason, there has been no online fanfare about this new edition and no mention of it on their website. The Psalter was edited by Fr. Roman Braga; according to his introduction, the text of the KJV was compared with the Septuagint and changed accordingly.

Having used it for the past few days, I'll try to briefly compare it with other English Psalters I've seen (namely, the Michael Asser/ CTOS psalter and the David James/ Jordanville Psalter).

1. First of all, although purporting to be based on the KJV, it uses contemporary English (addressing God as "You"). Actually, several passages are very close to the NKJV. How much one will enjoy this Psalter will probably depend on how much one likes the NKJV style.

2. The translation is not entirely consistent in following the Septuagint. In some places the Septuagint reading was clearly preferred- e.g. Psalm 109:3 has "before the morning star"- in other places it wasn't. For example, Psalm 50: 5 says "...blameless when You judge" rather than "when You are judged" (the LXX reading, which is quoted in the NT). Psalm 151 is not included (although the 9 Biblical Odes are). For me these are minor issues but maybe not for everyone.

3. Like the David James Psalter, it includes the prayers after each Kathisma, which is very nice.

4. This Psalter has some brief introductory material- namely, a traditional forward from the Romanian edition and a selection from St. Basil's forward to the Psalms. At the end there is a chart for reading the Kathisma during and outside of Lent.

In terms of size, this Psalter is nice and handy and certainly is much better suited for home-use than the cliros-sized David James Psalter. It is a clothbound hardcover book with smith-sewn binding- it is excellently made. Each kathisma begins and ends with color illustrations. I find them beautiful and delightful but they have a certain self-taught character. One man's folksy is another's amateurish, but I do like them.

Overall I am happy with this new edition. Anyone interested in a copy can email Dormition Monastery for details.
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2012, 11:12:17 PM »

I really like the David James Psalter.  When out for walks I like to bring Holy Transfiguration Monastery's pocket psalter.  Which brings me to my question, how to they (this new psalter you have) translate psalm 67 verses 14 or 15.  The HTM (Holy Transfiguration Monastery) translates it "The mountain of God is a butter mountain, a curdled mountain, a butter mountain."  It took me a couple months to get used to praying psalm 50 with the word "bullocks" . . . I don't know if I can get used to the butter mountain.  Other translations seem to just refer to "Mount Bashan"

« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 11:12:39 PM by Hinterlander » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2012, 11:22:30 PM »

I really like the David James Psalter.  When out for walks I like to bring Holy Transfiguration Monastery's pocket psalter.  Which brings me to my question, how to they (this new psalter you have) translate psalm 67 verses 14 or 15.  The HTM (Holy Transfiguration Monastery) translates it "The mountain of God is a butter mountain, a curdled mountain, a butter mountain."  It took me a couple months to get used to praying psalm 50 with the word "bullocks" . . . I don't know if I can get used to the butter mountain.  Other translations seem to just refer to "Mount Bashan"

I think the David James Psalter is the best overall edition in English. The only real issues are 1. the size (a handier edition is planned but who knows how long it will take); and 2. whether one prefers contemporary English or the more classic Coverdale/ KJV style.

The line you asked about is translated in the HDM psalter as "The mountain of God is a rich mountain." The butter/ cheese references one often sees in some translations of this psalm have been interpreted as referring to the incarnation. That is, on the mountain (the Theotokos) the milk (God) curdles (takes on human nature). I do agree that it's a very jarring image!
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 12:11:07 AM »

Is the Jordanville Psalter the one based on Coverdale? Because that one has a handy Kindle edition.
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2012, 12:46:21 AM »

Is the Jordanville Psalter the one based on Coverdale? Because that one has a handy Kindle edition.

Supposedly.  I would say that it is somewhat based on the Coverdale, with major revisions.  Unless one is a Hyperdox Herman that needs to wring their hands over every word, I really do not see the advantage of this new Psalter over the HTM version.  At least the HTM version matches the ROCOR service and prayer books published.  But to be fair, it is a rather nice book and well made.  However, after re-learning the Psalms all over (using the HTM version) again when I became Orthodox seventeen years ago (I had already learned them in the KJV), I am not really interested in learning yet another English version when there is so little to be gained by the changes. 
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