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Luther on the Preciousness of the Psalter

Throughout the history of the church, key leaders have extolled the value of the Psalms, even its unique value within the canon, typically because it summarizes the whole of scripture and teaches us to worship. Here is Luther echoing this sentiment:

“The Psalter ought to be a precious and beloved book, if for no other reason than this: it promises Christ’s death and resurrection so clearly – and pictures his kingdom and the condition and nature of all Christendom – that it might well be called a little Bible. In it is comprehended most beautifully and briefly everything that is in the entire Bible. It is really a fine enchiridion or handbook.  In fact, I have a notion that the Holy Spirit wanted to take the trouble himself to compile a short Bible and book of examples of all Christendom or all saints, so that anyone who could not read the whole Bible would here have anyway almost an entire summary of it, comprised in one little book.”

Martin Luther, “Preface to the Psalter,” LW, 35, p. 254. Cited in Paul Westermeyer,  Te Deum: The Church and Music (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998) 35

If we do not sense this value in the Psalms, we are the exception in the history of the church.

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