Creation Psalms

Creation Psalms is a collection of reflections on some of the Psalms in the Bible that address nature and humanity’s role within it. Some are longer than others. Some address ecology head-on, others are more oblique.

Use the menu to select a psalm and go to its page. A good place to start is Psalm 148. The list below, as well as giving numbering equivalents, places the reflections in the order in which they were written.

I hope these Psalms will inspire you. Feel free to make use of the material here for bible study or discussion groups. I would be interested to hear your thoughts, too, via comments.

Generally, I have used the New Revised Standard Version of the bible, but have also referred to the Grail Psalms and Robert Alter’s translation (see Bibliography below). I have followed the numbering as in the Hebrew (Masoretic) tradition ( which has been followed by the Protestant Christian tradition and most modern Catholic translations). If you are using a bible that follows the Greek tradition (e.g. Jerusalem Bible), use the table below to convert from my numbers to yours.

Psalm numbers: Hebrew to Greek equivalents

148 = 148

145 = 144

104 = 103

8 = 8

29 = 28

136 = 135

139 = 138

147 = 147

Bibliography

On the Psalms

Robert Alter: The Book of Psalms (2007, New York, W.W. Norton).  Robert Alter is a creative writer on the Bible, and here he gives a fresh translation of the Psalms, paying particular attention to their poetry, together with brief comments.

Walter Brueggemann: The Message of the Psalms (1984, Minneapolis, Augsburg Fortress). A theological commentary by this most inspirational of bible teachers.

Also worth a read:

Stephen Dawes: The Psalms (2009, London, SCM Press)

Gordon J. Wenham: Psalms As Torah (2012, Grand Rapids, Baker Academic)

Wider background reading

Walter Brueggemann: The Land (2nd edition: 2002, Minneapolis, Augsburg Fortress) A classic in which Brueggemann explores the importance of land in biblical faith, including themes of gift, memory and faith

Robert Macfarlane: The Wild Places (2007, London, Granta Books)  A beautifully written account of the author’s search for wilderness in Britain

Richard Bauckham: Bible and Ecology (2010, London, Darton Longman and Todd) A thoroughly biblical treatment of ecology, including a detailed study on Psalm 148.

Bruce Stanley and Steve Hollinghurst (eds): Earthed (2014, Llangurig, Mystic Christ Press) A collection of essays exploring Christian perspectives on nature connection

Rob Cowan: Common Ground (2015, London, Windmill Books). A beautifully written and absorbing memoir of the author’s exploration of some ‘edge-land’ near his new home, interweaving observation, natural history and stories, not least the expectation of his and his wife’s first child. Fabulous.

Richard Rohr: Immortal Diamond (2013, London, SPCK). An eloquent and impassioned plea to search for our ‘true self’, rather than settling for the false self of the ego. There’s a reason why Richard Rohr is a popular writer at the moment, and it’s gentle, authentic wisdom like this.