graphic website title banner

Proposed Changes in the Psalms

by Erma Wolf (associate pastor at Brandon – Split Rock Lutheran Parish, Brandon, SD)

December, 2006


photo of Pastor Erma WolfHere is a brief comparison of the Psalms texts in ELW and LBW. Masculine pronouns for God are eliminated throughout the Psalms. (There are other changes as well, but I have focused on the God language.)

Peace,

Erma Wolf

Proposed Changes in the Psalms

These are examples only. Masculine pronouns for God are eliminated throughout the Psalms. (There are other changes as well, but I have focused on the God language.)

ELW — Psalm 19

1) The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims its maker’s handiwork...

4) their sound has gone out into all lands, and their message to the ends of the world, where God has pitched a tent for the sun.

LBW — Psalm 19

1) The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork...

4) Their sound has gone out into all lands, and their message to the ends of the world. In the deep has he set a pavilion for the sun.


ELW — Psalm 1

2) Their delight is in the law of the Lord, and they meditate on God’s teaching day and night.

LBW — Psalm 1

2) Their delight is in the law of the Lord, and they meditate on his law day and night.


ELW — Psalm 20***

1) May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble, the name of the God of Jacob defend you;

2) send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion.

6) Now I know that the Lord gives victory to the anointed one; God will answer out of The holy heaven, gaining victory with a strong Right hand. (emphasis is author's)

LBW — Psalm 20***

1) May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble, the name of the God of Jacob defend you;

2) send you help from his holy place and strengthen you out of Zion.

6) Now I know that the Lord gives victory to his anointed; he will answer him our of his holy heaven, with the victorious strength of His  right hand. (emphasis is author's)


ELW — Psalm 29

1) Ascribe to the Lord, you gods, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

2) Ascribe to the Lord the glory due God’s name

11) O Lord, give strength to your people; Give them, O Lord, the blessing of peace.

LBW — Psalm 29

1) Ascribe to the Lord, you gods, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

2) Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name…

11) The Lord will give strength to his people; The Lord will give his people the blessing….


ELW — Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol God, all you peoples. For God’s lovingkindness toward us is great, and the faithfulness of the Lord….

LBW — Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all you nations; laud him, all you peoples. For his loving kindness toward us is….

ELW — Psalm 46

10) Behold the one who makes war to cease in all the world, who breaks the bow…

LBW — Psalm 46

10) It is he who makes war to cease in all the world; he breaks the bow…


ELW — Psalm 72

18) Blessed are you, Lord God, the God of Israel, you alone do wondrous deeds!

19)And blessed be your glorious name, and may All the earth be filled with your glory. Amen. Amen.

LBW — Psalm 72

18) Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous deeds!

19) And blessed be his glorious name forever, and may all the earth be filled with his glory. Amen. Amen.


ELW — Psalm 80***

17) Let your hand be upon the one of your right hand, the one you have made so strong for yourself.

LBW — Psalm 80***

16) Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand, the son of man you have made. . .


ELW — Psalm 91

1) You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty—

2) you will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my stronghold, my God in whom I put my trust.”

3) For God will rescue you from the snare…

4) God’s wings will cover you, and you will find refuge beneath them; God’s faithfulness will be your shild and defense.

11) For God will give the angels charge over you…

14) I will deliver those who cling to me; I will uphold them, because they know my name. (emphasis is author's)

LBW — Psalm 91

1) He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, abides under the shadow of the Almighty.

2) He shall say to the Lord,”You are my refuge and my stronghold, my God in whom I ….”

3) He shall deliver you from the snare…

4) He will cover you with his pinions, and you will find refuge under his wings; His faithfulness shall be a shield and buckler.

11) For he will give his angels charge over you…

14) Because he is bound to me in love, therefore* will I deliver him; I will protect Him, because he knows my name. * (emphasis is author's)


ELW — Psalm 118

26) Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.

29) Give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good, God’s mercy endures forever.

LBW — Psalm 118

26) Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

29) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, and his mercy endures forever.


ELW — Psalm 128

1) Happy are they all who fear the Lord, and who follow in God’s ways!

2) You shall eat the fruit of your labor; happiness and prosperity shall be yours.

3) Your spouse shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, your children like olive shoots round about your table.

4) The one who fears the Lord shall thus indeed be blessed.

LBW — Psalm 128

1) Happy are they all who fear the Lord, and who follow in his ways!

2) (same)

3) Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine…

4) The man who fears the Lord….


ELW — Psalm 23

1) The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2) The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.

3) You restore my soul, O Lord, and guide me along right pathways for your name’s sake.

LBW — Psalm 23

1) (same)

2) He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.

3) He revives my soul and guides me along right pathways for his name’s sake.


ELW — Psalm 100

1) Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come into God’s presence with a song.

2) Know that the Lord alone is God, our maker to whom we belong;* we are God’s people and the sheep of God’s pasture. * (emphasis is author's)

3) Enter the gates of the Lord with thanksgiving and the courts with praise; give thanks and bless God’s holy name.

4) Good indeed is the Lord, whose steadfast love is everlasting, whose faithfulness endures from age to age.

LBW — Psalm 100

1) Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness and come before His presence with a song.

2) Know this: The Lord himself is God; He himself has made us, and we are his;* we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. * (emphasis is author's)

3) Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise; give thanks to him and call upon his name.

4) For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his faithfulness endures from age to age.


ELW — Psalm 150

1) Hallelujah! Praise God in the holy temple; praise God in the mighty firmament.

2) Praise God for mighty acts; praise God for exceeding greatness.

3) Praise God with the blast of the ram’s horn; praise God with lyre and harp.

4) Praise God with tambourine and dance; praise God with strings and pipe.

5) Praise God with resounding cymbals; praise God with loud-clanging cymbals.

6) Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Hallelujah!

LBW — Psalm 150

1) Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy temple; praise him in the firmament of his power.

2) Praise him for his mighty acts; praise him for his excellent greatness.

3) Praise him with the blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with lyre and harp.

4) Praise him with timbrel and dance; praise him with strings and pipe.

5) Praise him with resounding cymbals; praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.

6) Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Hallelujah!


NOTE: Psalms marked with *** note passages that have Christological connections that are hidden with the change from masculine language to plural, neutral language.