Book Review | Spurgeon and the Psalms

I love the book of Psalms. So much so that I even named my firstborn after it. This book, comprising 150 chapters and over 2000 verses, captures every feeling, emotion, and thought a person could have in this life. Charles H. Spurgeon, the great pastor-theologian of the 19th century, devoted the span of nearly half his ministry to writing his commentary on this beloved book which is now known as the Treasury of David.

Spurgeon and the Psalms is an exciting project from Thomas Nelson, released under the Maclaren Series. This devotional psalter features brief passages from Charles Spurgeon’s Treasury of David leading into each of the 150 chapters of Psalms.

PHYSICAL FEATURES

The Spurgeon and the Psalms is covered in a very impressive black leathersoft. Its quality and appearance are so good it could be easily mistaken for goatskin leather. It is supple and has unique natural pebbling like that of the goatskin cover of the NKJV Maclaren Bible. The front cover is stamped with a golden emblem depicting the sun and a mountaintop which simply looks wonderful. This is definitely one of the best leathersoft covers that Thomas Nelson has ever produced.

The text block is smyth-sewn with a paste-down paper liner. It measures 8.5 x 5.5 inches and is half an inch thick—just the size of a regular notebook. The liner is printed with a grayscale photo of a mountain range which is thematic to many passages and accounts in the book of Psalms. I also love the Bible paper that Thomas Nelson used in this book. It is smooth, cream, and probably at 36 gsm. It has beautiful gilded edges and it includes a blue double-sided satin ribbon marker.

CONTENT

The Psalms are presented in the New King James Version which is a plus for me because I really love this translation. It is poetic and very readable—perfect for the tone and setting of the Psalter. The text is set in a 9.5-point NKJV Comfort Print typeface and formatted in a single-column verse-by-verse typeset. Each page has a 1.5-inch outer margin provided for journals and your own meditations. It also includes brief cross-references in the footnotes. And like the NKJV Maclaren Bible, it also has a two-color setting—black for scripture text and blue for chapter titles, verse and cross-reference numbers, and section headings. The whole presentation is pleasant and very orderly.

As aforementioned, each of the 150 chapters of the Psalms is introduced by the devotional thoughts of Spurgeon. Knowing the length of the Treasury, it is quite impressive that the commentaries have been distilled into brief sentences. Honestly, I expected more content from Spurgeon but overall I see a very good balance between the Psalter and his writings in this book. Seeing the thematic photograph in the liner and knowing the setting of the Psalms, it would have been even better if they included some illustrations between its pages. Gustavo Doré’s artworks would have been perfect. Nevertheless, I love everything about this book.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Spurgeon and the Psalms is the devotional Psalter we’ve all been waiting for! The beloved book of Psalms presented in a thoughtful layout and design, and introduced by the devotional thoughts of the ‘prince of preachers’ make a perfect combination! It would be really great to see this in an heirloom edition with a goatskin cover and in an even more portable, pocket-size edition. This is definitely a must-have!

Spurgeon and the Psalms retails for $18.99 and is also available in a brown leathersoft cover.


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the NKJV Spurgeon and the Psalms, black leathersoft (ISBN 9780785253433) from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair and honest review. To purchase or learn more about this book, visit https://www.thomasnelson.com/

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