2nd Printing Arrives

<i>photo by Shelley Davis</i>
Seminary students and staff join C&C staff to unload psalters. (photo by Shelley Davis)

For the second time in two months, we have received a shipment of the new Book of Psalms for Worship. And, for the second time in two months, more than half of a printing has been sold before the books arrive. Now that the psalters are here, we are going to be very busy shipping those orders.


In the midst of that flurry of activity, we’re already looking ahead to the next printing. Our order for the 3rd printing of The Book of Psalms for Worship will be processed this week. The 3rd printing will have some surprises in store for our customers.


This has been a summer unlike any other. We were hoping for a good response to The Book of Psalms for Worship, but the response has far exceeded our expectations. We can’t help but be excited–this is God’s Word going out to be used in all kinds of worship (personal, group, corporate) in all kinds of places around the world. We are so blessed to have a small part in what God is doing. We are blessed to serve customers who share this mission with us.


Also on the truck that arrived today was the shipment of the new book Political Danger by J. R. Willson. This is a book of essays by a man who was centuries ahead of his time. See the previous blog post, “The Surprising Relevance of James R. Willson.”

First Edition Nearly Sold Out

We planned for a healthy amount of interest in the soon-to-be-released Book of Psalms for Worship. But we underestimated the early response.


With a week to go before the psalters are shipped from the bindery, prerelease orders have reserved 90 percent of the books. And our magazine ads for the psalter (such as in WORLD magazine) are just beginning to reach mailboxes.


The second printing has already been started. If you had planned to own a first edition, you won’t want to wait long to order.

Flying Cases—Well, Sort of…

In addition to single copy orders, orders for 93 cases of The Book of Psalms for Worship were placed this week during the pre-release sale. Those case orders represent at least 17 congregations. We are pleased that cases of new psalters will soon be flying out the door!

 

Anyone who wants to take advantage of the extra discount needs to let us know by Monday.

New Psalter Update!

The Book of Psalms for Worship is currently at the printer! We actually received a proof of the entire psalter today for a final perusal.

Right now, the psalter is set to ship to our office at the end of June although this is subject to change if anything crops up in the production process.
blue_psalter_cover-1
Here are a few quick facts about The Book of Psalms for Worship:

  • It will be a bit larger dimensionally than The Book of Psalms for Singing. This was done so all the type could be a consistent size to allow for maximum readability.
  • The thickness of the book will be similar to the current psalter.
  • The new cover will be blue with silver lettering.
  • The first print run will be for 5,000 copies.
  • A special, limited, first edition will be released in addition to the initial print run. (Approximately 75 to 80 will be available for purchase.)
  • The New Psalter’s Language

    Language is always changing. That is why etymology, the history of words, is so interesting. The word “nice,” for instance, didn’t mean something pleasant years ago; now it does. “Nice” came from the Latin nescius (ignorant). The adjective was not a kind thing to associate with someone’s name. “He is nice” meant “He is an idiot.” Ironically, the word, at a later time, came to mean “having refined taste”—rather the opposite.  Nowadays, “nice” is so overused it almost creates a vacuum. The hearer is quick to import his or her own idea of what the author means: nice can be good or bad or willy-nilly.

     

    Because language is always changing, my journalism professor was adamant about us having the current year’s dictionaries and style books. Usage and words, like it or not, evolve during our lifetimes. If we don’t recognize this, we may not communicate what we mean to communicate.

     

    Take the pronouns “thee” and “thou,” for instance. In early modern English, these words were the singular and informal counterparts to “ye” and “you.” If you were talking to a close friend, you would use “thou,” but if you were talking to someone you didn’t know well or a group of people, you would use “ye.” Nowadays, we make up for the absence of “thee” and “ye” by saying “y’all” and “yinz guys.” If one reads Shakespeare, one realizes that “thee” and “thou” are used more among the drunkards and thieves, and “you” and “ye” are used more among the polite talkers, but even then the distinctions were eroding.

     

    In the 1500s, Tyndale, used thou and ye to make the distinction between the plural and singular in the Hebrew and Greek; he didn’t take into consideration whether it was a formal or informal usage. As the usage became archaic in conversation, some Bible translations and religious orders like the Quakers kept the usage in the written word, but it lost its raison d’etre. Nobody was using “thou” to express familiarity or plurality, but more often to express the opposite: formality and respect.  In the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, which was published mid-20th century, “thou” is used only as a pronoun to address God and “you” was used everywhere else. What a reversal of the intended meaning!

     

    When The Book of Psalms for Singing was put together in 1973, there was some understanding about the current misuse and misunderstanding of “thee” and “thou” and “ye.” The committee worked to introduce more versifications that used “you” to refer to God and man, singular and plural.

     

    Now in 2009, we have the promise of a psalter that uses “you” consistently throughout. Surely, this clears the waters of intended meanings.

     

    Another illustration of the need to change wording occurred when I was working on the Kids Sign Psalm DVD, which brouhg some exposure to the new versifications of the psalter. Most of the changes I saw were minor. In some places, I wondered why the text was changed. One was such spot was in Psalm 57:7. The old versification reads, “My heart is fixed…” The new is “My heart is firm.”

     

    When I was singing it for practice, my then17-year-old who is a writer and poet with a knowledge of Latin and French, said, “Oh, wow, is that what that means?”

     

    He had thought that it meant that his heart was “repaired,” because of the outdated use of “fixed.” Firm, then, better communicates the idea of “unmoved” to this 21st century audience.

     

    Perhaps this is a reason to change our psalters as we change our dictionaries, at least more often than once in a few decades.

     

    There are many valuable things about using the common and spoken language of the people to communicate God’s Word. The 2009 psalter, entitled The Book of Psalms for Worship, is promising in this regard.