Meditations on the Psalms
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By Ronald Knox
A translator, comments Monsignor Ronald Knox in his On Englishing the Bible, has two methods at his disposal: the literal and the literary. In translating Sacred Scripture “for the benefit of a person who wants to be able to read the word of God for ten minutes on end without laying it aside in sheer boredom or bewilderment,” then only a literary translation will suffice. And such is the “Knox Bible,” the fruit of nine years’ solitary labor to craft a fresh translation of the sacred texts. That labor had a strong foundation in the abiding affection for and familiarity with Scripture on display in Meditations on the Psalms. In these fifty-two meditations, Knox leads his readers “from the less to the more ‘interior’ levels of the spiritual life,” treating on select Psalms from the Douay-Rheims Bible as they pertain to the Christian life in general and the interior life in particular; observances of the Church; and “Songs of Ascents” toward ultimate unity with God.
Pope Benedict XVI once described the Psalms as a “school of prayer.” With Meditations on the Psalms, Ronald Knox serves as an excellent teacher in that school, cultivating with firm faith and deep conviction the capacity to speak to God in the words that God himself has given.
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Ronald Knox (1888–1957) was an English Catholic priest, theologian, and author, and one of the most prominent twentieth-century converts from Anglicanism to Catholicism. Best known for his contemporary English translation of the Scriptures (the “Knox Bible”), he wrote numerous works of apologetics and collections of sermons, retreat conferences, and lectures, as well as six detective novels.