We began by using the ESV Psalms as they are readily available for internet use.
However, in our search for a version of the Psalms to use standardly for The Trinity Mission we ran into several issues. Among them:
- Most translations are controlled by copyright with strict and expensive standards for how we could reuse them
- Many are nearly incoherent when heard spoken
- Others have departed so far from traditional renderings of phrases that they left us feeling disconnected to our heritage (eg imagine if the beginning of Psalm 23 read “the LORD is my sheep herder and so I’m not never gonna need nothing”)
So we have started a project called The Composite Psalter. We use the word “composite” because we are not “re-translating” but rather surveying a variety of current, accepted translations (currently 21 different versions) and rendering a final version with these characteristics:
- using phrase structures most common to the most widely used translations
- using only the English words that have already been chosen for translation of the manuscripts (no adding words even if it might sound better)
- using words and phrases that are most poetic to English speaking ears
- formatting the verses for responsive reading
- we will be in charge of the copyright so that we can offer it for free
You can check out the work as it progresses here.