The Prayer Book of the Bible


The Prayer Book of the Bible

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Jesus died with a psalm on his lips. For millennia, humans have been shaped by the Psalms. And before the Nazis banned him from publishing, German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer published this book on the Psalms.

What comfort is found in the Psalter? What praise, and what challenge? What threat? In the pages of Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible, discover the richness this book of Scripture held for Bonhoeffer, and learn to pray psalms along with Christ.

First published in 1940, this classic reveals how the Psalms are essential to the life of the believer and offers Bonhoeffer's reflections on psalms of thanksgiving, suffering, guilt, praise, and lament. Now with an introduction by Walter Brueggemann and excerpts from the Psalms, Bonhoeffer's timeless work offers contemporary readers ancient wisdom and resources for the living of these days. Includes a biographical sketch of Bonhoeffer written by his friend and biographer Eberhard Bethge.


"While Dietrich Bonhoeffer calls this book 'a short stroll through the Psalms,' it is a valuable guide to these joyful, angry, beautiful, and difficult songs of praise and lament. He terms them 'earthly prayers' that allow us to reflect on the long arc of our salvation history as people beloved of God. More importantly, he reminds us that these ancient words, prayed by Jesus, offer a deep human connection to the God who remains with us and will not abandon us."

Kathleen Norris, author of Dakota, The Cloister Walk, and Acedia & Me

"It was Bonhoeffer's take on Jesus that eventually led to his early death at the hands of the Nazis. He was a Christ-centered theologian. All that Bonhoeffer did as a Christian was derived from that central focus. In these pages, Bonhoeffer demonstrates his deft exegetical skill as he reads the Psalms with a christological focus. It is continued evidence of the depth of his insights that his Christ-centered interpretation remains relevant today."

Reggie L. Williams, author of Bonhoeffer's Black Jesus and professor of Christian ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary

"This book is a classic, plain and simple. As a classic it has stood the test of time, not simply because it has functioned as an expert guide to the prayer book of the Bible but because it has served for decades to nurture Christians in the way of prayer--wholehearted, gutsy, honest-to-God prayer--and will surely continue to do so for generations to come."

W. DAVID O. TAYLOR, associate professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and author of Open and Unafraid: The Psalms as a Guide to Life

"Here an extraordinary Christian shows us the power of Israel's Psalms to renew our minds in Christ, as well as the spiritual alertness and discipline that entails. Framed by the later witnesses of Bethge and Brueggemann, this small yet beautifully complete volume testifies to how Bonhoeffer kept the faith of Christ in extreme times, as we must do."

Ellen F. Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke University

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506480190
  • eBook ISBN 9781506483580
  • Dimensions 5.25 x 7.25
  • Pages 98
  • Publication Date May 17, 2022