Psalms and sinners

A couple of Sundays ago, I was on my way to a wildlife photography workshop with Andy Rouse and listening to Radio 3 in the car. (There you go – two passions in one, photography and music.) One of the pieces played on Private Passions was Allegri’s Miserere, one of the most beautiful pieces ever conceived. It is based on Psalm 51, and I’d only ever heard it performed in the original Latin before. But this performance was in an English translation, and reminded me vividly of some of the well-known words of the psalm.

I found myself rebelling against its apparent take on human nature. “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Ps 51:5, ESV) The old King James translation says “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity…”  Continue reading

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