The release of A Psalter for Prayer (ed. David Mitchell James) by Holy Trinity Publications last year has been widely and well received, and I have benefitted from having been given a copy shortly after the volume's publication. Given that it is an edition 'for prayer', as its title suggests, I have been hesitant to comment much upon it, as I felt it necessary to use the volume for some time, to see how well it can be employed for the divine services of the Church and for the kind of liturgical prayer that forms the bedrock of Orthodox life (taking as a given that it can also be employed for personal prayer / individual reading, etc.).
We have been using the edition now, more or less consistently, for all our English-language services in which the psalter is employed, and perhaps it is time to begin consolidating various notes on the strong points, weaknesses, need for corrections, etc., of the volume.
My overarching impression is that it is a good volume, basically well suited to liturgical usage (though there need to be some corrections and changes; more on these to follow). I am happy that it has been published. The language is the elegant and largely beautiful English of the old Coverdale 1535 edition. What I have not yet done is compare the version here to the original Greek of the Septuagint (simply as I have not had time), so I've yet to make any study as to whether it truly has been adapted suitably along the lines of the editor's stated intention:
[...] fidelity to the Septuagint text of the Greek original, which is the official text of the Orthodox Church, has been the chief concern. (pp. 11, 12)
I'm sure a substantial amount of work has gone into this, and when time permits it will be interesting to examine the edition alongside the Septuagint sources and see what has been done in terms of adapting and modifying Coverdale; however, I must acknowledge a concern even before venturing into that task, grounded in Mr James's statement, just following the above-quoted line, that 'for that reason, this new text has bee carefully compared to the Septuagint Greek of Alfred Rahlfs', as well as St Jerome's edition and the Slavonic Psalter (cf. p. 12) -- my concern here mainly being that the Rahlfs edition is a scholarly assemblage of academic re-constitution of Septuagintal textual history, and in many places does not reflect the Septuagint text as employed by the Orthodox Church (this was a weakness with the approach of the Orthodox Study Bible: Old Testament translation effort also, given that Rahlfs was taken as the basis by many of the translators).
That concern stated, however, I would rather focus on points I've been able to address more concretely, mainly concerning the form, layout and structure of the volume. We have here a very good resource -- and one which I hope that in future editions can be made even stronger.
I invite all who have been exploring this volume to contribute thoughts here.
INXC, Fr Irenei