FREE SHIPPING on orders of $25 or more*. Use code: FREE25

Psalm Basics for Catholics

Psalm Basics for Catholics

Seeing Salvation History in a New Way 

Author: John Bergsma

Price: $15.95

Format: Paperback

Pages: 160

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 978-1-59471-793-2

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

On-sale date: March 16, 2018

More Adult Faith Formation, Religious Education, Supplemental Texts, Theology, Youth Ministry


“I cannot even imagine a better introduction to the psalms than this book. John Bergsma has made the psalms more understandable, more singable, and even more lovable than before.”
 Mike Aquilina
Author of A History of the Church in 100 Objects 


In his third back-to-basics look at the Bible, popular theology professor and bestselling Catholic author and speaker John Bergsma highlights the presence of Jesus in the psalms and helps us understand their meaning in light of the story of salvation. Bergsma employs the same conversational style and simple illustrations found in Bible Basics for Catholics and New Testament Basics for Catholics to help bridge the gap between the world of contemporary Catholics and the ancient world of the Bible. 

In Psalm Basics for Catholics, John Bergsma introduces us to King David, the story of Israel, and the salvation of the Jewish people through the coming of Jesus.

For more than two thousand years, Christians have sung, chanted, and prayed the psalms, a practice of worship inherited from our Jewish ancestors in faith. Whether prayed during Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, or in personal reflection, these ancient hymns continue to be a guiding light for Catholics. Yet rarely do we step back and look at how the psalms fit into the story of salvation revealed in the Bible the way Bergsma does here.

Bergsma also addresses common questions about the psalms, including

  • Do the psalms really predict Jesus?
  • What do we make of the so-called curse psalms?
  • Why do we pray the psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours?
  • How do I read and pray the psalms?

Bergsma's insightful, practical examination of the psalms helps Catholics see how their promise is fulfilled in Christ.


"He has made the psalms more understandable."

"I cannot imagine a better introduction to the psalms than this book. Dr. Bergsma does for the Bible's most beloved book what he has done elsewhere for the Bible as a whole. He has made the psalms more understandable, more singable, and even more lovable than before."

Mike Aquilina
Author of A History of the Church in 100 Objects

"Extremely informative."

"In this easy-to-read but extremely informative introduction to the psalms, John Bergsma takes you on a guided tour of the book that the Catechism calls ‘the masterwork of prayer.’ If you really want to learn how to pray with the heart and mind of Christ, then Psalm Basics for Catholics is for you."

Brant Pitre
Professor of Sacred Scripture at Notre Dame Seminary
Author of The Case for Jesus

"Imminently accessible."

"The faithful have both embraced and wrestled with the psalms for centuries. There is something comforting about them, yet when read together as a whole, the Psalter can seem overwhelming and confusing. Bergsma makes this daunting book imminently accessible. From background to authorship to content, Psalm Basics for Catholics provides the tools that everyday Catholics need to grasp these ancient texts."

Scott Powell
Director of the Aquinas Institute for Catholic Thought

"A masterwork."

"Just as the psalms are said to be the Old Testament’s ‘'asterwork of prayer,' Dr. Bergsma offers us a masterwork of the psalms."

Sonja Corbitt
Author of Unleashed

Purchase on Kindle.

Purchase on Nook.

Purchase on Kobo.