Tweeting the Psalms

  • Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 06:00
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Jim Gustafson
Jim Gustafson

Jewish Journal Staff

HAVERHILL — Jim Gustafson, an ordained minister and professor at Northern Essex Community College, recently published a book, "psalms/tweets: Psalms in Contemporary Style."

The book emerged from Gustafson’s observation of students and how they communicate.

"I wondered what King David would have used as a medium of expressing himself. He probably would have been at the cutting edge, and he probably would have used social media if he was around today," Gustafson said.

Though not technically 240 characters, the book "teases out" what he finds to be "the essence of these beautiful passages from the Bible," and what he imagines the writers would have written if they had "chosen to send them out on Twitter."

Gustafson hopes that people will read his "tweet" versions and, if they are inspired, they will turn to the originals. His tweets express the emotion, but are not "metrical and aesthetically beautiful," he said.

"I think the book would relate to anyone who has a religious heart, no matter what denomination. The psalms belong to the spiritual heritage of the whole world," Gustafson said.

At age 78, Gustafson confesses to not being on Twitter himself, but likes Facebook. And when he teaches, he asks his students to "park all their instruments," as they take their seats. But his grandchildren are bringing him up to speed, and he teaches many classes online.

Gustafson’s book is available at in the print and electronic versions.


Jim Gufstafson Proclaim Publications, 2013

Last modified on Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 06:00

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Published in Passover Greetings


Jim Gustafson

Jim Gustafson


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