New Finnish translation of the Psalms published

A new translation of the book of Psalms from the original Hebrew text into Finnish has been completed by the Finish Bible Society. Released on 21 March in digital format via and the Piplia Bible App, this translation marks a significant milestone in making the timeless poetic expression of the Psalms accessible to Finnish readers. The new translation is also accessible in audiobook format read by actress Krista Kosonen.

Psalms 2024 is the first instalment of the VT2028 translation project which aims to make the Old Testament more accessible to the modern generations.

Petri Merenlahti, CEO of the Finnish Bible Society, “This is an important moment for the whole Finnish culture and spirit – to have the most expressive book in the Bible in a contemporary translation, accurate and emotional, using vivid language, being fluent to read and beautiful to listen to.”

The expressive language of the Psalms conveys an ancient message

The expressive language of the Psalms takes on a modern poetic form in the new Finnish translation, while staying true to its original intent. The concise poetry form of the Psalms is rhythmic while breathing and conveying an age-old message. The new Finish translation took into consideration a comprehensive understanding of the culture, languages and worldview of the origins of the Psalms.

“The Psalms show the whole spectrum of humanity: joy and sorrow, praise and rage, trust and despair, beautiful and less beautiful thoughts, sometimes in the same Psalm side by side. Therefore, the Psalms deserve a fresh translation so that their original power can be revealed. The new Psalm translation is accessible in a modern language, faithful to the content of the millennia-old text, while poetically appealing,” says Mika Aspinen, Lecturer in Biblical Theology and Homiletics at the Church Institute for Research and Advanced Training Unit and a member of the project’s steering group.

The Psalm translation has been completed by a large group of academically distinguished experts. The translators of the Bible Society, exegetical specialist Kirsi Valkama (ThD, MPhil) and language specialist Katja Seutu (PhD) worked full-time on the project. The translation of the Psalms has also been influenced by other Old Testament translators, exegetical specialist Hanna Vanonen (ThD) and language specialist Tuomas Juntunen (PhD), and experts, project director Terhi Huovari (MA), senior theological advisor Markku Kotila (ThD), CEO Petri Merenlahti (ThD), translation consultant Seppo Sipilä (ThD), and technical support Antti Siukonen (MTh), at the Bible Society.

“It has been a unique experience to be able to re-edit the Psalm texts into Finnish and thus get very close to them,” say translators Valkama and Seutu.

Psalms on the phone and as an audiobook

The Bible Society aims to make the Bible accessible and understandable. The Psalms 2024 translation brings the Psalms into the 21st century, to be read in the language of our time and to be used in everyday life with familiar tools. The translation is especially intended for those who want to read or listen to the Bible on their mobile phone.

Psalms 2024 will also be published as an audiobook. “The language used in the Psalms is absolutely wonderful. The Psalms are enjoyable to read. When you read them aloud, they feel like a warm embrace,” said actress Krista Kosonen in the recording studio.

The Translation Process

The ecumenical steering group comprising seven members has played a pivotal role in providing feedback on the draft translations. The steering group includes three representatives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCF), one representative of the Catholic Church, one representative of the Orthodox Church and one representative of the Free Church Council of Finland (FCCF), as well as a Finnish language expert from the University of Eastern Finland.

Throughout their regular meetings, the steering group members have engaged in discussions on translation principles, the handling of theologically significant terms, and the overall stylistic approach to translation. Drawing from their respective denominations’ perspectives, they have contributed valuable insights to ensure the accuracy and relevance of the final text.

The members of the steering group are Professor of Hebrew Bible and Cognate Studies Jutta Jokiranta (ELCF), Diocesan Dean, ThD Marko Marttila (ELCF), Trainer of Biblical Theology and Homiletics MTh Mika Aspinen (ELCF), Father Hariton MTh Kari M. Räntilä (Orthodox), PhD Juho Sankamo (Catholic), MTh Esa Hyvönen (FCCF) and Professor of Finnish language Hanna Lappalainen.

In addition to the expertise provided by the steering group, the draft translations have undergone rigorous testing by thousands of readers. This feedback has been instrumental in refining the text, aligning with the project’s translation principles, and ensuring the functionality of the details of the translation. The collaborative efforts of the steering group and test readers have contributed significantly to the quality and accuracy of the final translation.

The work will continue until 2028

The VT2028 translation of the Old Testament will continue until 2028. The project is funded by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Finnish Bible Society. The Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and the Free Church Council of Finland contribute to the project through resource costs for their steering group representatives.

For those eager to explore Psalms 2024 in Finnish, the translation is readily available for reading or listening on

Embrace the timeless wisdom and poetic beauty of the Psalms through this modern translation.

Psalms 2024 was celebrated in Youtube stream at 21st of March.