In case you are not sure of what's in Psalm 15... I have included a few versions below: King James Version, NET Bible Version, New International Version, the Darby Translation, and the World English Bible.
(I have put Psalm 15 to music, based on the King James Version.)
Who wrote Psalm 15?
It's attributed to David. As in "King David," father of Solomon. (Solomon was the King famous for writing so much of Proverbs, being the richest King in their history, and being so depressed in his book, “Ecclesiastes.”)
What is Psalm 15 about?
Psalm 15 is a means to share with others, through song, what pleases God. Like every good teacher (with all due deference to Luke 18:18 & Matthew 23:10), David begins by asking a question.
Questions are great to begin with because you are asking your audience to think, or to get ready to think. You are helping them prepare a place in their minds for holding information, giving them some sense of what to attach the new information to, similar to how one builds.
First, David asks God (rhetorically perhaps) what can someone do in order to be a welcomed guest, an adopted child of the Almighty.
After asking the question, David sets about answering it. I don't know when David wrote Psalm 15 with regard to the ages of his children. But I can easily imagine that just like kids sing alphabet songs today in order to learn the alphabet, David (and others) sang this song (and others) to their children, teaching them in a song, in a few lines, in a few minutes, a nice summary of how to seek the praise of God.
Something they could sing to themselves as they went about their daily lives, something that offers easy-to-understand advice for being an individual, as well as fitting in with society.
Your Version of Psalm 15 Seems Different. Why?
There are a few reasons.
First the artistic reason. I had to make minor modifications in order to make the song fit the musical structure I was inspired to write.
Another reason I changed it is scriptural. Jesus came and gave us updated advice on the treatment of mean people, and people who do us wrong. Check out Matthew 5:38 and 5:43, where Yeshua (Jesus) quotes from the Old Testament law on how to 1) carry out judgement/punishment on others and 2) who to hate. Yeshua's updated advice finds its way in to the 7th line of my version, "He doesn’t like mean men, but tries to be nice to them anyway." See Matthew 5:39-42 and Matthew 5:44-48 for the specifics attributed to Yeshua with regard to the treatment of people acting mean.
So while one may not have total control over one's feelings towards mean, vile, depraved, contemptible reprobates, we can do our best to repay their evil with Our Father's Good. This is what Jesus advised often, so it deserves placement in my updated version of Psalm 15.
One of the last reasons why it deviates from, perhaps, your favorite version, is a "legal" reason. Namely copyright issues. I can't take someone else's version that's under copyright protection, and use it verbatim. Unless I go to lengths to obtain permission and climb over other unforeseen issues. The King James Version (and some others) are in the "public domain," which means no one owns the copyright for that version and anyone can do anything one wants with it.
Does This Mean Your Version is in the Public Domain?
No. My version of Psalm 15 is based on the KJV version. If I had used the Psalm 15 words EXACTLY as they are in the KJV, then the lyrics only would still be in the public domain, my music would still be under my copyright. However, since I re-wrote Psalm 15, both the lyrics and the music are copyrighted by me.
For Your Reading Pleasure, "Original Psalm 15"
Below are five different versions of Psalm 15 so you can compare them to each other as well as the version I wrote. Enjoy!