View Poll Results: What are Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs?

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  • Types of Psalms in the Psalter

    31 40.26%
  • Categories of songs

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A capella Exclusive Psalmody discuss What are Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs? in the Worship forums; It seems that one of the disagreements between EPers and nonEPers is based on Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 regarding whether or not Paul is ...

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    MLCOPE2's Avatar
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    What are Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs?

    It seems that one of the disagreements between EPers and nonEPers is based on Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 regarding whether or not Paul is addressing types of psalms or categories of songs.

    The purpose of this thread is two-fold: 1) A poll to determine which of the views you believe to be valid, and 2) to discuss why you believe your view is exegetically valid.

    *This is not intended to be a debate but a discussion (positive affirmations only please )*
    Michael Cope
    Westminster Presbyterian Church - PCA (Covenanter by conviction)
    Fort Myers, FL

    "Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them...They achieve it. They do not achieve it unwittingly by 'doing what comes naturally' and they don't stumble into it in the course of amusing themselves. All excellence involves discipline and tenacity of purpose." John Gardner

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    Michael.... give this a listen. Dr. Richard Bacon does a good job showing the historical understanding and how St. Paul would have meant this phrase.

    Dr. Richard Bacon Music in the Worship of God

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    Randy Martin Snyder
    RPCNA Covenanter's Blog

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    William Symington


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    A Special Exegesis of Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16

    Prof. John McNaugher, D. D., LL.D., Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA

    As even a glace at their contents shows, the epistle to the Ephesians and that to the Colossians are closely alike. About half of the verses in the former have parallels in the latter, and there are other resemblances as well. This twinship is explained when it is remembered that the two letters were written at the same time and to communities similarly circumstanced. Among the coincidences in thought and language are to be numbered the texts under study, which almost repeat each other.

    Turning to these duplicate exhortations, it appears at once that they are of peculiar interest in that they yield a glimpse of the simple worship of primitive days … True, the question has been raised whether they have to do with worship at all, whether Paul is not touching merely upon the intercourse of believers in their family life, at their love-feasts, their social gatherings, and other meetings, and suggesting mutual edification by song. On this mooted point the common verdict is that the main, though not exclusive, reference is to the stated services of the public assembly, which seem to have been of a free and elastic nature. That worship, as well as joint instruction, is in mind is indicated by the concluding words in each citation—“singing with grace in your hearts unto God,” “singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”

    With the foregoing inquiry answered, it may be added as beyond doubt that all the resources of the early church as regards her treasury of sacred song are embraced in the “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” here mentioned. In the three terms the inventory is evidently complete. Here then are classical passages which must be consulted in connection with any investigation into the hymnology of the apostolic period, passages which have a decisive bearing, therefore, on what compositions may be employed properly in the ordinance of praise.

    As to their meaning, there has been pronounced disagreement. The advocates of uninspired songs in worship look on them as strongholds, arguing therefrom that in the age of the apostles the Psalter was supplemented by new lyrics, and that therefore, as a necessary consequence, the legitimacy of the modern hymn is established. Some writers on this side declare themselves in a very dogmatic way, dismissing lightly the idea of contradiction. On the other hand, it is alleged that there is no cause for supposing that Paul’s “hymns and spiritual songs” were anything different from the canonical Psalms, and that there is no license here for the use of other devotional pieces than the Psalms in the worship of God. The latter is the view which will be upheld in this exegesis. It challenges the opposite interpretation as being but a surmise, and offers a series of substantial reasons for its own correctness.

    To begin with, it should be realized that present usage as regards the debated terms plays no part in fixing their sense. One can be misled by the seemingly familiar phraseology, and think forthwith of the hard and fast distinction now made between Psalms and hymns. But we are deciphering what was penned in A. D. 61 or 62, long centuries before any of the uninspired productions in the hymnals of today were extant. In order, therefore, to make these lines intelligible, we must transport ourselves back into that past to which Paul and his readers belong, and there undertake our exposition with open-mindedness and cautious discrimination.

    As an approach toward identifying the poems intended by these designations, there is clear evidence at hand that all of them were divinely inspired, indicted under the extraordinary influence of the Holy Spirit. Preliminary to what is deemed decisive proof, certain considerations which go to make this important claim a strong probability may be adduced.

    1. First, in these verses the direction given is not to prepare or provide songs of praise, but only to sing them. On this we must be permitted to insist. But in the absence of an express warrant for so doing, would not these Asia Minor Christians have been chary about writing original hymns for rendition in worship, when the Psalter, written on the mountain-tops of inspiration, and full of the things of God, was everywhere, as is allowed, a congregational handbook? Is it likely that any, self-advised and unaided, would have had the temerity or the desire to attempt such an innovation?
    found here Special Exegesis by McNaugher
    Mark Koller, Pastor
    Dallas Reformed Presbyterian Church, RPCNA

    2250 Morriss Road, Suite 214, Flower Mound, TX
    www.exclusivepsalmody.com

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    AustinW is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
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    A third option would be a threefold repetition akin to "iniquity and transgression and sin" (e.g. Exodus 34:7) or "signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds" (e.g. 2 Cor. 12:12) or "the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments" (e.g. Deut. 6:1, 7:11), just to name a few.

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    seajayrice's Avatar
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    From the OPC Q&A web site:
    There is another argument: We are commanded to preach the Word. It is essentially part of the Regulative Principle. Yet my sermons, quoting from the inspired Word, are not inspired. Why, then, must that heightened expression of worship - singing the praises of God - be limited to the Old Covenant Psalter?
    I know the answer given by the exclusivists - Ephesians 5:19 and its parallel in Colossians 3:16. Covenanters argue that those three words, "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs," are all used in the Septuagint with reference to inspired writings. Is argumentation from this translation of the O.T. valid? The New Testament writers knew this translation and quoted from it. But in its translating it was far from faithful to the Masoretic text. Furthermore, as in English, so in Hebrew, words often change in meaning through usage over time.
    I have an old commentary on Colossians by Bishop J. B. Lightfoot, dated 1879, which deals with Col. 3:16 at some length. Let me quote him on those three words. He quotes from some ancient writers and concludes: "In other words, while the leading idea of 'psalmos' is a musical accompaniment and that of 'umnos' praise to God, 'ode' is a general word for a song, whether accompanied or unaccompanied, whether of praise or of another subject. Thus it was quite possible for the same song to be at once 'psalmos,' 'umnos' and 'ode'. In the text the reference in 'psalmois' (plural of 'psalmos'), we may suppose, is specially, though not exclusively (1 Cor. 14:26), to the Psalms of David, which early would form part of the religious worship of the Christian brotherhood. On the other hand, 'umnos would more appropriately designate those hymns of praise that were composed by the Christians themselves on distinctly Christian themes, being either set forms of words or spontaneous effusions of the moment. The third word 'odais' gathers up the other two, and extends the precept to all forms of song, with the limitation however that they must be spiritual ('pneumatikai')." I've used English letters to convey the Greek words. I've put them originally and finally in quotes since e-mail does not allow italics). I think, from Lightfoot's scholarly comments, that using these three Greek words to prove exclusive psalmody on the basis of their use in the Septuagint is rushing to a questionable conclusion.
    CJ Rice
    Member Christ RPCNA
    East Providence, RI
    Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

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    Michael.... give this a listen. Dr. Richard Bacon does a good job showing the historical understanding and how St. Paul would have meant this phrase.

    Dr. Richard Bacon Music in the Worship of God
    That bumper music wasn't EP.
    Aaron Josh Wright
    Grace Family Baptist, Spring TX
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.as...d=Aaron_Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by seajayrice View Post
    From the OPC Q&A web site:
    There is another argument: We are commanded to preach the Word. It is essentially part of the Regulative Principle. Yet my sermons, quoting from the inspired Word, are not inspired. Why, then, must that heightened expression of worship - singing the praises of God - be limited to the Old Covenant Psalter?
    I know the answer given by the exclusivists - Ephesians 5:19 and its parallel in Colossians 3:16. Covenanters argue that those three words, "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs," are all used in the Septuagint with reference to inspired writings. Is argumentation from this translation of the O.T. valid? The New Testament writers knew this translation and quoted from it. But in its translating it was far from faithful to the Masoretic text. Furthermore, as in English, so in Hebrew, words often change in meaning through usage over time.
    I have an old commentary on Colossians by Bishop J. B. Lightfoot, dated 1879, which deals with Col. 3:16 at some length. Let me quote him on those three words. He quotes from some ancient writers and concludes: "In other words, while the leading idea of 'psalmos' is a musical accompaniment and that of 'umnos' praise to God, 'ode' is a general word for a song, whether accompanied or unaccompanied, whether of praise or of another subject. Thus it was quite possible for the same song to be at once 'psalmos,' 'umnos' and 'ode'. In the text the reference in 'psalmois' (plural of 'psalmos'), we may suppose, is specially, though not exclusively (1 Cor. 14:26), to the Psalms of David, which early would form part of the religious worship of the Christian brotherhood. On the other hand, 'umnos would more appropriately designate those hymns of praise that were composed by the Christians themselves on distinctly Christian themes, being either set forms of words or spontaneous effusions of the moment. The third word 'odais' gathers up the other two, and extends the precept to all forms of song, with the limitation however that they must be spiritual ('pneumatikai')." I've used English letters to convey the Greek words. I've put them originally and finally in quotes since e-mail does not allow italics). I think, from Lightfoot's scholarly comments, that using these three Greek words to prove exclusive psalmody on the basis of their use in the Septuagint is rushing to a questionable conclusion.
    "Before we consider the question of how these passages relate to public worship, we first will consider the question “what does Paul mean by psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs?” This question is very important, for many advocates of uninspired hymnody (who claim to adhere to the regulative principle) point to this passage as proof that uninspired hymns are permitted in public worship by God. When examining passages such as Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, one should not make the common mistake of importing our modern meaning or usage of a word, such as hymn, into what Paul wrote over nineteen hundred years ago. When a person hears the word hymn today, he immediately thinks of the extra-biblical non-inspired hymns found in the pews of most churches. The only way to really determine what Paul meant by “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” is to determine how these terms were used by Greek-speaking Christians in the first century.

    When interpreting religious terminology used by Paul in his epistles, there are certain rules of interpretation which should be followed. First, the religious thinking and world view of the apostles was essentially from the Old Testament and Jesus Christ, not Greek heathenism. Therefore, when Paul discusses doctrine or worship, the first place to look for help in understanding religious terms is the Old Testament. We often find Hebrew expressions or terms expressed in koine Greek. Second, we must keep in mind that the churches that Paul founded in Asia consisted of converted Jews, Gentile proselytes to Old Testament Judaism (God-fearers), and Gentile pagans. These churches had a Greek version of the Old Testament called the Septuagint. When Paul expressed Old Testament ideas to a Greek-speaking audience, he would use the religious terminology of the Septuagint. If the terms hymns (humnois) and spiritual songs (odais pheumatikais) were defined within the New Testament, then looking to the Septuagint for the meaning of these words would be unnecessary. Given the fact, however, that these terms are rarely used in the New Testament and cannot be defined within their immediate context apart from a knowledge of the Old Testament, it would be exegetically irresponsible to ignore how these words are used in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament.

    When we examine the Septuagint, we find that the terms psalm (psalmos), hymn (humnos), and song (odee) used by Paul clearly refer to the Old Testament book of Psalms and not to ancient or modern uninspired hymns or songs." (Exclusive Psalmody: A biblical Defense, Brian Schwertley)

    ---------- Post added at 04:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:45 PM ----------

    Bushell writes:
    Psalmos occurs some 87 times in the Septuagint, some 78 of which are in the Psalms themselves, and 67 times in the psalm titles. It also forms the title to the Greek version of the psalter. Humnos occurs some 17 times in the Septuagint, 13 of which are in the Psalms, six times in the titles. In 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Chronicles and Nehemiah there are some 16 examples in which the Psalms are called ‘hymns’ (humnoi) or ‘songs’ (odai) and the singing of them is called ‘hymning’ (humneo, humnodeo, humnesis). Odee occurs some 80 times in the Septuagint, 45 of which are in the Psalms, 36 in the Psalm titles.[19]

    In twelve Psalm titles we find both psalm and song; and, in two others we find psalm and hymn. “Psalm seventy-six is designated ‘psalm, hymn and song.’ And at the end of the first seventy two psalms we read ‘the hymns of David the son of Jesse are ended’ (Ps. 72:20). In other words, there is no more reason to think that the Apostle referred to psalms when he said ‘psalms,’ than when he said ‘hymns’ and ‘songs,’ for all three were biblical terms for (the) psalms in the book of psalms itself.”[20] To ignore how Paul’s audience would have understood these terms and how these terms are defined by the Bible; and then instead to import non-biblical modern meanings into these terms is exegetical malpractice.

    ---------- Post added at 04:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:46 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by austinww View Post
    A third option would be a threefold repetition akin to "iniquity and transgression and sin" (e.g. Exodus 34:7) or "signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds" (e.g. 2 Cor. 12:12) or "the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments" (e.g. Deut. 6:1, 7:11), just to name a few.
    Bushell also says:One of the most common objections against the idea that in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 Paul is speaking of the book of Psalms is that it would be absurd for apostle to say, “sing psalms, psalms, and psalms.” This objection fails to consider the fact that a common literary method among the ancient Jews was to use a triadic form of expression to express an idea, act, or object. The Bible contains many examples of triadic expression. For example: Exodus 34:7—“iniquity and transgression and sin”; Deuteronomy 5:31 and 6:1—“commandments and statutes and judgements”; Matthew 22:37—“with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (cf. Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27); Acts 2:22—“miracles and wonders and signs”; Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16—“psalms and hymns and spiritual song.” “The triadic distinction used by Paul would be readily understood by those familiar with their Hebrew OT Psalter or the Greek Septuagint, where the Psalm titles are differentiated psalms, hymns, and songs. This interpretation does justice to the analogy of Scripture, i.e., Scripture is its own best interpreter.
    Michael Cope
    Westminster Presbyterian Church - PCA (Covenanter by conviction)
    Fort Myers, FL

    "Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them...They achieve it. They do not achieve it unwittingly by 'doing what comes naturally' and they don't stumble into it in the course of amusing themselves. All excellence involves discipline and tenacity of purpose." John Gardner

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    nwink is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
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    Col 3:16 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

    My question for non-EPers...would it really be right to teach or admonish another Christian with the words of a modern hymn or a praise song? I think this verse also implies that one way we are to let the word of Christ dwell in us is through the singing of His Word.
    Nathan
    Member, Reformed Presbyterian (RPCNA)
    Indiana

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwink View Post
    My question for non-EPers...would it really be right to teach or admonish another Christian with the words of a modern hymn or a praise song? I think this verse also implies that one way we are to let the word of Christ dwell in us is through the singing of His Word.
    Certainly. Just as we can be taught and admonished with the words of Augustine, Calvin, Spurgeon, Schaeffer, etc
    Daniel
    Madrid, Spain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripel View Post
    Certainly. Just as we can be taught and admonished with the words of Augustine, Calvin, Spurgeon, Schaeffer, etc
    That's where we differ. If Spurgeon wrote a song that can be Biblically proven to be in error, is it ok for the elders to allow the congregation to sing that song? Should the elders allow the congregation to be taught and admonished/corrected while they take man-composed hymns/music in their hearts during corporate worship and sing those to the Lord?
    Nathan
    Member, Reformed Presbyterian (RPCNA)
    Indiana

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    How loudly should one sing the Psalms?
    CJ Rice
    Member Christ RPCNA
    East Providence, RI
    Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

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    From W.W. Barr, The Psalms and Their Use

    IX. No authority has been given to make or sing in the praise of God other songs besides those contained in the Bible. Such authority has been claimed, and the present practice of the large majority of professing Christians in the world would seems to indicate that there must be some good ground on which to base the claim. In this intentionally brief article, we cannot even note all the considerations that have b;en advanced in favor of using hymns of human composition in the worship of God. Most of these are of little moment, and do not at all touch the vital question of authority. In these late days that question is rarely referred to. The right to make and use hymns in worshiping God is assumed. When the question of authority is introduced, the reference is to Eph. v. 19, and the parallel passage in Col. iii. 16. It may be safely said (hymn-singers themselves being judges) that if there be not authority in these two texts of Scripture, for making and singing hymns in Gcd's worship, the authority is not in the Bible. We therefore quote the passages, and consider them. In Eph. v. 18, 19, Paul says : "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." The parallel passage in Col. iii. 16 is, " Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

    That these passages do not authorize the making and singing of hymns in the worship of God, seems to us to be clear from such considerations as these : (1) The word " Psalms," refers to the psalms of the Bible. This is so generally admitted by commentators that it may be regarded as a point settled. (2) The presumption is therefore that the terms " hymns" and " spiritual songs " likewise refer to the Scripture psalms. It can hardly be believed that the Apostle would link compositions of men with those of the Spirit of God; put them on the same level; assign to them the same use as matter of God's praise, and give to them the same efficiency in filling believers with the Spirit, and equal virtue as matter with which believers are to exhort one another. All this we must believe he has done, if " psalms " means the psalms of the Bible, and " hymns and spiritual songs" mean the uninspired compositions of men. (3) The three terms used by the apostle, have corresponding terms in the Hebrew psalter— psalms, hymns, songs. Those to whom the Apostle was writing were familiar with these in the Greek version of the Scriptures. They would readily understand him as referring to these. (4) The very Greek words which he employs are in the titles to the psalms in the Septuagint or Greek version. Paul and those to whom he wrote, no doubt, familiarly used this version. It is, therefore, morally certain that he referred to the scripture psalms, fs) The word "spiritual" qualifying "songs," is properly that which is produced by the Spirit. So Dr. Hodge regards it in every instance in which it occurs in the books of the New Testament on which he has commented, except in /his single instance. Mr. Barnes might be referred to as sustaining the same view. (6) The apostle is urging the right use of the " Word of Christ —that is, the Bible. Hymns and songs made by men are not the word of Christ. (7) If the reference in " hymns and spiritual songs," be to the compositions of men, then the apostle enjoins Christians without exception to make as well as sing these—an injunction with which the vast majority of Christians could not possibly comply. (8) It is inconceivable that the apostle would make it the imperative duty of the members of the Church at Ephesus and Colosse to make hymns with which to praise God. The most of them were just out of heathenism. What a hopeless task would our missionaries now assign their new converts, if they would impose on them the making of hymns of praise ! (9) If a work so important as making songs with which to praise God, has been assigned to the Church, it is amazing that no promise of the aid of the Spirit has been given for this end. We have the promise of help in prayer; but we have no promise of assistance in making hymns. (10) If the Church was commanded to make and sing her hymns, it is unaccountable that we have no record of an early attempt on her part to fulfil this obligation. Certainly no serious effort was made in the days of the apostles, or for a length of time after them. No hymns of those days have come down to us. Mr. Barnes candidly admits this. The oldest Christian hymn known to be in existence was written some two hundred years after Christ. In view of all these considerations, we submit that there is not authority in these passages of Scriptare for making and singing hymns in the worship of God. The great God whom we worship has given us hymns in his Word with which to praise him. He has not authorized uninspired men to make others. In the whole history of the Church given us in the Bible, there is no evidence that God was ever praised with an uninspired hymn. It is not his will that he should be so praised.
    Mark Koller, Pastor
    Dallas Reformed Presbyterian Church, RPCNA

    2250 Morriss Road, Suite 214, Flower Mound, TX
    www.exclusivepsalmody.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by seajayrice View Post
    How loudly should one sing the Psalms?
    Piercing screams are preferred.
    Michael Cope
    Westminster Presbyterian Church - PCA (Covenanter by conviction)
    Fort Myers, FL

    "Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them...They achieve it. They do not achieve it unwittingly by 'doing what comes naturally' and they don't stumble into it in the course of amusing themselves. All excellence involves discipline and tenacity of purpose." John Gardner

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    Quote Originally Posted by MLCOPE2 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seajayrice View Post
    How loudly should one sing the Psalms?
    Piercing screams are preferred.
    Indeed! However, I hope the RPW proscribes any Banshee wailing (for seekers and all)
    CJ Rice
    Member Christ RPCNA
    East Providence, RI
    Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by puritanpilgrim View Post
    Michael.... give this a listen. Dr. Richard Bacon does a good job showing the historical understanding and how St. Paul would have meant this phrase.

    Dr. Richard Bacon Music in the Worship of God
    That bumper music wasn't EP.
    Yes it was. EP has to do with worship on the Sabbath. It wasn't intended for Sabbath worship.
    Last edited by PuritanCovenanter; 11-18-2010 at 07:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seajayrice View Post
    Covenanters argue that those three words, "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs," are all used in the Septuagint with reference to inspired writings. Is argumentation from this translation of the O.T. valid? The New Testament writers knew this translation and quoted from it. But in its translating it was far from faithful to the Masoretic text.
    This seems like an invalid argument. To say that when the writers of scripture used the Septuagint they were using a less than faithful translation is saying that the Holy Spirit erred in transmitting truth through the Septuagint to the new testament authors. This doesn't hold water. While it is true that the Septuagint is not the most faithful translation of the Masoretic text it is also true that when the new testament authors used sections of it in the writing of scripture (as they often did) those parts were 100% faithful to what God said.
    Michael Cope
    Westminster Presbyterian Church - PCA (Covenanter by conviction)
    Fort Myers, FL

    "Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them...They achieve it. They do not achieve it unwittingly by 'doing what comes naturally' and they don't stumble into it in the course of amusing themselves. All excellence involves discipline and tenacity of purpose." John Gardner

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    Quote Originally Posted by MLCOPE2 View Post
    It seems that one of the disagreements between EPers and nonEPers is based on Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 regarding whether or not Paul is addressing types of psalms or categories of songs.
    That's not really correct. Even if these texts are interpreted as referring to categories of songs they still do not provide a warrant to compose songs to be sung in corporate worship. The exclusive aspect of the EP argument depends entirely on the restrictive nature of the regulative principle.
    Yours sincerely,
    Rev. Matthew Winzer
    Australian Free Church,
    Victoria, Australia

    "Illum oportet crescere me autem minui."

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    CIT
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLCOPE2 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seajayrice View Post
    Covenanters argue that those three words, "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs," are all used in the Septuagint with reference to inspired writings. Is argumentation from this translation of the O.T. valid? The New Testament writers knew this translation and quoted from it. But in its translating it was far from faithful to the Masoretic text.
    This seems like an invalid argument. To say that when the writers of scripture used the Septuagint they were using a less than faithful translation is saying that the Holy Spirit erred in transmitting truth through the Septuagint to the new testament authors. This doesn't hold water. While it is true that the Septuagint is not the most faithful translation of the Masoretic text it is also true that when the new testament authors used sections of it in the writing of scripture (as they often did) those parts were 100% faithful to what God said.
    I agree. The question then becomes is Paul quoting the Septuagint at this point?
    B

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    AustinW is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaplainintraining View Post
    The question then becomes is Paul quoting the Septuagint at this point?
    I don't think it is held that Paul is quoting the Septuagint, but that the use of the word "hymn" in the Septuagint is a more reliable indicator of what the word meant to Paul and his audience than the modern definition of the English term.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armourbearer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MLCOPE2 View Post
    It seems that one of the disagreements between EPers and nonEPers is based on Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 regarding whether or not Paul is addressing types of psalms or categories of songs.
    That's not really correct. Even if these texts are interpreted as referring to categories of songs they still do not provide a warrant to compose songs to be sung in corporate worship. The exclusive aspect of the EP argument depends entirely on the restrictive nature of the regulative principle.
    I don't quite follow. If a hymn or a spiritual song refers to something other than a psalm (of a different category than psalm), then it does in fact warrant the use of non-inspired songs in worship (that is, unless, some other inspired song book exists outside the psalter which is titled "Hymns and Spiritual Songs"). I don't believe that is what Paul is referring to here. I believe that this is in reference to the psalter, but if it isn't (which has yet to be shown by proper exegesis) then a case can be made for the use of uninspired hymns/songs in worship.
    Michael Cope
    Westminster Presbyterian Church - PCA (Covenanter by conviction)
    Fort Myers, FL

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  21. #21
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    Greetings:

    Unaware as I was of the nature of this thread - I started my own on the same subject. I am happy to abandon my own thread, and post here. The below is what I wrote:

    In observing the discussions that go on concerning the topic of Exclusive Psalmody the emphasis on both sides (at least from a Reformed perspective) is that of the Regulative Principle of Worship. But what appears to me is that what is really being debated is the interpretation of certain passages in the Scriptures.

    Therefore, instead of discussing the application of the Regulative Principle of Worship, I would like to take a different track. To discuss the interpretation of various passages in Scripture concerning Exclusive Psalmody to see if such an understanding is Biblical. In order to do this we all need to be on the same page concerning the principles of the interpretation of Scripture. Thus, I would ask all who would respond here to submit to the Westminster Confession (or London Baptist Confession) which says:

    The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly, 1:9.
    Thus, the question is posed to both EP and Non-EP'ers alike - How do you define your understanding of the passages in question from the Scriptures?

    Ephesians 5:19: Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

    How does the Bible define the bold above? Psalms? Hymns? and Spiritual Songs?

    I think that we all would agree that the word "Psalms" means the Book of Psalms? Those who may disagree will have to explain why such is not the case.

    The heart of the matter is this word found in the Scriptures called "Hymns." How does the Bible define the word?

    I will put forth one argument that I believe is compelling concerning the interpretation of this word, "Hymns."

    In the Greek the word that Paul uses here, and in Colossians 3:16, is the word "ὕμνοις" transliterated "humnois." The word is used in the New Testament in only two passages - here in Ephesians, and there in Colossians. So we are at an impasse concerning the interpretation of the passage.

    (In Mt 26:30 and Mark 14:26 the verb form is used "ὑμνήσαντες" hymnesantes in which all commentators - EP and non-EP alike - claim that Jesus and His disciples were singing exclusively from the Psalter - what is called the "Egyptian Hallel" - Psalms 113-118.)

    We can, however, look at how the word, "ὕμνοις" is used in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (called the Septuagint, or, LXX). In doing so, we can come to an understanding of how the Hebrew words were commonly understood by those who translated them into Greek.

    There are 18 uses of the word "ὕμνοις" in the Greek translation of the LXX. Sixteen of them are found in the Psalms. A sampling of them would be:

    2 Ch 7:6, ...ἔλεος αὐτοῦ ἐν ὕμνοις Δαυιδ... "mercy of Him in the hymns of David..."

    Here we find that the Church was singing exclusively the hymns that David wrote.

    Neh 12:46, ...ᾀδόντων καὶ ὕμνον καὶ αἴνεσιν τῷ θεῷ... "sing a hymn of praise to God..."

    They sang "hymns of praise to God" given to them by David and Asaph.

    Ps 39:4, ...καινόν ὕμνον τῷ θεῷ... "a new hymn to God."

    This is often interpreted in an eschatological sense - that is - that these "new hymns" are the new songs sung by the Church today - "Amazing Grace", "And Can It Be", etc... However, the accusative singular found here, as well as the context, lends the interpretation of the phrase "new hymn" to be the Psalm itself. That is, what the Psalmist is singing is the "new song/hymn." This is evident in the other uses of "new song" so I will pass on from here.

    Ps 71:20, ἐξέλιπον οἱ ὕμνοι Δαυιδ τοῦ υἱοῦ Ιεσσαι, "this ends the hymns of David the son of Jesse."

    The Psalter here is referred to as the "hymns of David."

    Ps 75:1, εἰς τὸ τέλος ἐν ὕμνοις ψαλμὸς τῷ Ασαφ ᾠδὴ πρὸς τὸν Ἀσσύριον, "in the end the hymns, psalms of Asaph songs with the (harp?)"

    Here we have all three classifications that Paul uses in Ephesians and Colossians - "hymns, psalms, and songs (odes)." The three terms here specifically refer to the Psalter.

    Is 42:10, ὑμνήσατε τῷ κυρίῳ ὕμνον καινόν ἡ ἀρχὴ αὐτοῦ δοξάζετε τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ ἀπ᾽ ἄκρου τῆς γῆς... "Sing to the Lord a new hymn in the beginning of Him and Praise the name of Him to the ends of the earth..."

    Here is an eschatological reference wherein Isaiah is foreseeing the Gentiles will sing the praises of God just as the Israelites. The Gentiles will come into the same salvation as the Jews, vs 6, then they will also posses the same songs, vs 10. It is a new thing for the Gentiles to do so, because the oracles of God were given only to Israel, and, the "new hymns" were also the peculiar treasure of the Jews. However, in the New Testament the praise of God is opened up to the Gentiles, and now they partake of the praises of God in the Psalter. Before, the Jews were unable to sing God's praise in a strange land, Ps 137:2-4. But, now, in the New Testament, the songs of Holy praise and joy will be sung to the ends of the earth.

    I find there are interpretative difficulties in trying to understand the term "hymns" as used by Paul in his epistles to mean anything other than the Psalms of David. One could even look at 1 Corinthians 14:26 and see that "hymns" and "songs" are included in the word "Psalm."

    The challenge, then, is for the non-EP group to come up with an interpretation of the passages in question without assuming the modern day understanding of the term "hymn." But, instead, showing that the 1st Century Christians understood the term as not being the Psalter.

    I look forward to an interesting discussion.

    Blessings,

    Rob
    Last edited by CalvinandHodges; 11-19-2010 at 09:43 AM.
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  22. #22
    seajayrice's Avatar
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    What about Dr. Pratt's take on the RPW?



    The Regulative Principle
    by Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr.
    The regulative principle is currently the subject of no small controversy in Reformed circles. Some Reformed thinkers and churches have appealed to it to bar the use of contemporary praise songs in public worship, some to insist on the use of Psalms only, and some even to eliminate musical instruments. Partially in response to this, others have determined that the regulative principle is unbiblical, and that it should be abandoned altogether.

    I would like to suggest that all these viewpoints are incorrect. The regulative principle is quite biblical, if it is properly understood and applied. Unfortunately, today it is very often misunderstood and misapplied, such as by those who would use it to prohibit the use of modern praise songs or of instruments.

    I think it is helpful to conceive of the regulative principle in terms of the following various emphases:
    1. Worship was more tightly regulated by Old Testament Law than were many other areas of life. This gives credibility to the belief that we should be more concerned with specific scriptural teachings regarding worship than we should about its statements on other areas of life such as car mechanics, grocery shopping, etc. Thus, the motivation behind the regulative principle is correct.

    2. The Westminster Confession of Faith 21.1 provides a very common statement of the regulative principle:

    “The acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by
    Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be
    worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the
    suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way
    not prescribed in the Holy Scripture.”

    The word “prescribed” has frequently led to the types of narrow assertions listed above, i.e., that we ought not to sing songs other than the Psalms or to use musical instruments in worship. A more helpful formulation of the regulative principle is: “We must have positive biblical support for all that we do in worship.” This formulation keeps us from a Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, or other model. But it also acknowledges the hermeneutical complexities of deriving directives for worship from the Bible.

    3. The regulative principle was developed primarily: a) to exclude Roman Catholic idolatry from worship; and b) to protect the liberty of conscience against the enforcement of Anglican liturgical orders. These two concerns are just as relevant today as they were when the regulative principle was developed — we must continue to reject idolatry and to protect liberty of conscience.

    4. To apply the regulative principle appropriately today, we cannot simply repeat the way it was applied in earlier centuries. Rather, we must identify the idols and attacks on liberty of conscience that are present among our churches today. This will differ from church to church and from time to time. One of the principles which the Reformation embraced was ecclesia semper reformanda est — the church is always reforming. This means that we cannot represent the Reformed tradition without re-presenting it. Simply to repeat it is not to represent it at all.

    5. What idols do we have in our churches today? Each church must answer this question with sincere self-evaluation. It is worth noting in this regard that our modern churches frequently employ five popular models which involve much idolatry. Evangelicals tend to reduce the throne room experience of worship to: a) a classroom for learning; b) a family reunion for mutual encouragement; c) a welcome wagon for visitors and seekers; d) a therapist’s couch for psychological healing; and/or e) a variety show for entertainment. None of these models is entirely wrong, but when any of these becomes the central model for worship, it also becomes idolatrous.

    In many Reformed churches today, the idol is intellectualism. We turn worship into a classroom for learning. This emphasis on intellect was appropriate in earlier historical periods, and may become necessary again some day. But just as Hezekiah destroyed Moses’ bronze serpent because it became and idol, we must destroy the tendency toward intellectualism that has become an idol in worship for many of us. There are other worship idols as well, and these must become the focus of our attention as we apply the regulative principle today.

    6. What are the attacks on liberty of conscience in worship today? It is difficult to identify such attacks today because we have so much freedom to choose between one church or another. Conscience can be followed in the situations in which most of us find ourselves today. Ironically, perhaps the closest thing in Reformed circles to the Anglican book of prayer is the insistence of some on particular practices such as Psalm singing. The biblical support for insisting that Psalms be sung (and sometimes exclusively) in every worship service is weak to say the least. In effect, it reflects the convictions of some being forced on others. This violates the regulative principle, and must be rejected in the spirit of the reformation.

    It is time for those devoted to continuing the Reformation to revive commitment to the regulative principle. The regulative principle has characterized our tradition for centuries, and we must stop yielding exclusive claim to it to those who have idealized its past applications. We should move forward by applying it in new ways so that we may worship God in the Spirit and in truth
    CJ Rice
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    Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

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    MLCOPE2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seajayrice View Post
    The biblical support for insisting that Psalms be sung (and sometimes exclusively) in every worship service is weak to say the least. In effect, it reflects the convictions of some being forced on others. This violates the regulative principle, and must be rejected in the spirit of the reformation.
    This offers no exegetical response to the passages in question.
    Michael Cope
    Westminster Presbyterian Church - PCA (Covenanter by conviction)
    Fort Myers, FL

    "Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them...They achieve it. They do not achieve it unwittingly by 'doing what comes naturally' and they don't stumble into it in the course of amusing themselves. All excellence involves discipline and tenacity of purpose." John Gardner

  24. #24
    JP Wallace's Avatar
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    I can't see how Dr. Pratt's description and analysis of the RPW makes any sense in parts.

    He writes this,

    "I would like to suggest that all these viewpoints are incorrect. The regulative principle is quite biblical, if it is properly understood and applied. Unfortunately, today it is very often misunderstood and misapplied, such as by those who would use it to prohibit the use of modern praise songs or of instruments."

    So in essence the RPW is Biblical, however it is being misapplied today. Well that's a possibility for sure - even good principles can be misapplied out of zeal, etc..

    He says the RPW is biblical when properly understood and applied, unfortunately to him it appears the Westminster Divines and Reformers who championed it neither properly understood nor applied it properly because, de facto, they did exclude non-inspired [modern] songs and instruments.What he terms as current "misapplications" were de facto the RPW developers' "applications".

    While it is possible that they got the principle right and applied it wrongly, is it likely, were they so dim? Or, in truth if we define the RPW and its application a la Pratt, are we really talking about the same RPW as the historically held RPW at all? Do we not in fact have a different principle?

    Why does he say the principle is being misunderstood and misapplied "today"? If he is correct the RPW has never been properly understood until now not even by those who formalized it in the confessions!

    He says in conclusion that we should "revive" commitment to the RPW - but do so by essentially ignoring how it has been applied in the past by the Reformed churches. Given the historic way in which the RPW was applied and his rejection of it, is he not in fact concluding that we should "replace" it? I can understand that a new situation may arise that require it to be augmented or its applications changed slighty, I just can't see how you can go from "x application" to "non-x application" and still have the same principle lying behind those applications, which is what he is surely suggesting. The RPW has clearly been specifically applied in the ways he says it should not be specifically applied. How is rejecting the former application with opposite applications reviving the principle and not in fact replacing it with a new principle, surely the two applications are so different, indeed opposed that the underlying principle itself must be different?

    Now everyone is at liberty to create a new principle of worship if they wish, I'm just keen that if they do so that they do not continue to identify it with the historical RPW.
    Paul Wallace
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    Sorry. I thought Pratt's hermenutic might add to the discussion with an eye to avoiding eisegesis.
    CJ Rice
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    Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

  26. #26
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    Acts 17:10-11 "Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so."

    Dr. Pratt was dead on that there is a desire to get away from Catholic practices in the early Reformation. This would bias the findings of fallible men unless you want to elevate the Westminster Divines to the level of prophet. And If you claim Semper Reformanda, why not allow inspired hymns and spiritual songs?
    Gail

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    No need to be sorry, it made interesting reading.

    I also thought this statement was bizarre, and very surprising from virtually any Reformed theologian.
    Quote Originally Posted by seajayrice View Post
    The biblical support for insisting that Psalms be sung (and sometimes exclusively) in every worship service is weak to say the least.
    There is fully as much biblical support for singing Psalms in every service as there is to sing anything in every service. Sing Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs at the very least means sing psalms......whatever else it means it means that and I find it bizarre that Pratt would suggest otherwise. These are the two main texts that would give positive warrant for singing in public worship in a New Covenant context and as they give that positive warrant they equally give the same degree of positive warrant at the very least to sing psalms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by calgal View Post
    And If you claim Semper Reformanda, why not allow inspired hymns and spiritual songs?
    That same type of argumentation can be taken to any extreme that one wishes: Why not allow women elders? Why not ordain homosexuals? Why not this or that? Semper Reformanda should be in the direction of more pure and biblical worship, not a license for inclusivism.
    Michael Cope
    Westminster Presbyterian Church - PCA (Covenanter by conviction)
    Fort Myers, FL

    "Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them...They achieve it. They do not achieve it unwittingly by 'doing what comes naturally' and they don't stumble into it in the course of amusing themselves. All excellence involves discipline and tenacity of purpose." John Gardner

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    AustinW is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalvinandHodges View Post
    The challenge, then, is for the non-EP group to come up with an interpretation of the passages in question without assuming the modern day understanding of the term "hymn." But, instead, showing that the 1st Century Christians understood the term as not being the Psalter.
    It seems to me that this is the pressing question that needs to be answered if progress is to be made in these discussions.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by austinww View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CalvinandHodges View Post
    The challenge, then, is for the non-EP group to come up with an interpretation of the passages in question without assuming the modern day understanding of the term "hymn." But, instead, showing that the 1st Century Christians understood the term as not being the Psalter.
    It seems to me that this is the pressing question that needs to be answered if progress is to be made in these discussions.
    It has absolutely nothing to do with the modern day understanding. "Hymn" was one of the best attested words in the Greek speaking world at the time of the New Testament. To virtually every Greek, Roman, or quite frankly, anyone other than a learned Jew well steeped in the LXX (probably less than 0.00000001% of the population) it would mean "ode" or "song" usually with specific reference to Homer, Hesiod, or Pindar. To think otherwise would be like me saying "bacon" and assuming that my entire audience would jump to the conclusion that I meant round slices of ham (as in Canada) instead of strips of bacon.

    Actually, my scenario is probably 100x more likely than the LXX hymn argument.
    Fred Greco
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    AustinW is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
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    Thanks, Rev. Greco. I am very interested in the exegetical case that the other two words used in those passages refer to songs outside the book of psalms. As of now I wouldn't be able to defend this if someone asked me.

    Quote Originally Posted by fredtgreco View Post
    anyone other than a learned Jew well steeped in the LXX (probably less than 0.00000001% of the population)
    The Apostles seem to have known it well, and they were fishermen, a tax collector, etc., weren't they? Plus if they sang the psalms in synagogue and if they were referred to as "hymns" (I don't know), that would also inform their understanding of the word.

  32. #32
    JP Wallace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredtgreco View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by austinww View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CalvinandHodges View Post
    The challenge, then, is for the non-EP group to come up with an interpretation of the passages in question without assuming the modern day understanding of the term "hymn." But, instead, showing that the 1st Century Christians understood the term as not being the Psalter.
    It seems to me that this is the pressing question that needs to be answered if progress is to be made in these discussions.
    It has absolutely nothing to do with the modern day understanding. "Hymn" was one of the best attested words in the Greek speaking world at the time of the New Testament. To virtually every Greek, Roman, or quite frankly, anyone other than a learned Jew well steeped in the LXX (probably less than 0.00000001% of the population) it would mean "ode" or "song" usually with specific reference to Homer, Hesiod, or Pindar. To think otherwise would be like me saying "bacon" and assuming that my entire audience would jump to the conclusion that I meant round slices of ham (as in Canada) instead of strips of bacon.

    Actually, my scenario is probably 100x more likely than the LXX hymn argument.
    Well this is probably true. But surely it is not as simple as that. For a start words can have common meanings, even more that one, but we should determine their "theological" meaning as best we can from how they were used in Scripture or by those who received Scripture - "what did this mean to the reader". and not by democratic cultural usage. I'm not saying we can actually always do that, but surely it is desirable? Sometimes it may not be the common meaning outside the church.

    An example that comes to mind would be the meaning of baptizo (no I don't want that discussion started here and I'm not making any points even in passing) - it had a secular meaning to do with dyeing cloth among others, it can also mean sprinkle etc. My point is not to argue that but to say that surely we all agree that the theological meaning if at all possible should be established mainly from the aforementioned criteria? What did baptise mean to the believer in the 1st century given the biblical use or the usage of those who received it along with, or "over and above" its use in culture.

    Secondly, while what you write is true we still have to factor in the fact that there is little or no documentary evidence of any early hymnody. That could just be an accident of history and may not prove anything one way or the other - but it cannot be ignored.
    Paul Wallace
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    But if the sum total of the "theological" terminology is simply the presence of those terms in the LXX, the argument has not advanced.

    The question begins, in this case, with the claim--which is based not in the original text but upon a translational selection--that the NT refers to LXX usage. But for this to truly be established as a well-attested understanding of the NT passages in the early church, we need the testimony of fathers to that effect. Where is that testimony, to the effect that the Eph./Col. terms refer to distinct forms from the Psalter?

    Without that testimony, the LXX usage falls from any presumption to "normative" reckoning, so far as the Eph. and Col. passages are concerned. Indeed, the LXX renderings must themselves be interpreted in light of the contemporary (secular) usage of those terms. As "types" of music, the terms were borrowed by the translators to render Hebrew musical terms. The LXX choices aren't inspired, and the terms themselves haven't (by dint of the translation) taken on the presumed quality of "technical-liturgical" merely because they are used occasionally in worship settings.

    In other words, we need to get an assumed or smuggled premise in the argument out in the open, i.e. that the LXX translation is "true in every respect," and therefore normative--a high claim for any translation of Holy Writ. We don't claim it for the Vulgate, nor should we for the KJV (or any other English version), and the same warning holds for the LXX. Arguments based on such usage have their place, an important place; however, they are subject to criticism from cumulative lexical, grammatical, and historical grounds. If we find early attestation to the use of these terms in ecclesiastic-liturgical settings as "technical terms," that is strong evidence in favor of so reading. If that attestation is lacking, the argument is demonstrably presumptuous. It is certainly not conclusive.
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    AustinW is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
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    I don't think it is in question that the word for "hymn" was used by Greek-speaking people to mean "a song of praise to a deity" in general, not just the psalms. The question is whether, when Paul told his audience to sing hymns, they would have understood him to mean a hymn to the true God from outside the psalter; and if so, how do we know? What is the basis for this conclusion?

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    Austin,
    1Co 14:26 "What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, ..."

    In the context, such appears to be the product of the Spirit's movement, a distinctly New Testament utterance. So far as the specific answer to the question, "Did NT believers sing to God from outside the Psalter," the answer would be, "yes." Furthermore, there are a number of songs by saints in the Bible, recorded, but outside the Psalter. Frankly, it strikes this Christian as unreasonably restrictive to say that (at the very least) those songs in Scripture but outside the Psalter are prohibited in worship.

    The last consideration might be, "but these are all manifestly inspired, and no songs afterward are so inspired, thus rendering any post-canonical song illegitimate." However, this argument is not persuasive in the least, to anyone not given a pre-commitment to EP. The pattern of song-creation derived from Spiritual revelation is a part of the Scripture's witness, from the Pentateuch through to Revelation. This is a powerful cumulative argument for maintaining that same practice in a non-inspired form, even as preaching performs a like function, and (with even greater freedom) as prayers do.

    Naturally, it would be a grave error to neglect the Psalms, inasmuch as one would be undercutting the supreme basis for singing in worship at that point (one cannot sing his "hymns and spiritual songs," and NOT sing the Psalms). But we don't solve the problem of listless or irreverent singing in worship by constricting our praise-selection to the preset forms of the Psalter. There has been plenty of dead-Psalm-singing through the ages of the church.
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    AustinW is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
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    Thank you, Rev. Buchanan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    Austin,
    1Co 14:26 "What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, ..."

    In the context, such appears to be the product of the Spirit's movement, a distinctly New Testament utterance.
    Given the context of miraculous gifts of the Spirit, would you conclude that these believers were inspired to write these hymns, just as the NT prophets were inspired to bring their words elsewhere in the chapter?

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    In light of 1Co 14:26, Correct me if I am mistaken, somewhere along the line I learned that a Hymn wasn't necessarily set to music. A Hymn could also be prose just citing praise.

    Such as Calvin's Hymn to Christ.
    http://www.puritanboard.com/blogs/pu...hn-calvin-288/

    Here is Hymn from Dictionary.com
    hymn   
    [him] Show IPA
    –noun
    1.
    a song or ode in praise or honor of god, a deity, a nation, etc.
    2.
    something resembling this, as a speech, essay, or book in praise of someone or something.
    –verb (used with object)
    3.
    to praise or celebrate in a hymn; express in a hymn.
    –verb (used without object)
    4.
    to sing hymns.
    From what I understand a Hymn wasn't necessarily something set to music.

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    Quote Originally Posted by austinww View Post
    Given the context of miraculous gifts of the Spirit, would you conclude that these believers were inspired to write these hymns, just as the NT prophets were inspired to bring their words elsewhere in the chapter?
    Yes, I do think this was an extraordinary manifestation of the Spirit, in line with prophesies and other ecstatic utterance. But as I pointed out, the conclusion doesn't follow that in the afterward "ordinary means" period, that what we perform today is unconnected with the "extraordinary" period. We preach, based on the Scriptures given, we don't simply read the inspired Scripture. But before the Scripture was completed, there was prophecy that filled in for the incomplete revelation.

    The argument for EP essentially does not allow for "interpretation" or singing the theology that we confess. In its strictest form, it barely allows for any adjustment to the form of the words themselves in the least. Nor is it permissible to sing other Scripture.

    As with other prophecy, OT or NT, many such utterances are not preserved for our present day use. The question that obtains is this: are we warranted to follow the examples of the fact of the creation of new songs, based on the great works of God in redemption, using the inspired material we do have; or, are we limited to the precise expressions of praise (and that in the one collection, within the collection).
    Rev. Bruce G. Buchanan
    ChainOLakes Presbyterian Church, CentralLake, MI

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    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post

    The argument for EP essentially does not allow for "interpretation" or singing the theology that we confess. In its strictest form, it barely allows for any adjustment to the form of the words themselves in the least. Nor is it permissible to sing other Scripture.
    I am not sure I am understanding this point Rev. Buchanan. We have a Psalm explanation and exegesis every service. Then we also sing the Psalm.

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    AustinW is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    Yes, I do think this was an extraordinary manifestation of the Spirit, in line with prophesies and other ecstatic utterance. But as I pointed out, the conclusion doesn't follow that in the afterward "ordinary means" period, that what we perform today is unconnected with the "extraordinary" period. We preach, based on the Scriptures given, we don't simply read the inspired Scripture. But before the Scripture was completed, there was prophecy that filled in for the incomplete revelation.
    Doesn't the existence of preaching and teaching prior to the cessation of prophecy (in both Testaments) pose difficulties for this argument? If preaching is not an uninspired replacement of prophecy (because preaching already existed), how can preaching be similar to uninspired singing as a replacement of inspired singing? Come to think of it, the continuing command to sing psalms also poses a problem for this interpretation, because inspired song material can still be sung even while new Scripture cannot be written or spoken.

    ---------- Post added at 02:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:16 PM ----------

    Other than needing answers to those questions I did find your post very helpful, though, so thank you.

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