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OT Wisdom Literature discuss Christ in the Psalms -- E. S. McKitrick in the The Scriptures forums; "Christ in the Psalms," an essay by E.S. McKitrick, from John McNaugher , ed., The Psalms in Worship , is available online here: Christ in ...

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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Christ in the Psalms -- E. S. McKitrick

    "Christ in the Psalms," an essay by E.S. McKitrick, from John McNaugher, ed., The Psalms in Worship, is available online here:

    Christ in the Psalms
    Andrew

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    Brett McKinley is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Is his statement: "Christ is the central figure in" [the Psalms] accurate? It seems to me we ought to step back and say God is the central figure in the Psalms. Is there a need to descend to that particularity?

    Regards,
    Brett McKinley
    Elder, Pilgrim Bible Church (1689 LBC)
    Steilacoom, Washington.

    Charles Bridges on Proverbs 16:21a, "There is either a superstitious scrupulousness, or a reckless indifference; sometimes conscience about everything, sometimes about nothing. Prudent wisdom gives consistency to the whole system."

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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett McKinley View Post
    Is his statement: "Christ is the central figure in" [the Psalms] accurate? It seems to me we ought to step back and say God is the central figure in the Psalms. Is there a need to descend to that particularity?

    Regards,
    Christ is indeed the central figure of the Psalms. In the words of Augustine, "the voice of Christ and His Church is well-nigh the only voice to be heard in the Psalms." The Gospels speak of the life of Christ, and Christ is the central message of the Bible (which is why Biblical preaching is Christocentric), and the Book of Psalms is, as Luther said, like "a little Bible." To put it another way, the Song of Solomon is, on one level, imo, about conjugal love; but who can fail to see that Christ is the very Bridegroom spoken of? But the Psalms of David, in particular, are focused on Christ to a remarkable extent, as even Christ Himself stated (Luke 24.44). It shows us not just the external actions and words of Christ, but the very inward thoughts of his soul (cf. Ps. 22, for example). A good resource that demonstrates this theme is Andrew Bonar, Christ and His Church in the Book of Psalms.
    Andrew

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett McKinley View Post
    Is his statement: "Christ is the central figure in" [the Psalms] accurate? It seems to me we ought to step back and say God is the central figure in the Psalms. Is there a need to descend to that particularity?

    Regards,
    I trust that you are not tri- or bi- theistic?
    ~Jay~
    Husband of ENS, father of J II. | Indian Trail, NC
    disabled - cancer
    Communicant Member, Precentor | Presbyterian Reformed Church of Charlotte, NC | Presbyterian Reformed Church

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    Is Christ in the Psalms before he is in the NT? Is the statement true exegetically? Should we say "Christ is in the Psalms after Christ is incarnated?" That is, it is only after the incarnation and resurrection that one can "see" Christ in the Psalms. Thoughts?
    Last edited by Sydnorphyn; 02-27-2008 at 07:21 AM. Reason: add "
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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sydnorphyn View Post
    Is Christ in the Psalms before he is in the NT? Is the statement true exegetically? Should we say "Christ is in the Psalms after Christ is incarnated?" That is, it is only after the incarnation and resurrection that one can "see" Christ in the Psalms. Thoughts?
    The Old Testament saints certainly "saw" Christ, prior to the Incarnation, in theophanies (Gen. 18), prophetically (Ps. 22, 45, 110, et al.) and by faith (Heb. 11).

    S.M. Baugh, "Hermeneutics and Biblical Theology," in Modern Reformation 2/2 (November-December 1993):

    Thus we see that there is unity to the Old Testament revelation; it pointed to Christ, and the saints back then, like Abraham, saw Christ dimly and from afar, but truly. Revelation had progress, but in it, the Old Testament saint experienced a genuine encounter with Christ, albeit, a proleptic encounter.
    Christ Himself said:

    Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (John 8.56-58)
    and

    And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David's son? And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, it thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies thy footstool. David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son? (Luke 20.41-44)
    and

    44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. (Luke 24.44)
    If they saw Christ dimly, nevertheless, they saw Him; and if Christ expected the Pharisees / disciples to see Him in the Old Testament Scriptures, how much more should we see Christ in them, to whom the mysteries of God have been revealed in the fullness of His written word?
    Andrew

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    panta dokimazete is offline. Panting Donkey Machete
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    I would say that the fully revealed person, name and work cannot be seen in the Psalms without the NT.

    What do modern orthodox Jews see in the Psalms? They would say they see "christos" as well, right?
    JD Longmire
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    Brett McKinley is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    I tried to enjoy Bonar on the Psalms, but could not bear his hermenutic for the very reason you recommend him. I think his hermeneutic is not a Biblical one. I believe Luther was the one who proposed to "find Christ on every page". (I prefer Spurgeon, Kidner, Calvin, Plummer, Henry, & Horne.)

    If Christ is there, we ought to find Him, but to place Him there when He is not there, seems to be an unfaithful interpretation of Scripture. I trust we would use the grammatical, historical & theological interpretation. I want to be clear, indeed many Psalms speak of Him (e.g. Parts of 2,16,22,41 etc...), but not all; unless you would say all references to God refer to Christ. In this case, we would have to say they speak of the Holy Spirit as well and back to my original point that the central person of the Psalms is God: Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

    Regards,
    Brett McKinley
    Elder, Pilgrim Bible Church (1689 LBC)
    Steilacoom, Washington.

    Charles Bridges on Proverbs 16:21a, "There is either a superstitious scrupulousness, or a reckless indifference; sometimes conscience about everything, sometimes about nothing. Prudent wisdom gives consistency to the whole system."

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    But Christ clearly told us in Matthew 22 that David called Him 'Lord' in Psalm 110. So how was David in 900 BC able to call Jesus 'Lord' when Jesus was not already incarnate?

    Christ does not say, nor do we see anywhere else in Scripture, how much David actually 'knew,' nor how much Abraham actually 'knew' when Christ said Abraham looked forward to His day, and rejoiced. No such explicit rejoicing is mentioned in Genesis. But they were regenerate and trusting in Christ, nonetheless.

    Regarding the Orthodox Jews, they are still blinded by the veil of Moses, and obviously are not regenerate. David WAS. So was Moses, so was Elijah, and so they spoke with Jesus at the transfiguration.

    Now we are talking distinctives between dispensational and covenant theology, which speaking about the Psalms helps place in sharp focus.
    Randy Harris
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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Robert McWatty Russell, "Christ in the Psalms," in John McNaugher, ed., The Psalms in Worship, pp. 216-217:

    Much has been said about the absence of Christ from the Psalms, and the need, therefore, of songs presenting Him. There is much that is tender and seemingly commendable in this desire for fuller statement as to Christ's person and work in our songs; but when we find that in our Saviour's time the failure to see Christ in the Old Testament Scriptures was because of blindness, we may ask whether modern failure to find Him in the Psalms may not be attributable to the same cause. Our Lord certainly found the Psalms filled with references to Himself. He quotes David's words from the Psalter to show that David called Him Lord, and that therefore He was more than David's Son. In the quiet of the Upper Room with His disciples, in those precious hours after His resurrection, He emphasized His place in the thought of the whole Old Testament, saying, "These are My words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms concerning Me." There follows the declaration, "Then opened He their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures; and He said unto them, 'Thus it is written that Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name unto all nations.'"

    That Spirit-anointed eyes will find Christ in the Psalter is revealed by the testimony of New Testament writers. When Paul writes to the Colossians, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God," and immediately adds, "And whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him," he affirmed the close relation of Christ's word and Christly deeds with the Songs of the Psalter.
    Andrew

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    Quote Originally Posted by VirginiaHuguenot View Post
    Robert McWatty Russell, "Christ in the Psalms," in John McNaugher, ed., The Psalms in Worship, pp. 216-217:

    Much has been said about the absence of Christ from the Psalms, and the need, therefore, of songs presenting Him. There is much that is tender and seemingly commendable in this desire for fuller statement as to Christ's person and work in our songs; but when we find that in our Saviour's time the failure to see Christ in the Old Testament Scriptures was because of blindness, we may ask whether modern failure to find Him in the Psalms may not be attributable to the same cause. Our Lord certainly found the Psalms filled with references to Himself. He quotes David's words from the Psalter to show that David called Him Lord, and that therefore He was more than David's Son. In the quiet of the Upper Room with His disciples, in those precious hours after His resurrection, He emphasized His place in the thought of the whole Old Testament, saying, "These are My words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms concerning Me." There follows the declaration, "Then opened He their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures; and He said unto them, 'Thus it is written that Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name unto all nations.'"

    That Spirit-anointed eyes will find Christ in the Psalter is revealed by the testimony of New Testament writers. When Paul writes to the Colossians, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God," and immediately adds, "And whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him," he affirmed the close relation of Christ's word and Christly deeds with the Songs of the Psalter.
    While it is true that any person who has the Spirit of God dwelling in them will see Christ in the Psalms, I don't see where in the NT worship in Revelation where they are singing Psalms. They are singing Worthy is the Lamb that was slain. That is a new song. I believe it is right and appropriate to sing that.
    J Baldwin
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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBaldwin View Post
    While it is true that any person who has the Spirit of God dwelling in them will see Christ in the Psalms, I don't see where in the NT worship in Revelation where they are singing Psalms. They are singing Worthy is the Lamb that was slain. That is a new song. I believe it is right and appropriate to sing that.
    James Parker, "The Psalms in the New Testament Church" in John McNaugher, ed., The Psalms in Worship, pp. 124-125:

    This same assertion can be made concerning the prophetic utterances in the Book of Revelation, which are also supposed to furnish authority for the use of uninspired songs. These are fourteen in number. Some of them are called songs. All of them are inspired utterances. In this case there is no mention of singing. The word used to express their utterance is "saying." Where songs are introduced, they evidently express the sentiment of the worshippers, but do furnish a specimen of regular worship. If anyone accepts these as a directory of worship, he must be prepared to furnish each worshipper with a harp and golden viol while he is addressing God in song. The view that these poetic utterances reflected the usage of the Church in John's time could be entertained only by one who is so eager to establish a theory that he overlooks the fact that the contents of this Book are a revelation from heaven, not a reflection from earth.
    Andrew

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    Quote Originally Posted by VirginiaHuguenot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JBaldwin View Post
    While it is true that any person who has the Spirit of God dwelling in them will see Christ in the Psalms, I don't see where in the NT worship in Revelation where they are singing Psalms. They are singing Worthy is the Lamb that was slain. That is a new song. I believe it is right and appropriate to sing that.
    James Parker, "The Psalms in the New Testament Church" in John McNaugher, ed., The Psalms in Worship, pp. 124-125:

    This same assertion can be made concerning the prophetic utterances in the Book of Revelation, which are also supposed to furnish authority for the use of uninspired songs. These are fourteen in number. Some of them are called songs. All of them are inspired utterances. In this case there is no mention of singing. The word used to express their utterance is "saying." Where songs are introduced, they evidently express the sentiment of the worshippers, but do furnish a specimen of regular worship. If anyone accepts these as a directory of worship, he must be prepared to furnish each worshipper with a harp and golden viol while he is addressing God in song. The view that these poetic utterances reflected the usage of the Church in John's time could be entertained only by one who is so eager to establish a theory that he overlooks the fact that the contents of this Book are a revelation from heaven, not a reflection from earth.
    I don't see how you can so easily dismiss the singing in Revelation 5 because of the harps and viols.
    J Baldwin
    Keowee Presbyterian Church, PCA
    Pickens, SC
    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBaldwin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by VirginiaHuguenot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JBaldwin View Post
    While it is true that any person who has the Spirit of God dwelling in them will see Christ in the Psalms, I don't see where in the NT worship in Revelation where they are singing Psalms. They are singing Worthy is the Lamb that was slain. That is a new song. I believe it is right and appropriate to sing that.
    James Parker, "The Psalms in the New Testament Church" in John McNaugher, ed., The Psalms in Worship, pp. 124-125:

    This same assertion can be made concerning the prophetic utterances in the Book of Revelation, which are also supposed to furnish authority for the use of uninspired songs. These are fourteen in number. Some of them are called songs. All of them are inspired utterances. In this case there is no mention of singing. The word used to express their utterance is "saying." Where songs are introduced, they evidently express the sentiment of the worshippers, but do furnish a specimen of regular worship. If anyone accepts these as a directory of worship, he must be prepared to furnish each worshipper with a harp and golden viol while he is addressing God in song. The view that these poetic utterances reflected the usage of the Church in John's time could be entertained only by one who is so eager to establish a theory that he overlooks the fact that the contents of this Book are a revelation from heaven, not a reflection from earth.
    I don't see how you can so easily dismiss the singing in Revelation 5 because of the harps and viols.
    Revelation 5 also has incense. For the same reasons in the thread below, ie., the Book of Revelation is full of imagery from the abolished/fulfilled ceremonial worship, which is not the rule for Christian worship today, we see descriptions of worship in heaven which are not prescriptive for worship on earth today.

    An Offering of Incense?
    Andrew

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sydnorphyn View Post
    Is Christ in the Psalms before he is in the NT? Is the statement true exegetically? Should we say "Christ is in the Psalms after Christ is incarnated?" That is, it is only after the incarnation and resurrection that one can "see" Christ in the Psalms. Thoughts?
    John, can we broaden the picture a bit? To expand on your words, "is it only after the incarnation and resurrection that one can "see" Christ in the Old Testament?" I believe if we can see Christ before the Psalms it will have great effect on the Messianic references in the psalter. For example:

    John 8:52-58 52 The Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death.' 53 "Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?" 54 Jesus answered, "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is our God'; 55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 So the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."
    What is Jesus saying in John 8:56? Abraham's rejoicing is in the past tense. Is this because Abraham witnessed Jesus incarnation while in glory, or could it be the sureness of the promise that Abraham believed? In Genesis 16, 17 & 18 Abraham has encounters with God. In chapter 18 it is most certainly either a christophony or a theophony. Four times we read in Genesis 18, "So the LORD said." I think we can rightly conclude that Abraham had seen the pre-incarnate Christ, and knew him. If Abraham had met the LORD, does it not make it easier to see Christ in the Psalms?
    Bill Brown
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    Grace Baptist Church
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    Brett McKinley is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Sorry if I'm too slow on the draw. I was trying to gather my thoughts for such this important discussion.

    Regarding the Matt. 22 & Acts 2 quotes of Ps. 110. Do we not see in these verses "The Lord says to my Lord", The Father says to the Son. Also, later in the same psalm "The Lord has sworn...You are a priest forever", The Father declaring the eternal priesthood of the Son. These verses seem to reinforce my earlier suggestion that we see the Triune God throughout the Psalms (Contrasted with seeing Christ exclusively). In this case "Lord" is used to refer to Father & Son. cf. Ps. 2:2 "Against the Lord and His Anointed".

    Also, the prevous quote above from Russel: "Our Lord certainly found the Psalms filled with references to Himself." True, but this is very different from saying, Our Lord certainly found the EVERY Psalm filled with references to Himself exclusively. This is my bone of contention.

    Thanks for the sharpening.
    Brett McKinley
    Elder, Pilgrim Bible Church (1689 LBC)
    Steilacoom, Washington.

    Charles Bridges on Proverbs 16:21a, "There is either a superstitious scrupulousness, or a reckless indifference; sometimes conscience about everything, sometimes about nothing. Prudent wisdom gives consistency to the whole system."

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