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Thread: Why did the post Apostolic Church sing hymns and not only psalms?

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  1. #1

    Why did the post Apostolic Church sing hymns and not only psalms?

    The church I attend, we use for worshipping two books; The Book of Psalter For Singing and the Trinity Hymnal. The latter contains hymns that were written by several Church Fathers. For example;

    1.) Ambrose of Milan, who had a great influence upon Augustine, wrote hymns for the Church when he lived (340-397). One of those hymns Luther translated in 1524 for the German Church.

    2.) Gregory the Great (509-604).

    3.) Gregory Nazianzen (325-390).

    4.) Clemens (348-413).

    5.) Clement of Alexandria ( lived around AD200).

    Etc.

    Can someone help me with the below questions that I have as a result from the above information;

    Were these Church Fathers in error in writing these hymns by going against RWP according to EP's?

    It seems that EP's say that the church has always sang psalms, do they mean in addition to hymns or that the Church of the OT always sang psalms?

    If the church in the OT always sang psalms, why do Jews sing other songs that are not psalms?

  2. #2
    They were not hymns but poetry....

    The musical tunes were not set to them until the 1800s... Each Hymn as two dates.. When the Poetry or Lyrics were written and the other was when the tune was composed and set to it....



    Quote Originally Posted by SolaGratia View Post
    The church I attend, we use for worshipping two books; The Book of Psalter For Singing and the Trinity Hymnal. The latter contains hymns that were written by several Church Fathers. For example;

    1.) Ambrose of Milan, who had a great influence upon Augustine, wrote hymns for the Church when he lived (340-397). One of those hymns Luther translated in 1524 for the German Church.

    2.) Gregory the Great (509-604).

    3.) Gregory Nazianzen (325-390).

    4.) Clemens (348-413).

    5.) Clement of Alexandria ( lived around AD200).

    Etc.

    Can someone help me with the below questions that I have as a result from the above information;

    Were these Church Fathers in error in writing these hymns by going against RWP according to EP's?

    It seems that EP's say that the church has always sang psalms, do they mean in addition to hymns or that the Church of the OT always sang psalms?

    If the church in the OT always sang psalms, why do Jews sing other songs that are not psalms?
    Michael Daniels
    Reformed, RPCNA
    Denton, Maryland

    [i][b]As For Me And My House, We Will Serve The Lord[/i][/b]

    [SIZE="1"][I][FONT="Century Gothic"]Unum Deum in Trinitate: Pater, Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus [RIGHT]Sola scriptura - Sola gratia - Sola fide - Solus Christus - Soli Deo gloria - Solum psalterium - Lex talionis[/RIGHT][/FONT][/I][/SIZE]

  3. #3
    A few examples...

    1) Let all mortal flesh keep silent..

    Words: Liturgy of St. James, 4th Century

    Music: Picardy, French carol melody; combined together in 1906


    2) O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

    Words: Bernard of Clairvaux, 1153 (Salve caput cruentatum)

    Music: Passion Chorale, Hans L. Hassler, Lustgarten neuer teutscher Gesäng, 1601

    3) Shepherd of Tender Youth

    Words: Attributed to Clement of Alexandria (Titus Flavius Clemens), circa 200

    Music: Olivet (Mason), Lowell Mason, 1831



    Additionally


    The Early church prohibited Hymns of uninspired composition... See the following...

    Const. Apost. ii. 57, speaks of chanting the Psalms of David.

    The Council of Laodicea (can. 59) prohibited the ecclesiastical use of "private hymns."
    Michael Daniels
    Reformed, RPCNA
    Denton, Maryland

    [i][b]As For Me And My House, We Will Serve The Lord[/i][/b]

    [SIZE="1"][I][FONT="Century Gothic"]Unum Deum in Trinitate: Pater, Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus [RIGHT]Sola scriptura - Sola gratia - Sola fide - Solus Christus - Soli Deo gloria - Solum psalterium - Lex talionis[/RIGHT][/FONT][/I][/SIZE]

  4. #4
    Also

    The Jews in the OT only sang Psalms....

    "the words of David, and of Asaph the seer" in 2 Chronicles 29:30


    Today, Jews do not follow much of their scripture nor any of the Old Testament requirements in many cases.....
    Michael Daniels
    Reformed, RPCNA
    Denton, Maryland

    [i][b]As For Me And My House, We Will Serve The Lord[/i][/b]

    [SIZE="1"][I][FONT="Century Gothic"]Unum Deum in Trinitate: Pater, Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus [RIGHT]Sola scriptura - Sola gratia - Sola fide - Solus Christus - Soli Deo gloria - Solum psalterium - Lex talionis[/RIGHT][/FONT][/I][/SIZE]

  5. #5
    So this poetry was not sang back then, but only compose for other spiritual matters besides being use for worshipping?

  6. #6
    Correct....

    But a few like "Let all mortal flesh keep silent" was a section that was spoken in a liturgy in the 4th century in worship and is part of a much larger work called the liturgy of Saint James.....

    Quote from Wikipedia:

    Many Western Christians, to their surprise, would know a small portion of the Liturgy through the hymn, Let all Mortal Flesh keep Silence. The tune to which it is sung in English today, however, is certainly not part of the original composition and is a French carol melody, Picardy, which first appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906.


    Quote Originally Posted by SolaGratia View Post
    So this poetry was not sang back then, but only compose for other spiritual matters besides being use for worshipping?
    Michael Daniels
    Reformed, RPCNA
    Denton, Maryland

    [i][b]As For Me And My House, We Will Serve The Lord[/i][/b]

    [SIZE="1"][I][FONT="Century Gothic"]Unum Deum in Trinitate: Pater, Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus [RIGHT]Sola scriptura - Sola gratia - Sola fide - Solus Christus - Soli Deo gloria - Solum psalterium - Lex talionis[/RIGHT][/FONT][/I][/SIZE]

  7. #7
    Luther sang and wrote uninspired songs, can we say that he was in error about this?
    While Calvin's Church in Geneva (St. Peters) only sang psalms, therefore returned to a biblical form of RWP ?

  8. #8
    There is a historical account from a secular source - Pliny the Elder, I believe, that witnessed and testified that Christians sang hymns as the secular source understood the contemporary usage of the term.
    JD Longmire
    Membership in Process
    1st Pres Ocean Springs, MS

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by panta dokimazete View Post
    There is a historical account from a secular source - Pliny the Elder, I believe, that witnessed and testified that Christians sang hymns as the secular source understood the contemporary usage of the term.
    Pliny the Elder (a pagan) described to his boss what he saw going on using language he knew. I thought he called it the singig of anthems. He also said that the congregation was led by a president!
    Richard
    CofE
    UK

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by AV1611 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by panta dokimazete View Post
    There is a historical account from a secular source - Pliny the Elder, I believe, that witnessed and testified that Christians sang hymns as the secular source understood the contemporary usage of the term.
    Pliny the Elder (a pagan) described to his boss what he saw going on using language he knew. I thought he called it the singig of anthems. He also said that the congregation was led by a president!
    It is anachronistic to assume an ancient commentator's use of a certain word means how we use it in the 21 century West.

    I wonder if anyone wants to start posting "secular" sources and early Church Father's commentaries and thoughts on drum beating (and other instruments of localized pagan worship) in the Worship of God.

    Unfortunately, I am against the clock.
    Chris Mangum
    Mount Croghan, SC
    Christ Bible Church
    Pageland, SC

  11. #11
    Of course this can be circular yet again...

    But a Hymn in the first century was a Psalm and Pliny was referring to a Psalm.....

    Remember, Christ sung a Hymn after the Passover and it was a Psalm, I believe Psalm 116?
    Michael Daniels
    Reformed, RPCNA
    Denton, Maryland

    [i][b]As For Me And My House, We Will Serve The Lord[/i][/b]

    [SIZE="1"][I][FONT="Century Gothic"]Unum Deum in Trinitate: Pater, Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus [RIGHT]Sola scriptura - Sola gratia - Sola fide - Solus Christus - Soli Deo gloria - Solum psalterium - Lex talionis[/RIGHT][/FONT][/I][/SIZE]

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunaer View Post
    Of course this can be circular yet again...

    But a Hymn in the first century was a Psalm and Pliny was referring to a Psalm.....

    Remember, Christ sung a Hymn after the Passover and it was a Psalm, I believe Psalm 116?
    Actually the Greek does not imply the singular as the English translation does. He sang Psalms 115-118 or possibly 116-118 (cant think off the top of my head).
    Richard
    CofE
    UK

  13. #13
    This has probably already been addressed elsewhere and might be appropriate to start a new thread, but what is the EP explanation for why Paul refers to singing Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs if they are considered to be synonymous?
    Chris
    Currently seeking a church--in transition
    One Pilgrims Progress |Twitter

    And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. Luke 19:13

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrim View Post
    This has probably already been addressed elsewhere and might be appropriate to start a new thread, but what is the EP explanation for why Paul refers to singing Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs if they are considered to be synonymous?
    As I said here:

    Both Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 speak of singing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”. These all describe the Psalter. “Psalms” refer obviously to psalms; “hymns” refer to psalms for as John Gill wrote, "I take hymns to be but another name for the book of psalms; for the running title of that book may as well be, the book of hymns, as of psalms" but what of “spiritual songs”? A simple glance at the titles of a number of psalms will find them called songs as are Psalms 18, 30, 45, 46, 48, 65-68, 75, 76, 83, 87, 92, 108, and 120-134. They are called “spiritual” because they were written by the Spirit of God (2 Peter 1:21) and composed for spiritual edification. Do you find it odd that St. Paul would use three different words in one sentence to describe the same thing? I would point out that this is done in a number of places including Genesis 26:5, Exodus 34:7, Deuteronomy 8:11, 1 Kings 2:3, Nehemiah 1:7 and Acts 2:22.
    Richard
    CofE
    UK

  15. #15
    It is a Tradic Expression...

    Common in Hebrew Culture...

    Commandments, Statutes, and Judgments

    Signs, Wonders and Miracles

    Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs....

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrim View Post
    This has probably already been addressed elsewhere and might be appropriate to start a new thread, but what is the EP explanation for why Paul refers to singing Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs if they are considered to be synonymous?
    Michael Daniels
    Reformed, RPCNA
    Denton, Maryland

    [i][b]As For Me And My House, We Will Serve The Lord[/i][/b]

    [SIZE="1"][I][FONT="Century Gothic"]Unum Deum in Trinitate: Pater, Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus [RIGHT]Sola scriptura - Sola gratia - Sola fide - Solus Christus - Soli Deo gloria - Solum psalterium - Lex talionis[/RIGHT][/FONT][/I][/SIZE]

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by thunaer View Post
    It is a Tradic Expression...

    Common in Hebrew Culture...

    Commandments, Statutes, and Judgments

    Signs, Wonders and Miracles

    Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs....

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrim View Post
    This has probably already been addressed elsewhere and might be appropriate to start a new thread, but what is the EP explanation for why Paul refers to singing Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs if they are considered to be synonymous?
    Psalm 119 has about 119 +/- examples of them.
    Chris Mangum
    Mount Croghan, SC
    Christ Bible Church
    Pageland, SC

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