?Difference in Psalters

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LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Question:

What is the argumentation for one psalter being acceptable and another not? Both are the psalms. The reason I ask is that I met a young gent this past Lord's Day that holds to this, but we didn't get a chance to discuss it. The two psalters in question are the Scottish Metrical Psalter over the Psalms for Singing.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Other than preference, it usually boils down to a difference over which is a better translation and more faithful to the original language. When my church was deciding on what psalter to go with that was the primary concern and we finally decided the old 1650 Scottish psalter had not been sufficiently improved upon to go with something newer.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Of consideration when evaluating different psalters:

1) faithfulness to the scriptures
2) metrical versification
3) appropriate tunes for congregational praise

I like the Book of Psalms for Singing. But it has a few flaws, in my opinion. I have a collection that includes a number of other versions which I have compared. But personally I -- and I think the Presbyterian Reformed Church, which uses the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter -- am in agreement with the divines (I have attempted, btw, to provide brief biographical sketches of almost all of them in the Church History forum) who penned the 1673 Preface:

A Puritan Preface to the Scottish Metrical Psalter

Below is the text (with some modernisation of spelling and punctuation etc.) of a letter to the reader affixed to an edition of the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter printed for the Company of Stationers at London in 1673. The title page bears the words: “The Psalms of David In Meeter. Newly Translated and diligently compared with the Original Text, and former Translations: More plain, smooth and agreeable to the Text, than any heretofore.”

Good Reader,

’Tis evident by the common experience of mankind, that love cannot lie idle in the soul. For every one hath his oblectation [way of enjoyment] and delight, his tastes and relishes are suitable to his constitution, and a man’s temper is more discovered by his solaces than by any thing else: carnal men delight in what is suited to the gust [taste] of the flesh, and spiritual men in the things of the Spirit. The promises of God's holy covenant, which are to others as stale news or withered flowers, feed the pleasure of their minds; and the mysteries of our redemption by Christ are their hearts’ delight and comfort. But as joy must have a proper object so also a vent: for this is an affection that cannot be penned up: the usual issue and out-going of it is by singing. Profane spirits must have songs suitable to their mirth; as their mirth is carnal so their songs are vain and frothy, if not filthy and obscene; but they that rejoice in the Lord, their mirth runneth in a spiritual channel: “Is any merry? let him sing psalms,” saith the apostle (James 5:13). And, “Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage,” saith holy David (Ps. 119:54).

Surely singing, ’tis a delectable way of instruction, as common prudence will teach us. Aelian (Natural History, book 2, chapter 39) telleth us that the Cretans enjoined their children to learn their laws by singing them in verse. And surely singing of Psalms is a duty of such comfort and profit, that it needeth not our recommendation: The new nature is instead of all arguments, which cannot be without thy spiritual solace. Now though spiritual songs of mere human composure may have their use, yet our devotion is best secured, where the matter and words are of immediately divine inspiration; and to us David's Psalms seem plainly intended by those terms of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” which the apostle useth (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). But then ’tis meet that these divine composures should be represented to us in a fit translation, lest we want David, in David; while his holy ecstasies are delivered in a flat and bald expression. The translation which is now put into thy hands cometh nearest to the original of any that we have seen, and runneth with such a fluent sweetness, that we thought fit to recommend it to thy Christian acceptance; some of us having used it already, with great comfort and satisfaction.

Thomas Manton D.D Henry Langley D.D. John Owen D.D.

William Jenkyn James Innes Thomas Watson

Thomas Lye Matthew Poole John Milward

John Chester George Cokayn Matthew Meade

Robert Francklin Thomas Dooelittle Thomas Vincent

Nathanael Vincent John Ryther William Tomson

Nicolas Blaikie Charles Morton Edmund Calamy

William Carslake James Janeway John Hickes

John Baker
 

Casey

Puritan Board Junior
Other than preference, it usually boils down to a difference over which is a better translation and more faithful to the original language. When my church was deciding on what psalter to go with that was the primary concern and we finally decided the old 1650 Scottish psalter had not been sufficiently improved upon to go with something newer.
Does your church use the KJV, too?
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Yes. We're on our second set of pew KJV bibles. For a pew psalter, we produced our own version of the 1650 Psalter which we call The Comprehensive Psalter. It is the text of the 1650 but not a split leaf psalter, which we simply found was to expensive and fragile to hold up as a pew psalter. We also assigned one tune to each setting, which is divided up to easily sing through the psalms every year in public worship, which is our practice.
Does your church use the KJV, too?
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
There are several churches now that have chosen it for a pew psalter (some Baptists; some Presbyterian). We printed around 2200 and I think we have maybe 500 left; maybe more, maybe less.
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
Yes. We're on our second set of pew KJV bibles. For a pew psalter, we produced our own version of the 1650 Psalter which we call The Comprehensive Psalter. It is the text of the 1650 but not a split leaf psalter, which we simply found was to expensive and fragile to hold up as a pew psalter. We also assigned one tune to each setting, which is divided up to easily sing through the psalms every year in public worship, which is our practice.

That is so cool! :cool:
 

pilgrim3970

Puritan Board Freshman
For a pew psalter, we produced our own version of the 1650 Psalter which we call The Comprehensive Psalter. It is the text of the 1650 but not a split leaf psalter, which we simply found was to expensive and fragile to hold up as a pew psalter. We also assigned one tune to each setting, which is divided up to easily sing through the psalms every year in public worship, which is our practice.

I have a copy - LOVE it, I have been meaning to buy a couple of more copies for family worship.
 

ADKing

Puritan Board Junior
Since this is a discussion about diffrerences betwen Psalters, Is anyone here familiar with the Psalter sold by Reformation Heritage Books?

Yes. It is used by the Free Reformed, Heritage Reformed and Netherlands Reformed Churches. It contains in addition to the Psalms some Scripture songs and a select few other songs. It also has the Three Forms of Unity and the forms employed by some of these churches. The music is written out with the words like the Book of Psalms for Singing.
 

pilgrim3970

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes. It is used by the Free Reformed, Heritage Reformed and Netherlands Reformed Churches. It contains in addition to the Psalms some Scripture songs and a select few other songs. It also has the Three Forms of Unity and the forms employed by some of these churches. The music is written out with the words like the Book of Psalms for Singing.

Pastor King,

Thanks for the response. That being the case, I'm guessing it is safe to assume that they contain many tunes that would be unfamiliar to many in the U.S.?
 
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