Do you prefer hymns over psalms?

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Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
Right. Which brings us back to square 1. What the EP position doesn't have is an explicit command to sing psalms. You can make a case that we should sing psalms, but what you cannot say is that we have a specific command to sing psalms to the exclusion of even other divine non-psalms.
Read all the other pertinent posts again, is all I can say J! :)
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
I think that the church not using the Psalms exclusively in her singing unto God has terribly weakened and dimmed her light and strength.
Because the Church is not EP, her light has dimmed? I respectfully disagree. Could it not be the lack of those in the pulpit to preach the whole counsel of God? A malnourished Bride from the lack of meditating on the Scriptures and wrestling with God in prayer? Succumbing to wordliness and a flippant view of personal holiness?
 
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Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
Because the Church is not EP, her fire has dimmed? I respectfully disagree. Could it not be the lack of those in the pulpit to preach the whole counsel of God? A malnourished Bride from the lack of meditating on the Scriptures and wrestling with God in prayer? Succumbing to wordliness and a flippant view of personal holiness?
I said light, not fire. And all those other things are contributing causes as well for a weakened church. But her lack of confessing together those things revealed in the Psalms could be part of the other problems, at least contribute to them.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
You can make a case that we should sing psalms, but what you cannot say is that we have a specific command to sing psalms to the exclusion of even other divine non-psalms.
Good and necessary consequence. If you need a specific command for everything, you'll be disappointed.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
Because the Church is not EP, her fire has dimmed? I respectfully disagree. Could it not be the lack of those in the pulpit to preach the whole counsel of God? A malnourished Bride from the lack of meditating on the Scriptures and wrestling with God in prayer? Succumbing to wordliness and a flippant view of personal holiness?
Improper worship, neglect of the Sabbath, a general disregard for God's law. These things all contribute to weakening the church. From an EP perspective, yes, the lack of psalmody is a tragic weakness.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
What the EP position doesn't have is an explicit command to sing psalms. You can make a case that we should sing psalms, but what you cannot say is that we have a specific command to sing psalms to the exclusion of even other divine non-psalms.
We are told to sing Psalms in many places in scripture. The exclusion principle u describe, is based on many factors. That being, we see no command to pen any songs for worship. We do not see any examples of this in scripture. History. The confession, to name a few.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
Got to get ready for church! But wanted to add a few thoughts- only God can bring times of reformation and revival. He holds ministers accountable and uses the means of discussion, debate, but overall fervent prayer for reformation and revival. As Tom mentioned, it’s more than our singing that is now tragically deformed in the worship of the visible church. Church history shows how God has brought about reformations and the resulting blessed uniformity of practice in the church. We have the privilege of praying for these things.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
Christ is in every psalm, and not merely hinted at.
I vividly remember the day and even the road where on my Hayabusa I began to recite Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.​
...and I saw it. Tears filled my eyes as the light broke through. I was singing to, with, and about my Lord Jesus. And He was delighting in me.

Hear the joy of Jesus both in His Father and His delight in us–the joy that was set before Him.
30 Then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him;
31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
(Jesus as Wisdom in Proverbs 8)​

I've never been the same.

You can't experience this with historical fictions like, O come, O come, Emmanuel
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
We are told to sing Psalms in many places in scripture. The exclusion principle u describe, is based on many factors. That being, we see no command to pen any songs for worship. We do not see any examples of this in scripture. History. The confession, to name a few.
We know for a fact that the early church penned hymns. Numerous ones. Phos Hilarion, Te Deum, etc. I am not saying that equals divine ordinance, but it is not true that we don't see this in history.
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
We know for a fact that the early church penned hymns. Numerous ones. Phos Hilarion, Te Deum, etc. I am not saying that equals divine ordinance, but it is not true that we don't see this in history.
I have also provided examples in this thread. The Odes of Solomon are dated to the first century. Even older are the Thanksgiving Hymns (Qumran Psalter). They found two copies in Cave 1. This also adds to the evidence that the practice of writing Psalms continued amongst Jews after the inspired Psalms were penned. We also now have fragments known as The Oxyrhynchus hymn (P. Oxy. XV 1786). This is the oldest surviving Greek hymn to contain lyrics and musical notations.
 
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G

Puritan Board Senior
I have also provided examples in this thread. The Odes of Solomon are dated to the first century. Even older are the Thanksgiving Hymns (Qumran Psalter). They found two copies in Cave 1. This also adds to the evidence that the practice of writing Psalms continued amongst Jews after the Conanonize Psalms were penned. We also now have fragments known as The Oxyrhynchus hymn (P. Oxy. XV 1786). This is the oldest surviving Greek hymn to contain lyrics and musical notations.
Robert,

When were the sources you mentioned discovered? Any linked “Light” reading summary on them?
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
Robert,

When were the sources you mentioned discovered? Any linked “Light” reading summary on them?
The Qumran Psalter/Thanksgiving Hymns/Qumran Hodayoth manuscripts were discovered in Cave 1 at Qumran. These are part of the collection known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Cave 1 was discovered in 1946. Countless journal articles have been written on these.

The Oxyrhynchus hymn (P. Oxy. XV 1786) was discovered in 1918 with some other ancient manuscripts. This is a Trinitarian hymn.

The Odes of Solomon were discovered in 1909. There have been hundreds of articles written on these. Here is a quick excerpt from Charlesworth:

"The extensive and pervasive parallels with the Qumran Hodayoth, the undeniable similarities with the ideas found in the Gospel of John that cannot be explained away by either the hypothesis that they are dependent upon John or that John depends upon them,23 and the possibility that Ignatius of Antioch may have known and even quoted from them cumulatively indicate that the Odes were probably composed sometime around A.D. 100.

Charlesworth, J. H. (1985). Odes of Solomon: A New Translation and Introduction. In The Old Testament pseudepigrapha and the New Testament: Expansions of the “Old Testament” and Legends, Wisdom, and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms and Odes, Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works (Vol. 2, p. 727). New Haven; London: Yale University Press."

To your question as to "light reading," I am not aware of too much. I've had to comb journal articles, most are not free, and books. This does not mean it does not exist. I will compile some stuff.
 
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Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
I only offer these documents to show that the practice of writing extra-Biblical Psalms and hymns is an ancient one. This does not prove they were used in worship. Although, the fact that the Qumran Psalter/Thanksgiving Hymns were found amongst some of the most important documents from the Dead Sea Scrolls and there were two copies shows they were held in high regard by that particular community.
 
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Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
I have also provided examples in this thread. The Odes of Solomon are dated to the first century. Even older are the Thanksgiving Hymns (Qumran Psalter). They found two copies in Cave 1. This also adds to the evidence that the practice of writing Psalms continued amongst Jews after the Conanonize Psalms were penned. We also now have fragments known as The Oxyrhynchus hymn (P. Oxy. XV 1786). This is the oldest surviving Greek hymn to contain lyrics and musical notations.
If the is true, in my mind the argument is pretty much over.
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
If the is true, in my mind the argument is pretty much over.
I have nothing to gain by offering false data. I am simply quoting scholarly consensus on ancient documents. I am only providing discussion from a historical standpoint.
I am still undecided on whether there is sufficient internal evidence to warrant EP. Like I said last night, I am still learning. I always will be while I am in this life.
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
If the is true, in my mind the argument is pretty much over.
Ryan,

Don’t assume the ignorance you and I both had towards these sources provides a slam dunk. This would be unwise as many wise men and women have remained EP with the same knowledge Robert provided.
 
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NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Let's holdoff the debate for the Lord's day and focus on agreement, positives, exhortations, edification, etc., here or on other forums and topics.
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
Ryan,

Don’t assume the ignorance you and I both had towards these sources provided a slam dunk. This would be unwise as many wise men and women have remained EP with the same knowledge Robert provided.
I agree. Please do not take my word for it. Study these things for yourself. I am a fallible sinner.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Thank you. I agree. Please accept my apologies for adding to this today.
Nothing against instruction or information; but this topic tends to bring out debate if not passions and outright contentiousness, exhibit the last few days and I think it would be good to give such things a rest as we do some topics on Lord's Days.
 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
So I think this point has a lot of weight to it which is convincing to me:

Here is Paul's language to the Corinthians: What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. 1 Corinthians 14:26

If Paul were talking about a common psalm from the cannon that all the church would have been familiar with, it wouldn't make sense that he is grouping these "hymns" in with other things like tongues, revelations, interpretations, etc. To me, Paul is making the case that these church members are bringing "new" things to the church that the rest are unfamiliar with, and they must be done orderly and decently.

Notice as well that Paul does not condemn the singing of these songs, but only says they should be done orderly and for the building up of the church.

How would you EP friends reply to this? Saying that the songs are psalms honestly doesn't make sense to me in the context Paul is addressing them.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
In other words, when you sing Psalm 72, what you are really singing in your heart is "Jesus shall reign where'er the sun, doth his successive journeys run..." You can't have it both ways. Either you are stuck in the types and shadows (glorious as they are) or you are really singing in your heart a New Covenant exposition of the psalms (your "man made" application of the psalm to Christ - note "man-made" does not mean wrong, or sermons would be ruled out). Which is what we do when we sing a hymn....
I freely admit that I am singing with a New Covenant understanding. As Paul says, we sing with understanding. The Psalms have only have one meaning, and the New Covenant meaning is the meaning. It's not a secondary layer of interpretation, but the primary point. Just the same as I read the works of other prophets in the Bible in a New Covenant understanding without seeing any need to supercede or alter even one jot and tittle of any of it. And I go so far as to say, if one cannot understand Christ as He is in the Psalms, there will always have a deficient understanding of Christ, whatever else you understand from the New Testament. The disciples spent three years with Christ, saw far more and learned much more than we ever read in the Gospels, a world of books like John says, yet they did not get Christ until the Psalms (with the Law and Prophets) were opened to them. Their minds weren't opened just to see that Christ was in them, but to know Christ from them.

Luke 24:45–48 (KJV 1900): Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.

Until the Old Testament was unlocked, there could be no power at Pentecost. The Psalms were the sharp arrows of Christ to pierce the heart of those who fought against Him (Ps 45). They did not need updated Psalms or songs--they needed to understand what the Psalms and prophets were truly about. And the people saw Christ so plainly from the opening of Psalm 16 and Psalm 110 (along with Joel 2) by Peter that 3000 were pierced, repentant, and baptized. What steadied the minds of the apostles when the Jewish leadership began to rage? Psalm 2. What kept eyes of the Hebrew Christians in Rome on Christ? In the fist two chapters of Hebrews, the author uses Psalm 2, 8, 18 (possibly), 22, 45, 102, 110. The use of the Psalms only steepens as you get through the Hebrews. Old Covenant era songs were New Covenant weapons.

Brother I know you understand these things. My point is that the Psalms as written were perfectly sufficient for the NT church to reveal Christ, and were indispensable to know Him in those times. And if indispensable, then Christ can be as plainly known from the Psalms as in the New Testament, evidenced by the fact that they were such a powerful weapon to convert and edify.

So I say, the Psalms are New Covenant songs.

It's not me alone, but one only need to pull out Spurgeon's "The Treasury of David" or Matthew Henry's commentary, read on the psalms I mentioned in the post you quoted, and they will never again fail to see Christ as clearly in those psalms as they see Christ in the New Testament, and in ways they never thought possible. In fact they will say, "How did I ever miss it?" At first we don't recognize Him. Like at the tomb, we are certain that they are the voice of the gardener that has laid Christ in a hidden place; then Christ shows Himself to the understanding, and in amazement and wonder we say, "Rabboni! Master!" Then we say, "Didn't our hearts burn within us as we read and sang them?" And again in the words of Thomas, "My Lord and my God!"

Minor Edit @ 8:20 AM
 
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Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
They did not need updated Psalms or songs--they needed to understand what the Psalms and prophets were truly about. And the people saw Christ so plainly from the opening of Psalm 16 and Psalm 110 (along with Joel 2) by Peter that 3000 were pierced, repentant, and baptized. What steadied the minds of the apostles when the Jewish leadership began to rage? Psalm 2. What kept eyes of the Hebrew Christians in Rome on Christ? In the fist two chapters of Hebrews, the author uses Psalm 2, 8, 18 (possibly), 22, 45, 102, 110. The use of the Psalms only steepens as you get through the Hebrews. Old Covenant era songs were New Covenant weapons.

Brother I know you understand these things. My point is that the Psalms as written were perfectly sufficient for the NT church to reveal Christ, and were indispensable to know Him in those times. And if indispensable, then Christ can be as plainly known from the Psalms as in the New Testament, evidenced by the fact that they were such a powerful weapon to convert and edify.
I like your point, brother, but we wouldn't have much of a need for a lot of the NT, if the OT were the only thing sufficient to know Christ. God chose to give us further clarifying revelation by giving us the NT, that we might believe, better understand, and see many more things of His will. If the OT were enough for us to know Christ and God's full plan of salvation, we wouldn't have a NT. The Psalms are awesome and founational, I just don't see why we would have to be limited to them.
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
I like your point, brother, but we wouldn't have much of a need for a lot of the NT, if the OT were the only thing sufficient to know Christ.
That misses his point. I think Harley is saying because of the realities that Jesus HAS revealed in the NT, we can now see a clearer and fuller meaning of the Psalms that was Always there, but could only be seen as there when the veil was torn (shadowy). Jesus did not change the Psalms, but illuminated them for his bride.
 
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