Is the name of Jesus important in worship?

Is it important to integrate the name of Jesus into public worship?


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Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'd have a little bit more to work with if you would stay with the same argument for more than a few posts. I'm having trouble figuring out just what exactly you're arguing for.

Are the Psalms deficient because they don't have the Greek word "Jesus" in them?

Is the RPW deficient because it pits the 2nd commandment against the third?

Can songs not have the Greek word "Jesus" in them and still be acceptable? If the answer to this question is "yes," then I don't even see what the point of this thread is. You said you liked Piper's ditty so what's your problem with the 2nd commandment's divine authorization of only the Psalms?

I really do appreciate that you've moved on, at least for a moment, from the "sing a new song" mantra and become a little more creative but keeping up with just what it is you're trying to get across throughout this thread has been difficult.
:ditto::amen::agree: :D

JD, If you acknowledge that we can sing songs in worship that do not include the word "Jesus," then you can't argue that we are required, whether by explicit command, approved example, or good and necessary consequence, to use the word "Jesus" in our songs. You should therefore have no problem with practical exclusive psalmody, although you protest vigorously against doctrinal exclusive psalmody -- since actually maintaining this as a principle precludes the singing of any songs which include the word "Jesus," which you insist is wrong because of the requirement of Scripture by good and........oh wait, never mind. ;)
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
jdlongmire said:
Because Jesus, though the Apostle Paul, gave the NT church that liberty.

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

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing each other, in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, in grace singing in your hearts to the Lord;
JD, how do those abrogate the requirement for appointment? Could you please explain the meaning of those verses, demonstrating that those passages demand the interpretation that appointment for particularly defined texts has been abrogated? (And you still didn't answer the question, what exactly is so different between these two dispensations, as to require the abrogation of such a requirement.)
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I'd have a little bit more to work with if you would stay with the same argument for more than a few posts. I'm having trouble figuring out just what exactly you're arguing for.
Whose weakness is that?

Are the Psalms deficient because they don't have the Greek word "Jesus" in them?
They do not completely fulfill the command to worship in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.

Is the RPW deficient because it pits the 2nd commandment against the third?
The RPW is not deficient in that it does not require EP.

Can songs not have the Greek word "Jesus" in them and still be acceptable? If the answer to this question is "yes," then I don't even see what the point of this thread is. You said you liked Piper's ditty so what's your problem with the 2nd commandment's divine authorization of only the Psalms?
Because EP implicitly forbids and determines it to be a sin for the name of Jesus to be included in the element of public worship song ever.

I really do appreciate that you've moved on, at least for a moment, from the "sing a new song" mantra and become a little more creative but keeping up with just what it is you're trying to get across throughout this thread has been difficult.
lol - I haven't "moved on" - it is just not a prominent part of this discussion.

I'm just taking note of the fact that you have been trying to place everyone else's arguments under meticulous logical scrutiny, continuously pointing out "this false premise" or "that false premise" or that "wrong conclusion" or that reductio ad absurdum while at the same time putting forth arguments characterized by reductio ad absurdum of the highest absurdity.
And you have demonstrated this assertion how, exactly?
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
Todd - I have never said that a song can't praise Jesus without mentioning his explicit name. The song you quoted with the Piper addition I think is a fine spiritual song used in the proper context.
Okay. Your contention was, though, that the Psalms cannot exclusively be used because they do not sufficiently give praise to Jesus (because his Greek name is missing from them).


Why would using their logic against their conclusion be an error? - it is a common logic tool - reductio ad absurdum.
But that's not what you were doing, it didn't seem. YOu weren't
critiquing Q&A 54, but you were using it to support your position of
anti-EP. All I was saying that in order to use that answer in that
way is absurd, since they would very likely argue that to sing Jesus'
name in worship is an inappropriate use of his name. They would not,
nor do I, nor does any EP, consider the non-use of "Jesus" in worship
song a violation of the 3rd commandment.

Would it be a sin to ever utter Jehovah Jireh in the Lord's Supper?
Why would it be? Are the words for the Lord's Supper prescribed?
Not that I can see. However, according to EP, the worship songs to
use are prescribed.

You keep using the EP conclusion to deny the first order premise.
Just what is the first order premise you think EP denies?

Who does the ordering, anyway?

If it is a sin to use Jesus' name in song (which EP implicitly confirms) - that contradicts the 3rd commandment as it applies the element of worship song.
Why does EP contradict the 3rd commandment?

If the 3rd commandment is a higher priority on the content of worship - it helps resolve the foundational premise of EP - the Apostle Paul was commanding only the 150 Psalms when he commanded psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Paul would not be contradicting the commandment and it would also be consistent (if you study Scripture) with his usage of the explicit name of Jesus in his writings.
I really don't see how this argumentation helps anything concerning the practice of EP. You've not proven that EP is a contradiction of the
3rd commandment in any way - rather, it seems to me that you're taking AS A PREMISE the statement that EP violates the 3rd commandment, since nowhere have you produced any other Scriptural backing.

I am bowing out of this - we're talking past each other. You can certainly have the last word (between us anyway).
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
jdlongmire said:
No - I am just using your references to make my argument. I believe that EP proponents have made a fundamental flaw in their reasoning.
The third commandment does not require that all of God's titles be employed in our singing of God's praise. This is not said in the Catechism, nor (more importantly) in Scripture. This appears to be "a fundamental flaw in (your) reasoning."

Acts 4:12. Are people saved because of the sounding of a two-syllable word, or because of the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ?
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
JD, how do those abrogate the requirement for appointment? Could you please explain the meaning of those verses, demonstrating that those passages demand the interpretation that appointment for particularly defined texts has been abrogated? (And you still didn't answer the question, what exactly is so different between these two dispensations, as to require the abrogation of such a requirement.)
Because in light of the 3rd commandment and in light of the revealed name of Jesus, we should include the Psalms of David, but we should also write new songs (hymns and spiritual songs) that include the revealed name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
jdlongmire said:
They do not completely fulfill the command to worship in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.
You're now shifting your argumentation, from the question of whether or not the word "Jesus" needs to appear in our songs, to a bare reading of those two texts. This is, incidentally, what David was referring to when he said that you don't stick with the same line of argument for more than a few posts.
jdlongmire said:
The RPW is not deficient in that it does not require EP.
God appointed the Psalms for singing in public worship under the Old Testament. That appointment has not been relaxed, abrogated, or expanded to encompass other texts. God's regulation is coextensive with His appointment. Ergo, the RPW requires EP.
jdlongmire said:
Because EP implicitly forbids and determines it to be a sin for the name of Jesus to be included in the element of public worship song ever.
EP explicitly forbids the use of any unappointed songs. God has commanded the use of songs of His own inspiration and appointment. He has not commanded the use of any other songs, whether or not the word "Jesus" appears therein. It seems that, in the Bible's discussion of song in worship, the Psalms take all precedence and priority; I still haven't found where the Bible declares it to be important that the word "Jesus" gets included in our songs.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I still don't understand the whole EP debate. I've read many of the articles and links posted on the subject and at best I find a strong case for EP, but not an exclusive mandate. I am thankful that the EP side has awakened my interest in the psalms. They should be an integral part of our worship in song. I'm just not sold on the exclusivity position. Some have become so particular on the EP issue that it becomes the make or break litmus test of the church they will attend. For example: I'm a Baptist and would prefer to be part of a local body that is Baptistic. If I was looking for a Baptist church and found one that had solid preaching, proper implementation of the sacraments/ordinances of the church, exhibited the love of Christ and was EP, I would have no problem aligning myself with that body.
:ditto:
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Because in light of the 3rd commandment and in light of the revealed name of Jesus, we should include the Psalms of David, but we should also write new songs (hymns and spiritual songs) that include the revealed name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.

I asked a simple question. It did not involve the third commandment, the use of the word "Jesus," etc. You shifted the argument to Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, and indicated that those relaxed or abrogated the requirement for the appointment of defined texts for our singing God's praise. How do those texts relax that abrogation? Where do they even imply that that is the meaning to be attached to "hymns and spiritual songs"?

Again, the third commandment does not require that every name of God be sung in public worship. No one believes that -- not even you.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Okay. Your contention was, though, that the Psalms cannot exclusively be used because they do not sufficiently give praise to Jesus (because his Greek name is missing from them).
My contention is that the Psalms do not completely fulfill the command to worship God in song, since they never, ever mention the revealed name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus.

They may imply and prophesy "christos", but they are no more a complete revelation of Jesus than the OT alone is.

I agree that we may sing them in light of the NT revelation, but you would no more sing them exclusively than you would exclusively preach the OT or exclusively pray as the OT taught.

EP not only denies this contention - it also makes it a sin to compose any song ever for public worship that has the revealed name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus.

But that's not what you were doing, it didn't seem. YOu weren't
critiquing Q&A 54, but you were using it to support your position of
anti-EP. All I was saying that in order to use that answer in that
way is absurd, since they would very likely argue that to sing Jesus'
name in worship is an inappropriate use of his name. They would not,
nor do I, nor does any EP, consider the non-use of "Jesus" in worship
song a violation of the 3rd commandment.
If you don't see any potential absurdity in this statement:
to sing Jesus' name in worship is an inappropriate use of his name
Then I concur with your concluding statement below.

I am bowing out of this - we're talking past each other. You can certainly have the last word (between us anyway).
Blessings in the name of Jesus Christ.
 
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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Whoa, whoa, whoa.

I asked a simple question. It did not involve the third commandment, the use of the word "Jesus," etc. You shifted the argument to Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, and indicated that those relaxed or abrogated the requirement for the appointment of defined texts for our singing God's praise. How do those texts relax that abrogation? Where do they even imply that that is the meaning to be attached to "hymns and spiritual songs"?

Again, the third commandment does not require that every name of God be sung in public worship. No one believes that -- not even you.
All the names of God should be included in public worship - all elements - and treated with reverence and awe - frequency is not the point.

EP implicitly denies this.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
jdlongmire said:
My contention is that the Psalms do not completely fulfill the command to worship God in song, since they never, ever mention the revealed name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus.

They may imply and prophesy "christos", but they are no more a complete revelation of Jesus than the OT alone is.

I agree that we may sing them in light of the NT revelation, but you would no more sing them exclusively than you would exclusively preach the OT or exclusively pray as the OT taught.

EP not only denies this contention - it also makes it a sin to compose any song ever for public worship that has the revealed name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus.
My contention is that it is a sin to add any human writings to the Holy Scriptures, regardless of whether or not those writings include the word "Jesus." Adding of human hymns to the Psalms in their appointed place is sinful (being an addition of human writings to Holy Scripture), regardless of whether the word "Jesus" is used therein. I do not take issue with the name "Jesus" -- I take issue with hymns of human composition being used where God's Hymnbook should have the exclusive place.

We are, as you said, commanded "to worship God in song." Taken on the face of it, logically, this command would be fulfilled in the singing of Psalms. The New Testament does not appoint new hymns with the name "Jesus" appearing therein, but constantly turns back to the Psalms, applying them to Christ.

The reason why we do not exclusive read or preach from the Old Testament is because God has also given us the New Testament. When He did so, He did not give New Testament psalms, hymns, and songs, to replace or supply any perceived want in the Old Testament psalms, hymns, and songs. It is an illogical argument to say that the inspired, appointed Old Testament is insufficient, so that we require the inspired, appointed New Testament; therefore the inspired, appointed Old Testament Psalms must be supplemented by uninspired, unappointed hymns.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
jdlongmire said:
All the names of God should be included in public worship - all elements - and treated with reverence and awe - frequency is not the point.

EP implicitly denies this.
You say "should," as though that were commanded us. Could you show us that command, please? I have never heard anyone ever -- EVER -- argue that every name of God must be used in every element of worship. And you aren't even arguing it. You're simply stating it, as though it is an assumed principle. I challenge that principle, and challenge you to prove it from Scripture. When was the last time that every name of God was employed in the sacrament of baptism? or the Lord's Supper? If you say they "should be included in public worship - all elements," how can we get away with singing even a single song, but neglecting to mention even one of His names? How can the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper be administered, but neglect "Jehovah Jireh"? etc., etc. -- if "all the names of God SHOULD be included"? Your qualifier, "frequency is not the point," would serve only to not require that any one name be employed twice.

Where stands it written?
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
It is an illogical argument to say that the inspired, appointed Old Testament is insufficient, so that we require the inspired, appointed New Testament
Why is this illogical? Are you claiming that the OT is a sufficient revelation of God for the NT church for all matters of faith and practice?
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Why is this illogical? Are you claiming that the OT is a sufficient revelation of God for the NT church for all matters of faith and practice?
Finish the quote, JD: "It is an illogical argument to say that the inspired, appointed Old Testament is insufficient, so that we require the inspired, appointed New Testament; therefore the inspired, appointed Old Testament Psalms must be supplemented by uninspired, unappointed hymns." I acknowledge the first part; I said that it is illogical to conclude from thence the second part.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
You say "should," as though that were commanded us. Could you show us that command, please? I have never heard anyone ever -- EVER -- argue that every name of God must be used in every element of worship. And you aren't even arguing it. You're simply stating it, as though it is an assumed principle. I challenge that principle, and challenge you to prove it from Scripture. When was the last time that every name of God was employed in the sacrament of baptism? or the Lord's Supper? If you say they "should be included in public worship - all elements," how can we get away with singing even a single song, but neglecting to mention even one of His names? How can the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper be administered, but neglect "Jehovah Jireh"? etc., etc. -- if "all the names of God SHOULD be included"? Your qualifier, "frequency is not the point," would serve only to not require that any one name be employed twice.

Where stands it written?
This is where you strain a gnat to swallow a camel, my friend.

Q. 54. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requireth the holy and reverent use of God's names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word, and works.

Do you agree that the statement above is true and is of good and necessary consequence?
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Finish the quote, JD: "It is an illogical argument to say that the inspired, appointed Old Testament is insufficient, so that we require the inspired, appointed New Testament; therefore the inspired, appointed Old Testament Psalms must be supplemented by uninspired, unappointed hymns." I acknowledge the first part; I said that it is illogical to conclude from thence the second part.
just to help me understand - can you make a syllogism of your statement?
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
jdlongmire said:
This is where you strain a gnat to swallow a camel, my friend.

Q. 54. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requireth the holy and reverent use of God's names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word, and works.

Do you agree that the statement above is true and is of good and necessary consequence?
JD, please don't liken me to a Pharisee and then call me "friend." One or the other; it just sounds too inharmonious when you put them together.

My question regarded the natural reading ("good and necessary consequence," if you will) of your statement. You said, "All the names of God (which includes perhaps at least a dozen names) should be included in public worship - all elements (which includes prayer, reading of Scripture, preaching the Word, singing God's praise, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper, etc.) - and treated with reverence and awe - frequency is not the point." If you would like to retract your statement, admit that you went a bit too far, feel free. I believe that I should bow out at this point, as I cannot see any profit to be made in continuing this argument.

I make my appeal to anyone who reads this thread: Do the arguments which JD has set forth warrant the conclusion that "the explicit name 'Jesus'" be included in our songs of praise? Has he -- or anyone else, for that matter -- satisfactorily answered the objections which others have raised to his position, including those not yet convinced of exclusive psalmody? Is not Jesus Christ our Lord praised in the singing of His own Psalms, with a clarity and sufficiency that He, and His apostles and early church, found sufficient? Regardless of whether or not you embrace exclusive psalmody, do not be led to an attachment to the bare sounding of syllables (which can lead to all manner of error), but to the Person and work of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

:sing:
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
JD, please don't liken me to a Pharisee and then call me "friend." One or the other; it just sounds too inharmonious when you put them together.
Would it have been ok to call you my brother?

My question regarded the natural reading ("good and necessary consequence," if you will) of your statement. You said, "All the names of God (which includes perhaps at least a dozen names) should be included in public worship - all elements (which includes prayer, reading of Scripture, preaching the Word, singing God's praise, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper, etc.) - and treated with reverence and awe - frequency is not the point." If you would like to retract your statement, admit that you went a bit too far, feel free. I believe that I should bow out at this point, as I cannot see any profit to be made in continuing this argument.
I believe in the course of worshipping God throughout the days, weeks, months and years, that we should include some of those names - not every one, every time - but all of them at some point - in the public worship of God and that every element should be subject to the commandments of God.

I also believe that the revealed name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus, holds a special place in NT worship and that his revealed Name should have a special place in our worship and in all elements of worship.

EP implicitly denies that Jeus' explicit name is not subject to the above.

do not be led to an attachment to the bare sounding of syllables (which can lead to all manner of error), but to the Person and work of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
I would also warn the reader to not let your human desire to trust in the reasoning or traditions of Man to lead you away from singing praises using the revealed name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus.
 

dcomin

Psalm Singa
I would also warn the reader to not let your human desire to trust in the reasoning or traditions of Man to lead you away from singing praises using the revealed name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus.
My apologies for being too busy to keep up with these posts, but honestly, I don't know where ya'll find the time... I'd love to know your secret for how to get things done and still maintain a constant online discussion. :D

Now, JD... you really should be careful about equating the EP position with the "traditions of Man." God inspired the Psalms and commanded His people to sing them in His praise. The singing of Psalms is NOT a tradition of Man. On the other hand, uninspired hymns are indeed imposed upon the church through human tradition, and bind God's people to sing songs which He has nowhere commanded in His Word. It is the hymn singing tradition that has its origin with Man, not the EP position.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
My apologies for being too busy to keep up with these posts, but honestly, I don't know where ya'll find the time... I'd love to know your secret for how to get things done and still maintain a constant online discussion. :D
It is weird, but I have had a LOT of unaccustomed free time these past 2 days. :D

Now, JD... you really should be careful about equating the EP position with the "traditions of Man."
Believe me when I say - I am trying to be.

God inspired the Psalms and commanded His people to sing them in His praise. The singing of Psalms is NOT a tradition of Man.
No debate there. :up:

It's that darn "E" part...

On the other hand, uninspired hymns are indeed imposed upon the church through human tradition, and bind God's people to sing songs which He has nowhere commanded in His Word. It is the hymn singing tradition that has its origin with Man, not the EP position.
This is only true if the EP contention that psalms and hymns and spiritual songs are "stacked" references by Paul as opposed to 3 separate and distinctive song forms. The intent, language, cultural and historical context are just not there.

I'll tell you beforehand, I have been down this path and remain unconvinced.

Welcome back, BTW - :)
 

dcomin

Psalm Singa
I figured it was the "E" part that was tripping you up. And I doubt there is anything I can add to convince you that the intent, language, cultural and historical context really IS there to support the EP position that Paul is not referring to three distinct types of song forms. But I am firmly persuaded that it is. But even absent such an agreement, the force of the word "spiritual" (i.e., inspired) rules out the possibility that Paul is referring to extra-biblical man-written compositions.

Nevertheless, we are now very far afield of the original topic regarding the singing of the specific name of Jesus. On that subject, I have nothing to add that hasn't already been said by others.

Thanks for the welcome back...
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I figured it was the "E" part that was tripping you up. And I doubt there is anything I can add to convince you that the intent, language, cultural and historical context really IS there to support the EP position that Paul is not referring to three distinct types of song forms.But I am firmly persuaded that it is.
I understand - and your persuasion should guide your worship - as long as it is Scripture drenched and Spirit led (or vice versa). :)

But even absent such an agreement, the force of the word "spiritual" (i.e., inspired) rules out the possibility that Paul is referring to extra-biblical man-written compositions.
I'd like to explore this assertion sometimes - I learn through discussion. Particularly since he made the parallel when he wrote pray and sing with the mind and spirit (my paraphrase)...

Nevertheless, we are now very far afield of the original topic regarding the singing of the specific name of Jesus. On that subject, I have nothing to add that hasn't already been said by others.

Thanks for the welcome back...
:) Appreciate your tone, brother, much appreciated...
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
JD:

But even absent such an agreement, the force of the word "spiritual" (i.e., inspired) rules out the possibility that Paul is referring to extra-biblical man-written compositions.
I'd like to explore this assertion sometimes - I learn through discussion. Particularly since he made the parallel when he wrote pray and sing with the mind and spirit (my paraphrase)...
I think you're getting close. I'd like to see a better bottom line myself. What is it we are called to do in worship? What part does singing have in that? What does the Bible say about these things? Do we apply to singing what the Confessions say about things which we may believe? (i.e., the Confessions are about what we are to believe, leaving some things to conscience and forbidding other things.) Etc., etc.

It seems to me that we'll get closer to the truth of things if we go that way.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
What I mean is, if you take Douglas' assertion here and look at it without polemic favouratism then it is a really curious position to take. For one would have to ask if anyone understood the word "hymn" when David and Asaph were writing the Psalms, when they said "This one's a hymn, as oppose to that one being a psalm, or that other one being a spiritual song." Can you think of any culture, including the Jewish culture during the time of the writing of Ephesians and Collosians, which would not know what was meant by the word "hymn" as we know it today? It is an inceiveable stretch, to my mind, to assume that the words used by Paul refer exclusively to the Psalms. I just can't see it, no matter how hard I try to separate myself from my own preconceptions and polemical favouratism. It is inconceiveable to me. I just do not see any possible way that the readers of Ephesians and Collosians would take it that way, as if referring exclusively to the Psalms.

That's just not what the Psalms are about, whether as revelation or a divinely inspired psalter. And I think this is what you're driving at, if I'm not mistaken.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I just do not see any possible way that the readers of Ephesians and Collosians would take it that way, as if referring exclusively to the Psalms.

That's just not what the Psalms are about, whether as revelation or a divinely inspired psalter. And I think this is what you're driving at, if I'm not mistaken.
:up:
 

dcomin

Psalm Singa
What I mean is, if you take Douglas' assertion here and look at it without polemic favouratism then it is a really curious position to take. For one would have to ask if anyone understood the word "hymn" when David and Asaph were writing the Psalms, when they said "This one's a hymn, as oppose to that one being a psalm, or that other one being a spiritual song." Can you think of any culture, including the Jewish culture during the time of the writing of Ephesians and Collosians, which would not know what was meant by the word "hymn" as we know it today? It is an inceiveable stretch, to my mind, to assume that the words used by Paul refer exclusively to the Psalms. I just can't see it, no matter how hard I try to separate myself from my own preconceptions and polemical favouratism. It is inconceiveable to me. I just do not see any possible way that the readers of Ephesians and Collosians would take it that way, as if referring exclusively to the Psalms.
My assertion is based on the biblical usage of the terms psalm, hymn and song. As for the word hymn, it appears nowhere in the Old Testament except in the titles of the Psalms (which were not part of the original text, but were generally accepted in Paul's day and were part of the Septuagint text). In the NT, it appears in Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19, and in the Gospel accounts of Jesus singing a "hymn" with His disciples at the Last Supper (which most scholars agree was a part of the Great Hallel - the Psalter selections traditionally sung at Passover). The word song appears in several OT passages, sometimes referring specifically the the songs of the temple, and sometimes referring to less sacred compositions. The word psalm, of course, refers most properly to the Psalter, but is sometimes used in a more generic sense.

The EP position, in seeking to understand how Paul's readers would have understood these terms when they first received His letter, looks to the occurance of these terms in the Psalm titles of the Septuagint, where various selections are designated as "songs" or "hymns" or "psalms" (and sometimes two or more of these terms are applied to the same Psalm). The use of three different terms to denote the same thing is certainly not foreign to the biblical writers - consider such phrases as "laws, statutes and commandments," or "miracles, signs and wonders," or "sin, transgression and iniquity." Did the Jews understand the distinction between these terms? Was the author's purpose to set forth three distinct things or to emphasize a single thing?

I have no doubt that the Jews understood the difference between a "hymn" and a "song" when they read these terms in the titles of David's Psalms. But the fact remains that these terms, in biblical usage, all refer to the selections of the Psalter and it is no stretch to conclude that Paul's readers, when they read his statements in Colossians and Ephesians, would have understood him as referring to that collection of sacred and inspired songs, hymns and psalms that were universally used in God's worship.

It is really not a curious position to take. If the EP conclusion regarding these terms is not correct, then what did Paul have in mind when he used the words "hymn" and "song" in distinction from "psalm"? Where was the collection of "hymns" or "songs" that the believers in Galatia or Ephesus would have identified as being a different body of compositions from the selections identified in the Septuagint as psalms, hymns and songs?
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Douglas:

I'm sorry. I took for granted that we both knew this argument full well. It's been related on this board several times. You state it as concisely as I've seen it. So I've read, and considered it a number of times.

What I said was that I where you get EP from in this argument remains something that I cannot wrap my mind around. When I think this through I come out in exactly the same position as before, namely that Paul is therefore referring the psalms hymns and spiritual songs in general.

I'm not going to argue against Paul's use of triads to refer to the same thing. I've known that for years. I'm not arguing against that there may be a reference to the Great Hallel. I'm not saying that any of what you say is necessarily wrong. I just don't see the logical connection between all that and the conclusion that these words in Eph. and Col. are therefore a reference to the Psalms only. To me that's an impossible conclusion. No one at any time would have understood it that way. Such a conclusion would result in absurdities.

And we have seen a number of them in these discussions. Hymn-singers are lawbreakers? Sinners? That's quite a step, isnt' it?

Or that pastors have a completely different RPW applying to them. Whatever is not specifically forbidden the mouthpiece of God may proclaim as doctrine from the pulpit. If he believes that the Bible teaches Presuppositionalism, then it would be unfaithful of him not to preach that. So he is not forbidden. But if I were to say that the Bible indicates that we are to praise God for the many blessing we receivce from Him, a number of which you will find in the Prayers and Praises sections of this Board's forums, that we are to shout them and sing them too, I suddenly become a lawbreaker. If that means that I ought to include the name of Jesus in my songs of thanksgiving, I become a lawbreaker. It's even been said that we are forbidden to include the name of Jesus in our songs because we do not find it in the Psalms; whatever is not commanded is forbidden, so therefore the name of Jesus is in our songs forbidden. These are the kinds of absurdities that result from this kind of logic.

My main point was that, whatever might be your position, I myself cannot conceive of such a possibility that the readers in Paul's day would have understood the words, "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" to be understood as a reference exclusively to the Psalms. A reference to the Psalms? I can imagine that, yes. But exclusively to the Psalms? That comes completely out of left field for me.

[edit]My mentioning a different RPW for ministers is in reference to another EP thread where this was discussed.[/edit]
 
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