Joel Beeke New Book with R. Godfrey, D.G. Hart, D. Thomas, T. Johnson, & J.V. Fesko

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SolaGratia

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Psalm Singing in Calvin and the Puritans-Dr. Joel R. Beeke

Excerpt:

Following Jewish synagogue practices, the early church sang psalms. The Synod of Laodicea (AD 350) and the Council of Bracatara (AD 563) forbade the singing of non-scriptural hymns. In the Middle Ages, however, Gregorian singing allowed choirs to trump congregational singing. For nearly a millennium church choirs sang hymns, usually in Latin, with difficult tunes; congregational psalm singing dissipated and, in many places, virtually disappeared.1

The Reformation revolutionized congregational singing, particularly through the efforts of Martin Luther and John Calvin (1509–1564). Calvin and the Puritans felt convicted to sing psalms in public worship and loved doing so. In this chapter, after showing how Calvin developed psalm singing, we will look at the Puritan view of psalm singing, following the outline of John Cotton’s representative book on the topic: (1) the duty of psalm singing, (2) the content of the singing, (3) the singers, and (4) the manner of singing. This chapter will conclude by presenting some spiritual benefits of psalm singing for believers today.
 
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