List of non-Psalmodic Scripture Songs

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Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Has anyone got a list of pieces of Scripture, outside of the Book of Psalms, that are - or are reputed to be - songs or designed for singing?

I'm looking a bit more deeply at the subject of sung worship and what place - if any - paraphrases and post-canonical works should have.
 

Bradwardine

Puritan Board Freshman
I suppose you could start with the definite songs that are recorded in the book of Revelation. Scholars will debate which parts of Paul's letters reflect early hymnody.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Has anyone got a list of pieces of Scripture, outside of the Book of Psalms, that are - or are reputed to be - songs or designed for singing?

In reality the only songs "designed for singing" in Scripture are to be found in the Book of Psalms. The others are narrative accounts of songs as they were sung (or spoken, as the case may be), and were stylised to suit the narrative in which they were placed. One might compare stylistic differences between 2 Samuel 22 and Psalm 18 to see that this is the case. In substance they are the same, but one is fitted for historical narration while the other is appointed to be sung.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Mr. Winzer, is that true even in the case of Habakkuk 3? Vv. 1,19 seem to suggest that it was intended to be sung at least once.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Mr. Winzer, is that true even in the case of Habakkuk 3? Vv. 1,19 seem to suggest that it was intended to be sung at least once.

We are told at the beginning that it is "A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet." At the close it is written, "To the chief singer on my stringed instruments." It seems to be composed that it may serve as a prophetic oracle to be delivered by the prophet relative to the holy temple of the Lord (2:20). It deliberately imitates the Psalms, but its function as an oracle to be delivered by a single individual sets it apart from the Psalms.
 

Grimmson

Puritan Board Sophomore
Luke comes to mind. I see Luke 1:68-79 as a song of Zechariah because it was given in a emotional praiseful state, some in here may not classify it as a song though. We need to remember that the Psalms also served to communicate prophetic elements as well along side as having elements of praiseful emotion. I think Habakkuk 3 is another good case, “A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth” would actually be the title of the song, similarly with what we see in the Psalms with a Prayer of David (see Psalm 17:1 and 86:1, cf. also with 142:1)

---------- Post added at 06:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:26 PM ----------

On a side note, I like to see someone sing the Song of Songs.

---------- Post added at 07:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:45 PM ----------

Before I forfet, regarding a historical note:
The song of Zechariah has been historically recognized by both the East(called the Canticle of Zachary) and the West (Benedictus), which is including early on the eastern dervived tradition of the Gallian Liturgy. I do not know if it is still sung today in Anglican churches, but it was sung in the seventh century by Anglicans in the 1660s.
 
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py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Mr. Winzer, is that true even in the case of Habakkuk 3? Vv. 1,19 seem to suggest that it was intended to be sung at least once.

We are told at the beginning that it is "A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet." At the close it is written, "To the chief singer on my stringed instruments." It seems to be composed that it may serve as a prophetic oracle to be delivered by the prophet relative to the holy temple of the Lord (2:20). It deliberately imitates the Psalms, but its function as an oracle to be delivered by a single individual sets it apart from the Psalms.

Thank you! That's quite a fascinating answer.
 
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