My Bible Church is going to start singing Psalms . . . thanks to Gabriel Martini!

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biblelighthouse

Puritan Board Junior
:sing:

We're not going EP, but we are going to start singing the Psalms!

A while back, Gabe said something that got me to thinking. He pointed out in Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 that we are commanded to sing the Psalms. Thus, whether other music is ok or not, the Psalms had better be included in worship!

This argument makes a lot of sense to me. I am not for doing away with hymns, but since God does command the singing of Psalms, we would be wrong to ignore them.

I got convicted about it, so I decided to talk to my pastor. Interestingly enough, in the evening message last night, he spent some time talking about these same passages out of Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3! (It's pretty neat how the Lord works!) After the service, I told him that I felt convicted, and I suggested that we should start singing from a Psalter, since Psalm-singing is commanded in Scripture. Without so much as a blink, he rapidly agreed with me and asked me to find a good Psalter for the church. He thinks it is a great idea, and is behind me 100% on this request. Praise the Lord!

I am looking forward to bringing our worship more in line with Scripture. And I am looking forward to memorizing the Word of God through the singing of it.

Anyway, hopefully we will be singing Psalms in worship before too many weeks go by. Everything is looking good in that direction.

Can anyone tell me which Psalters are the "best" or "worst"? Any you highly recommend, or do not recommend? Are there any good ones *without* archaic King James-ish English? I mostly want something true to Scripture, but I would prefer more modern English if possible, to aid it's reception by our congregation.


Thanks in advance,
Joseph
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
The one used by the RPCNA is the Book of Psalms for Singing, published by Crown & Covenant. It is a good translation, in my opinion, but it is about 30 years old. The RPCNA has a new Psalter in the works that should be even more faithful to the original Hebrew, but it will not be out for another year or two.
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
Can anyone tell me which Psalters are the "best" or "worst"? Any you highly recommend, or do not recommend? Are there any good ones *without* archaic King James-ish English? I mostly want something true to Scripture, but I would prefer more modern English if possible, to aid it's reception by our congregation.
I would recommend the Trinity Psalter over some that I've seen, and the reason for my choice of this one over the others is, at this level, a purely pragmatic one. My choice is based on the fact that the suggested tunes in the Trinity Psalter are ones with which most of the people in our culture are already familiar (Maybe there are other Psalters like this as well, but some I've seen can be difficult to sing). I know that a pragmatic argument is not usually a good one to employ, but here's my further reasoning - In a situation where you are trying to introduce the singing of the Psalms on a regular basis for the first time, you don't want to put an added obstacle before the people with tunes that are difficult for folk to carry (sing). But if they find that the Psalms are set to tunes with which they're already familiar and able to carry, it seems to me that it would generate what might otherwise be a less than warm reception of something that (shouldn't be) but nonetheless is a novelty for a congregation not accustomed to singing the Psalms.

My :2cents:
DTK
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
That's really cool... I wish the Evangelical Free church that I used to attend in California would do something like that.

I do happen to believe in unaccompanied exclusive psalmody. But I'm just glad when the Psalms are sung, even if uninspired hymns are also being sung, and instruments are being used. When I was in Iraq, I went to services led by a Presbyterian Army chaplain; and, as a concession to me, we sang one Psalm without instruments during each service. I argued EP with him for the whole time that I was over there (and we still keep in contact with each other). Didn't ever convince him, though. I think that, even more than my arguments, just the practice of singing Psalms convinced him of the importance of singing Psalms; and he has told me that, if he ever has a congregation or church, in or out of the Army, he will insist on them singing at least one Psalm per service.

As to Psalters, I personally prefer the old 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter, "The Psalms of David in Metre" (available in words-only and split-leaf editions). However, since you're trying to avoid "King James-ish English," I would highly recommend "The Book of Psalms for Singing," from Crown and Covenant Publications. A large number of its Psalms and Psalm selections are put to tunes many will recognize as hymn tunes (even though several of those tunes started out as Psalm tunes). The familiar tunes help those who are new to Psalm-singing. I actually compiled a list of those Psalms with the familiar tunes, and could send it to you, if you are looking at getting that Psalter.

Hope this has helped.
 

jfschultz

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by DTK
Can anyone tell me which Psalters are the "best" or "worst"? Any you highly recommend, or do not recommend? Are there any good ones *without* archaic King James-ish English? I mostly want something true to Scripture, but I would prefer more modern English if possible, to aid it's reception by our congregation.
I would recommend the Trinity Psalter over some that I've seen, and the reason for my choice of this one over the others is, at this level, a purely pragmatic one. My choice is based on the fact that the suggested tunes in the Trinity Psalter are ones with which most of the people in our culture are already familiar (Maybe there are other Psalters like this as well, but some I've seen can be difficult to sing). I know that a pragmatic argument is not usually a good one to employ, but here's my further reasoning - In a situation where you are trying to introduce the singing of the Psalms on a regular basis for the first time, you don't want to put an added obstacle before the people with tunes that are difficult for folk to carry (sing). But if they find that the Psalms are set to tunes with which they're already familiar and able to carry, it seems to me that it would generate what might otherwise be a less than warm reception of something that (shouldn't be) but nonetheless is a novelty for a congregation not accustomed to singing the Psalms.

My :2cents:
DTK

Originally posted by WrittenFromUtopia
The Book of Psalms for Singing uses familiar tunes for the majority of the Psalms.

The Trinity Psalter was done by the RPCNA at the request of the PCA (or it may have been a joint effort). There is much in the Trinity Psalter that comes straight from the Book of Psalms for Singing. (With many Psalms the Trinity Psalter has notation in parenthisis following the name of the tune. If the number is the same as the Psalm, the Book of Psalms for Singing uses the same tune for the Psalm.)

A pratical advantage of the Trinity Psalter is that being a thin words-only booklet, it will probably fit with the hymnal in the pew rack and not have to displace hymnals and pew Bibles. There is also the Book of Psalms Translated for Singing available from the RPCNA, which is a blue covered version of the Trinity Psalter.
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Joseph:

I am glad to hear this! In our church we sing mostly psalms and this is the way it should be. We need to get our congregations back to the singing of the ancient and Reformation churches.
 
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