Non-EP'ers...what faults can you find in this?

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Whitefield

Puritan Board Junior
Now though spiritual songs of mere human composure may have their use, yet our devotion is best secured, where the matter and words are of immediately divine inspiration; and to us David's Psalms seem plainly intended by those terms of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” which the apostle useth (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16).

Not to belabor the point, but this is an assertion without exegetical evidence.

-----Added 4/8/2009 at 09:55:47 EST-----

For the third time in two threads: this is a assertion without proof. Where is the evidence that "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" is a reference to just the 150 Psalms and does not include something like Exodus 15:1-18?

Exodus 15 is an historical narrative which reports the words of a song which was sung on a specific occasion; it does not purport to itself be a psalm, hymn, or song.

Psalms 17, 86, 90, 102, 142 do not purport to be "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" but prayers.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Hopefully you've figured it out by now, as you will in every EP thread, that there is no proof. It's just that, an assertion, an argument from silence. But it's an argument from silence either way. One asserts it's only the Psalms, which is an exegetical possibility. The other asserts it's broader than that because the semantic range could mean that. Which is why this shouldn't be such a divisive issue in the church. Both sides are holding to the RPW, and agree we must sing, they just disagree on what songs to sing.

Patrick, that may be the most cogent paragraph in the thread. Perhaps in the entire EP debate that I have witnessed on the PB.

Just trying to build on common ground, rather than polarizing, and keeping the argument where it should be, as a matter of exegesis. I think both sides are trying to honor God in what they sing, and each should at least appreciate that. No one here is advocating the singing of heresy, but simply wanting to praise God for who he is and what he has done, which both agree we are commanded to do. :2cents:
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
Hopefully you've figured it out by now, as you will in every EP thread, that there is no proof. It's just that, an assertion, an argument from silence. But it's an argument from silence either way. One asserts it's only the Psalms, which is an exegetical possibility. The other asserts it's broader than that because the semantic range could mean that. Which is why this shouldn't be such a divisive issue in the church. Both sides are holding to the RPW, and agree we must sing, they just disagree on what songs to sing.

This is simply not true. It comes down to what you believe psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are. Using scripture to interpret scripture they can only be inspired works. Psalms is obvious, spiritual songs are less so but we do know they are spiritual, so whether they are the ones marked song in the psalter or spontaneously sung songs in the spirit, either way they were inspired. Hymns, as I pointed out earlier in the thread and will reprint here, is the dominate term in both the OT and NT for psalms (from the psalter) sung in praise to God. A simple scripture search of the term hymn will bear that out.

So interpreting scripture with scripture you are left with the songs of Zion given to us in the psalter. That leaves you to find passages other than the Eph. and Col. passages to find warrant to compose and sing anything else.

The dominate term in the OT and the NT for psalms sung in praise is hymn. This is not counting the book of Psalms themselves or references to the book of psalms in the NT but narrative passages that speak of people actually singing praise. The context in each case proves these were psalms that were sung but were called hymns. This by several different NT writers.

Nehemiah 12:27
[ Dedication of the Wall ] Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites from all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem so that they might celebrate the dedication with gladness, with hymns of thanksgiving and with songs to the accompaniment of cymbals, harps and lyres.

Nehemiah 12:46
For in the days of David and Asaph, in ancient times, there were leaders of the singers, songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God.

Matthew 26:30
After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Mark 14:26
After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Acts 16:25
But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;

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

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

-----Added 4/8/2009 at 01:53:51 EST-----

In the same way you are to preach the word which everyone is forbidden to add to, now that the canon is closed, perhaps?

Does this mean that when I preach I can only use the words present on the page of Scripture, i.e., just read the passage and sit down?

Well, I suppose if Christ has not called you to be a teacher in his church, then maybe you should do no more than that. But given that you are a teaching elder, you are to do what you have been equipped to do, which is to preach the word - to rightly divide the word of truth. Now you have examples from Christ himself as to how to do this, as well as his apostles, so in that sense there is no question as to how you ought to conduct yourself. What we don't have is any mention of Christ appointing any sort of musical spiritual gift, and since there is no example of Christ or the apostles writing new music for the early church, then how can we go there?

I think Rob's post deserves to be highlighted one more to those who keep saying that if the Pastor can speak extempore outside of the scriptures then we can sing corporately outside of the scriptures.

Pastors as we all know must be called and sent and endowed with the Holy Spirit in a special way to preach the word and to rightly divide it. They stand in the place of Christ when they preach on the Sabbath. It is a heady responsibility if they understand rightly what they are doing. Yes, we judge, whether they were in the flesh or the spirit, and whether what they said accords with the scriptures. Corporately, in praise to God, we should soberly and in fear and trembling come before him with fit praise that he has provided for the purpose.
 

Whitefield

Puritan Board Junior
So interpreting scripture with scripture you are left with the songs of Zion given to us in the psalter. That leaves you to find passages other than the Eph. and Col. passages to find warrant to compose and sing anything else.

How much can the original text be manipulated, massaged, and padded, until it is no longer the inspired text, but a paraphrase of it? Just looking at the first verse of Psalm 1 in the Scottish Metrical Psalter shows that a two syllable word has been added to the text, presumably to get 8 beats, but is not found in the Hebrew.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Again the distinction is

We are commanded to:

Read the scriptures of the 66 books of canon

Sing the psalms

Preach

These are elements

Some are specifically prescribed. ie. the bold

What kind of psalter you use, what version of the bible you read, what kind of pews or chairs you sit in, what kind of building, are all circumstances. They are not specifically prescribed.

When we all are commanded to sing what someone wrote it must be pure and true. The only thing for sure is the word.

Preaching is different. What to preach was not prescribed. If they had said preach the 150 sermons of the Book of Sermons then it would be and we could only preach those sermons.

But now as explained in the previous post, preaching is from one man, not all of us ascribing it to God.

We are commanded to listen then go search the scriptures to see if it is true.

Different circumstances to preaching and singing.
 

PresReformed

Puritan Board Freshman
So interpreting scripture with scripture you are left with the songs of Zion given to us in the psalter. That leaves you to find passages other than the Eph. and Col. passages to find warrant to compose and sing anything else.

How much can the original text be manipulated, massaged, and padded, until it is no longer the inspired text, but a paraphrase of it? Just looking at the first verse of Psalm 1 in the Scottish Metrical Psalter shows that a two syllable word has been added to the text, presumably to get 8 beats, but is not found in the Hebrew.

If the metrical translation can be improved then do so, but that doesn't mean that we should throw the baby out with the bath water and just write our own hymns. Translations are all flawed, that is why men seek to improve them.
 

Whitefield

Puritan Board Junior
If the metrical translation can be improved then do so, but that doesn't mean that we should throw the baby out with the bath water and just write our own hymns. Translations are all flawed, that is why men seek to improve them.

This isn't improving it is altering ... "perfect" is not in the Hebrew. In Psalter 42:1 we find the hart "bray", the Hebrew doesn't. There are words being added which are not found in the Hebrew. "Perfect" and "bray" are additions by men to the inspired text.
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
So interpreting scripture with scripture you are left with the songs of Zion given to us in the psalter. That leaves you to find passages other than the Eph. and Col. passages to find warrant to compose and sing anything else.

How much can the original text be manipulated, massaged, and padded, until it is no longer the inspired text, but a paraphrase of it? Just looking at the first verse of Psalm 1 in the Scottish Metrical Psalter shows that a two syllable word has been added to the text, presumably to get 8 beats, but is not found in the Hebrew.

This is a very good question and a legitimate concern. I prefer the Scottish Metrical Psalter for this very reason. It is a translation by several Hebrew scholars. Here is a link on the development of that psalter.

The Development of the Scottish Psalter - Rev David Silversides Reformation Scotland
 

Whitefield

Puritan Board Junior
So interpreting scripture with scripture you are left with the songs of Zion given to us in the psalter. That leaves you to find passages other than the Eph. and Col. passages to find warrant to compose and sing anything else.

How much can the original text be manipulated, massaged, and padded, until it is no longer the inspired text, but a paraphrase of it? Just looking at the first verse of Psalm 1 in the Scottish Metrical Psalter shows that a two syllable word has been added to the text, presumably to get 8 beats, but is not found in the Hebrew.

This is a very good question and a legitimate concern. I prefer the Scottish Metrical Psalter for this very reason. It is a translation by several Hebrew scholars. Here is a link on the development of that psalter.

The Development of the Scottish Psalter - Rev David Silversides Reformation Scotland

I am referring to the Scottish Metrical Psalter. I wonder how many man-imposed words and phrases can be injected into a Psalm until it can no longer be considered inspired text, but rather just a paraphrase? My question is not about the translation of the Hebrew, but amount of additions in the interest of meter.
 

coramdeo

Puritan Board Sophomore
And to think only a few says ago i was worried about "contemporary "music and it's shallowness versus hymns.:think:
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
I am referring to the Scottish Metrical Psalter. I wonder how many man-imposed words and phrases can be injected into a Psalm until it can no longer be considered inspired text, but rather just a paraphrase? My question is not about the translation of the Hebrew, but amount of additions in the interest of meter.

God knew we would not all sing in Hebrew and that the words would have to be altered to fit in with tunes. I do not see this as a problem at all.

It is a circumstance of singing the psalms in different languages.

We all differ on this board about translations of the scriptures themselves. Even the sources for translations.

The clear intent to sing the word of God is there. The fact you or someone else happens to differ with the translation is not an issue of worship. Like I would not say you are falsely worshipping god because you use translations that leave out verses of accepted canon or you use a version that adds verses I would prefer not.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Hopefully you've figured it out by now, as you will in every EP thread, that there is no proof. It's just that, an assertion, an argument from silence. But it's an argument from silence either way. One asserts it's only the Psalms, which is an exegetical possibility. The other asserts it's broader than that because the semantic range could mean that. Which is why this shouldn't be such a divisive issue in the church. Both sides are holding to the RPW, and agree we must sing, they just disagree on what songs to sing.

This is simply not true. It comes down to what you believe psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are.

That was the whole point of my post. Both views are exegetically possible and within the range of what the words meant in their historical context. Both are trying to interpret Scripture with Scripture. The difference is that we can't agree on which exegetical possibility is the right one. :2cents:
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Okay, Okay, I got it...

The verse says "Sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs" but it doesn't say compose them, and God hasn't promised a spiritual gift of composing, so we must sing the Psalms. In the same way, God says "Preach the Word," but HE DOESN'T TELL US TO WRITE SERMONS!!! And there's NO GIFT OF SERMON WRITING PROMISED!!! So preaching CAN'T MEAN WRITING YOUR OWN SERMONS!!!
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
Hopefully you've figured it out by now, as you will in every EP thread, that there is no proof. It's just that, an assertion, an argument from silence. But it's an argument from silence either way. One asserts it's only the Psalms, which is an exegetical possibility. The other asserts it's broader than that because the semantic range could mean that. Which is why this shouldn't be such a divisive issue in the church. Both sides are holding to the RPW, and agree we must sing, they just disagree on what songs to sing.

This is simply not true. It comes down to what you believe psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are.

That was the whole point of my post. Both views are exegetically possible and within the range of what the words meant in their historical context. Both are trying to interpret Scripture with Scripture. The difference is that we can't agree on which exegetical possibility is the right one. :2cents:

The one that is consistent with worshipping in spirit and in truth and utilizes the psalter that God gave us. ;)
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Originally Posted by Puritan Sailor
That was the whole point of my post. Both views are exegetically possible and within the range of what the words meant in their historical context. Both are trying to interpret Scripture with Scripture. The difference is that we can't agree on which exegetical possibility is the right one. :2cents:

The one that is consistent with worshipping in spirit and in truth and utilizes the psalter that God gave us. ;)

A good rule may be. If you can't make up your mind what is the best interpretation, look to history to see what the church did when it was at its strongest points in history; also see which one you have an example for in scripture.

We definitely have an example in scripture to sing psalms. So that can't be wrong. If it was good enough for Paul and Peter ...

Why would you rather risk violating God? What is the huge benefit and why is is so important that you risk this?

I would suggest spending the time writing some new modern great tunes to fit the Psalms to.
 
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