Psalmody and Worship

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Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Dear Patrick,

A reading of the Psalter contains commands to sing Psalms. Paul commands the singing of Psalms. The historical examples of how this was carried out in the reforming kings points out that the Psalms were commanded by the Prophets, including David, to be sung, and that they were used when the worship was set back in order by those kings' reforms. I'm not sure what else would be required. If the RPW is in fact Scriptural, and from your comments it does not seem you disagree, then these commands and approved examples ought to confirm the argument. The content of the word "song" is defined by the Scriptures themselves.
It was the old covenant practice to sing psalms sure. but what kind of psalms? Where does it ever say "inspired" psalms? Where does the OT ever define psalms only that which is inspired?
When you write:

"Not just in that command but in the commands of Paul to "teach" and "admonish" with songs. What is he actually commanding there? Did the Hebrew authors of "new song" mean only songs that God inspired through them? Or did they perhaps mean that we should continue to praise God for the great works of redemption he has and continues to do for His people through the means of singing?"

You neglect to notice that the Apostle does not say "teach and admonish with the songs of your own composition" but with "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs". I believe this command is clear--the intention of the Apostle is not for the members of the Church to compose their own songs, but to use the Psalter. I'm all for praising God by "continu(ing) to praise God for the great works of redemption he has and continues to do for His people" and that through the means of singing--I believe that the Psalter is perfectly suited to this task--that it lacks not one whit to this most necessary element of Christian living.
My point was that if Paul is only commanding the use of songs to teach and admonish then that is a command to compose new songs. Paul is commanding the use of song to further expound the Scriptures in our praise of God and help us encourage one another.

Further you write:

"Exegetical plausibility is not enough. As I've shown above, it is just as plausible for the commands to refer to an element of expository singing rather than only a fixed body of material in the Psalter. And this is plausible not only in the NT use but the OT use within the Psalms as well."

Where is this evidence, my dear friend? You have asserted, without proof from Scripture, that what Paul means when he says "Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual songs" is uninspired songs to teach what the inspired songs mean. Where do the Scriptures command what you call "expository singing"?
And I argued that the very definition of "teach" and "admonish" requires exposition, thus it is entirely possible Paul is commanding us to expound with the use of songs, to teach and admonish each other with the means of song.

And where is the ancillary command, which would be necessary in such a context, since it represents a "sea change" in the worship song of the God's people, giving guidelines to the officers of the Church as to what constitutes acceptable song? The standard throughout Scripture is indeed *inspiration*. Please read the Chronicles, Ezra and Nehamiah again and see those prophetically approved examples.
And you are asserting your position without proof :)
Where does Scripture define song as "inspired" song? That is a category you are assuming, not proving.

If in fact the OT psalms as well as the NT is commanding the use of songs, not just the Psalms, then there is no "sea change" at all in the worship of God to include new praises for the continuing works of God in redemption, only the overthrow of a tradition of men imposed upon the text of Scripture limiting our teaching and admonishing to the Psalms alone. The criteria to judge the content of song would be the same as that which the elders use to judge preaching and teaching.

Again, prove that Scripture defines song as "inspired song" and not just a general command to sing praise to God for who he is and what he has done. This will probably require a little more homework, because you need to go back through all the psalms in context, and whenever the author commands us to sing, ask, does he really mean, sing only "inpsired" song? And then justify that assumption, why would the author only mean that? :2cents:
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
My point was that if Paul is only commanding the use of songs to teach and admonish then that is a command to compose new songs. Paul is commanding the use of song to further expound the Scriptures in our praise of God and help us encourage one another.
Why would that be a command to compose new songs? I don't think it follows. After alll, we are to teach and admonish each other with Scripture, but that doesn't mean we are to create new Scripture.

And I argued that the very definition of "teach" and "admonish" requires exposition, thus it is entirely possible Paul is commanding us to expound with the use of songs, to teach and admonish each other with the means of song.
That may be your argument, but we could just as easily say that this is what the passage means:

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms" means to choose psalms wisely as the situation dictates for teaching and admonishing.
So that if the service was about confessing our sins we would wisely choose a psalm of confession as opposed to a psalm dealing with another subject.

The passage also starts of with the word of Christ dwelling in us. Is not the admonishing and teaching to come forth from this word of Christ that is in us?

Besides, is this a reference to worship at all? If it's not in reference to worship it's not an issue with the regulative principle of worship.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
We are commanded to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. While it is true that these define titles in the book of Psalms, but there are also two other titles given to Psalms - "michtam" which means poem (Psalm 16 and 56 - 60) and "shiggaion" which means a rambling poem (Psalm 7). Does that mean because we are not commanded to sing "michtam" and "shiggaion" in the NT that we are to cut these out of the Psalter?
Can anyone address this question?
Much like the term "the Law and the Prophets" was a reference to the entire OT (not just the part that had the Law and the Prophets)...so too the term "Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs" is simply a term used to reference the Book of Psalms.

That argument doesn't sit well with me, because elsewhere in the NT, the book of Psalms is referred to as "Psalms". Paul is the only one who uses psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. While your argument may be plausible, it is not consistent with the rest of the NT when speaking of the book of Psalms.

The argument given to me by EPers is that Paul is listing the titles of the Psalms, so he must be talking about the book of Psalms. One could also argue that if that was the case, then he is commanding that we only sing the songs that have the title, psalm, hymn or spiritual song.

And if we go a step further with that argument, we have to wonder what is a "spiritual song" since there is not Psalm with that title. The titles are Psalm, hymn and song (and poem or meditation). So what about the other Psalms that have other titles, do we cut those out of the Psalter?
 

FrielWatcher

Puritan Board Sophomore
H'okay,

So what I am gathering from this entire thread is that the imposing of hymnody seems to be a stumbling block to the exclusive psalmodist. The EP man will not sing non-psalms in church, will do not other; therefore hymns are foolishness to the EPist.

To the hymnodist, the principles of EP may seem legalistic and not done by faith because of the terms "inspired song" and "new song (or psalm)." Why cannot a man of God be inspired to write Godly things worthy of adding music to it?

Psalm "praises or book of praises" (heb), Psalmoi "songs sung to a harp or harp song" (gr.). Can we be so literal. If Paul writing the word Psalm - what were the other instruments on hand during those days by which people sang songs? Would not the word psalm be appropriate because of how songs were accompanied? Literally, with a harp, if the instrument of the day to sing songs was the organ, would the word psalm be appropriate?

What if our teaching is a bit off from the pulpit? The scriptures clearly point out that the teacher is under more damnation for teaching in error than anything - yet we do this under the inspiration of the Spirit that we prayed for, the inspiration of the Word of God, and correct, biblical discernment. It seems as though that everything should be perfect, 100% from the pulpit and when teaching. Yet, it appears as though when music is added to Godly poems, the holiness of it has to become exponential to the word teachings or who knows?
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Eph 5 and Col 3 are brought up in this debate quite frequently (by me as well). Looking more closely at the passages, is the context even about worship?
John McNaugher:

Turning to these duplicate exhortations, it appears at once that they are of peculiar interest in that they yield a glimpse of the simple worship of primitive days … True, the question has been raised whether they have to do with worship at all, whether Paul is not touching merely upon the intercourse of believers in their family life, at their love-feasts, their social gatherings, and other meetings, and suggesting mutual edification by song. On this mooted point the common verdict is that the main, though not exclusive, reference is to the stated services of the public assembly, which seem to have been of a free and elastic nature. That worship, as well as joint instruction, is in mind is indicated by the concluding words in each citation—“singing with grace in your hearts unto God,” “singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”
Links and Downloads Manager - The Epistles - Special Exegesis of Eph. 5.19 and Col. 3.16 -- McNaugher - The PuritanBoard
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
I'm not convinced that the passages are in reference to worship services.

We are warned against fornication (Eph 5:3).
We are told not to partake with those who still walk in darkness (Eph 5:7-8).
We are to walk circumspectly, redeeming the time (Eph 5:15).

All of these seem to say to me that this passage is actually NOT speaking of a worship service.
 

Rev. Todd Ruddell

Puritan Board Junior
On the command to sing inspired song:

1 Chronicles 16.8ff, see Psalm 105.1-15 Note that the first Psalm David gave to the singers was inspired, and He, as the prophet, and the one the Lord had ordained to bring in a change to His worship (1 Chronicles 28.11, 19), appointed them to sing, and to sing that inspired Psalm.
1 Chronicles 25.1-7 Note in this passage that it is the “words of God” and the “songs of the Lord”, all under the command of the “king”, that is, David.
2 Chronicles 29.29: Note that Hezekiah, the good reforming king, followed the Davidic pattern by commanding that the words used in worship song were the words of David, and of Asaph, the king’s seer.
See also the establishment after the exile Ezra 3.10; Nehemiah 12.45—note how the establishment and command of David was scrupulously followed.

Other passages could be cited as well, along with the fact that the Lord has placed in the OT a body of worship song, called it a “book of praises” and given us a command to sing these songs. I’m not sure how it is possible to say that the Old Testament commands “psalms” but not “inspired Psalms”. The OT knows no other kind of Psalms. (It will be remembered that the Greek word “psalm” occurs at the beginning of *each* Psalm in the LXX, in the title, in the Psalter, and hence becomes the normative understanding for that word when it is used in the New Testament Acts 1.20; 13.33; 1 Corinthians 14.26; Ephesians 5.19; Colossians 3.16; James 5.13)

One also has raised a question pertaining to the Apostle’s use of “Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs” and wondered why he did not mention “michtam” and “shiggayon”. (BTW, I do not agree with the definitions given for those Hebrew words in that post—there are good lexical studies available) The short answer is that the Apostle is referring to the Septuagint (LXX) and not the Hebrew. His readers were familiar with that translation, being Greek speakers, which was the lingua franca of the day. So, he used Psalm titles they would be familiar with. Note the following references in the Psalter of the LXX:
On “song” (gr. ode’)
Ps 4:1; 9:17; 17:1; 29:1, 38:1, 41:9, 44:1, 47:1, 64:1, 65:1 66:1, 67:1, 68:31, 74:1, 75:1, 82:1, 86:1, 87:1, 90:1, 91:1, 91:4, 92:1, 94:1, 95:1, 107:1, 119:1, 120:1, 121:1, 122:1, 123:1, 124:1, 125:1, 126:1, 127:1, 128:1, 129:1, 130:1, 131:1, 132:1, 133:1, 136:3, 136:4, 143:9
On “Hymn” (gr. umnos)
Ps 6:1; 39:4; 53:1; 54:1; 60:1; 64:2; 66:1; 71:20; 75:1; 99:4; 118:171; 136:3; 148:14. Note also that these are references to the Psalm numbering of the LXX, and many will be one Psalm number off. Further, see 71.20 (72.20 in English) where the word "hymn" refers, perhaps, to the entire second book of the LXX Psalter.
And, as I said above, the appellation “Psalmos” occurs numerous times (221) times in the LXX. Clearly Paul was referencing the Psalter (the LXX translation) by means of his common three or four-fold synonymy (see Ephesians 2.2 and 6.12)

As for using uninspired songs to teach, and given that what the Apostle actually *says* to use is the inspired Psalter, it’s a non-sequiter to claim that uninspired song is therefore necessary. As for exposition necessary for understanding the Psalter, I agree that it is to be preached as is the rest of the Bible—but that such teaching/preaching ought to be by those trained and ordained to do so. (I trust I’ll not have to debate this with Reformed Presbyterians!) I also believe that this is why “teaching one another in Psalms, hymns, and Spiritual Songs” refers to the Psalter. In other words, the last thing the Apostle is telling the members of the Ephesian and Colossian Churches is to become expounders of the Psalter to one another, as if they might arrogate to themselves the teaching office, and begin “expounding the Psalms to one another”. They are to use the Psalms with one another, to be sure, and the words of the Psalter itself here are understood by the Apostle to be of use for this very purpose. And, as long as the interesting question has been raised whether or not this passage refers to public worship or not, the view I have held now for a number of years is that while it may refer to private singing of the Psalter in small and intimate groups of Christians in informal gatherings, if it is suitable there, it is most suitable in public worship as well, reasoning from the lesser to the greater.

I’ve gone on long enough here. As I said in my original post, I have neither the time nor the inclination to continue in a protracted discussion. I’ll commit these arguments to y’all for your final rebuttal, and to the faithful reader to make faithful judgment, ever and always, of course, with the help of the illuminating Spirit. Thanks to all for the interaction. If I have seemed unkind or argumentative, it is only because of my poor ability to write clearly--I mean to project no rancor or irritation. I dislike having to terminate my involvement, but sermon prep calls, as well as family duties. Thanks for understanding.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
On the command to sing inspired song:

1 Chronicles 16.8ff, see Psalm 105.1-15 Note that the first Psalm David gave to the singers was inspired, and He, as the prophet, and the one the Lord had ordained to bring in a change to His worship (1 Chronicles 28.11, 19), appointed them to sing, and to sing that inspired Psalm.
1 Chronicles 25.1-7 Note in this passage that it is the “words of God” and the “songs of the Lord”, all under the command of the “king”, that is, David.
2 Chronicles 29.29: Note that Hezekiah, the good reforming king, followed the Davidic pattern by commanding that the words used in worship song were the words of David, and of Asaph, the king’s seer.
See also the establishment after the exile Ezra 3.10; Nehemiah 12.45—note how the establishment and command of David was scrupulously followed.
Thank you. This is the kind of evidence I am looking for. I'll study up on this more and get back to you when I have the time.

But there were other songs written. Bear with me as I think out loud. Solomon for instance wrote 1005 songs. Yet only a couple made it into the Psalter. It would seem to me, just by the nature of the Psalms as written, and the nature of song writing in general, that there were many songs written, but it took time for the Church to recognize them as inspired, just as with the writing of the NT. Luke tells us that many had set down accounts of Christ, yet we only have 4 gospels which were inspired. Was it sinful for other eyewitnesses to write down accounts of Christ without being inspired? Or was it part of their calling to make Christ known, regardless of how they were used by the Spirit? Would the song writers creating that material as they meditated upon the Lord be sinful in itself, just because it had not received prophetic recognition yet? The entire book of Psalms was not finished until after Exile.

Viewing the EP argument in light of how the rest of the Canon was written and compiled just doesn't seem to fit with the language of the Psalms themselves. Most of the Psalms were not dictated. They are the reflections of men, meditating upon God and his redemption, yet superintended by the Spirit. And they command to us sing praises, often in parallel with "speaking" or "telling" others about God and redemption (i.e. Ps 71). The songs themselves expound upon the works of God, and command others to do the same both in singing and speaking. If they could only sing inspired praise, does that mean they could only speak inspired words as they testified about the works of God? I just don't see how "sing 'inspired' praises" fits in the mind of the psalmist in context. That seems to me to be read into the text. His commands seem to be more spontaneous, inviting others to participate in what he is doing. If other materials were created, but not inspired, as I think did occur, just as then I don't think it would be sinful now to continue creating more teaching materials either song or sermon today just because the special era of inspiration has ended.

Again, I'm thinking out loud, and will study your references further. :2cents:
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Most of the Psalms were not dictated. They are the reflections of men, meditating upon God and his redemption, yet superintended by the Spirit.
This is a low view of the Psalms which I often encounter in reading the current literature on the subject. The modern church will not grasp the heavenly message of the Psalter until it is seen in its canonical context as a prophecy of Christ. The NT gives a single testimony in support of the Psalter as the living and abiding voice of the Holy Spirit holding forth the Messiah in His sufferings and glory. The "devotional spirit" of the Psalter is subservient to this great theme.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Most of the Psalms were not dictated. They are the reflections of men, meditating upon God and his redemption, yet superintended by the Spirit.
This is a low view of the Psalms which I often encounter in reading the current literature on the subject. The modern church will not grasp the heavenly message of the Psalter until it is seen in its canonical context as a prophecy of Christ. The NT gives a single testimony in support of the Psalter as the living and abiding voice of the Holy Spirit holding forth the Messiah in His sufferings and glory. The "devotional spirit" of the Psalter is subservient to this great theme.
No one here denies that they are a prophecies of Christ. But part of exegesis is considering the authors original intent and circumstances, correct? That is all part of our understanding of inspiration, that God spoke through men in their particular situations. And yes, the NT testifies that the Psalms prophecy about Christ. But the NT also expounded the Psalms. The issue is whether they are the only songs commanded to be sung. Can that exegetically be maintained from the language of the Psalms themselves? If it cannot, then I don't see how it could be maintained from the NT use of "teaching" and "admonishing" with song either. That was my point. Like I said, I'm still studying but these are more basic questions I don't see EP advocates trying to answer. :2cents:
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
No one here denies that they are a prophecies of Christ. But part of exegesis is considering the authors original intent and circumstances, correct? That is all part of our understanding of inspiration, that God spoke through men in their particular situations. And yes, the NT testifies that the Psalms prophecy about Christ. But the NT also expounded the Psalms. The issue is whether they are the only songs commanded to be sung. Can that exegetically be maintained from the language of the Psalms themselves? If it cannot, then I don't see how it could be maintained from the NT use of "teaching" and "admonishing" with song either. That was my point. Like I said, I'm still studying but these are more basic questions I don't see EP advocates trying to answer. :2cents:
I wasn't intending to address the questions to EP arguments, but only pointing out that while one adopts a sub-standard view of the Psalms he is not going to appreciate the Psalter. The folk idea of an inspired muse simply does not match up to the high Protestant doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures and contradicts what the apostle Peter expressly states concerning the prophecy of the scripture, that it is not of private interpretation.

Any discussion of EP should not view the Psalms "in development," but in their canonical context as the hymnbook of the NT church. "Other OT songs" is really irrelevant to the position that the Psalms are prescribed for use in the NT, when Christ has come in fulfilment of them.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Any discussion of EP should not view the Psalms "in development," but in their canonical context as the hymnbook of the NT church.
But that is to assume what needs to be proven. Of course if you assume out right that the Psalms are the only hymnbook of the NT church then you will end up EP. I'm trying to explore that assumption and the arguments behind that assumption.

"Other OT songs" is really irrelevant to the position that the Psalms are prescribed for use in the NT, when Christ has come in fulfillment of them.
It is relevant to hymnody if God commanded them to write those other songs, even though they were not inspired. :2cents:
 
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timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
Most of the Psalms were not dictated. They are the reflections of men, meditating upon God and his redemption, yet superintended by the Spirit.
This is a low view of the Psalms which I often encounter in reading the current literature on the subject. The modern church will not grasp the heavenly message of the Psalter until it is seen in its canonical context as a prophecy of Christ. The NT gives a single testimony in support of the Psalter as the living and abiding voice of the Holy Spirit holding forth the Messiah in His sufferings and glory. The "devotional spirit" of the Psalter is subservient to this great theme.
That the Psalter prophecies of Christ no one here disputes. But you are asserting (and therefore must prove) something more than that: that the NT recognizes that the Psalms prophecy exclusively of Christ. And to date you have failed to prove your assertion.

To date, If I recall correctly, the only scripture you adduced for proof of your hypothesis (in the thread Covenant Theology, RPW and Musical Instruments #285) was Luke 24:44, a statement which does not support your claim. While Christ says everything written about him in the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled, that is not the same thing as saying that everything written in the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms was written about Him. And the latter statement is no necessary consequence of the former. It is in fact rather easy to prove that the Law the Prophets and the Psalms were written to reference, in addition to Christ, other subjects than Christ to greater or lesser degrees. Even the titles of certain psalms make that clear. Ps. 51 for example is certainly more about David than it is about Christ as it denotes his reaction to Nathan’s charge and that reaction was certainly not true of Christ’s own personal experience either before the cross or on it. He did not need the benefits of his own atonement either for himself or as our sin bearer for as he notes in John 10:17, 18 He would “lay down my life that I may take it up again…I have authority to lay it down and I have authority to take it up again”. Not surprising since “just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave the Son also to have life in Himself” (John 5: 26).

Until you prove that the Psalms are exclusively speaking of Christ, either by direct scriptural testimony or GNC consequence of the same, your claim is not required to be believed.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
It is relevant to hymnody if God commanded them to write those other songs, even though they were not inspired. :2cents:
The point is that these other OT songs are not relevant to NT hymnody. You have used the operative principle -- "God commanded them to write." All that is needed is to apply this operative principle to NT worship. Where has God commanded the NT church to write praise songs for use in public worship? That is the real state of the question.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Until you prove that the Psalms are exclusively speaking of Christ, either by direct scriptural testimony or GNC consequence of the same, your claim is not required to be believed.
I proceed on the basis that the Psalms are not only speaking of Christ, but that they are the speech of Christ. In Hebrews 2:12 it is assumed that what is written in the Psalms is the declaration of Christ, and on that basis it is affirmed that Christ and believers are brethren.

The requirement of "exclusivity" is irrelevant. The NT appeals to the Psalms on the basis of their prophetic quality. It is always assumed in every citation that the Psalms are normative for NT teaching. The Holy Spirit has spoken in the NT -- case closed!
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
Until you prove that the Psalms are exclusively speaking of Christ, either by direct scriptural testimony or GNC consequence of the same, your claim is not required to be believed.
I proceed on the basis that the Psalms are not only speaking of Christ, but that they are the speech of Christ. In Hebrews 2:12 it is assumed that what is written in the Psalms is the declaration of Christ, and on that basis it is affirmed that Christ and believers are brethren.
Nobody is denying that Heb 2:12 establishes that Ps. 22:22 is referring to Christ but that is clearly one of the "all things written of [Christ] in the Law...the Prophets and the Psalms [that] must be fulfilled. But Heb. 2:12 does not establish the point that all that is in the Psalms refers directly to Christ.

he requirement of "exclusivity" is irrelevant. The NT appeals to the Psalms on the basis of their prophetic quality. It is always assumed in every citation that the Psalms are normative for NT teaching. The Holy Spirit has spoken in the NT -- case closed!
Nobody has denied that the Psalms are normative for NT teaching where the NT references them directly.

But in reply to
Puritan Sailor:
Most of the Psalms were not dictated. They are the reflections of men, meditating upon God and his redemption, yet superintended by the Spirit.
you responded:

This is a low view of the Psalms which I often encounter in reading the current literature on the subject. The modern church will not grasp the heavenly message of the Psalter until it is seen in its canonical context as a prophecy of Christ. The NT gives a single testimony in support of the Psalter as the living and abiding voice of the Holy Spirit holding forth the Messiah in His sufferings and glory.
You claim that the Psalter is in canonical context "a prophecy of Christ" and you also claim that the view that the psalter was written by men meditating upon God and his redemption yet superintended by the Spirit" is a low view of the psalms. Quite aside from the fact that Peter affirms precisely this "low" view of the writing of the psalms when he tells us that the prophets made careful search and inquiry into the scriptures (1 Pt. 1: 10,11) which does not nullify and contradict the fact that God revealed Scripture to them (2 Pt 1:20), the "dictation" view of inspiration has been discredited for decades and finally, I have shown in my previous post that the author of Ps 51 was not speaking of Christ or his experience in that psalm, which means we simply must take seriously the circumstances behind the composition of individual psalms. The psalms therefore speak of more than just Christ.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Nobody is denying that Heb 2:12 establishes that Ps. 22:22 is referring to Christ but that is clearly one of the "all things written of [Christ] in the Law...the Prophets and the Psalms [that] must be fulfilled. But Heb. 2:12 does not establish the point that all that is in the Psalms refers directly to Christ.
The writer undoubtedly appealed to that particular Psalm as a speech of Christ because he thought his readership would regard any citation from the Psalms as such. If not, the bare recital of the Psalm does not prove his point that Jesus and believers are brethren, because the readership might take the cynical point of view that this particular psalm is not necessarily the speech of Christ.

Quite aside from the fact that Peter affirms precisely this "low" view of the writing of the psalms when he tells us that the prophets made careful search and inquiry into the scriptures (1 Pt. 1: 10,11)
Inspired Peter maintains the high view because he specifically states that their search consisted of the things which "the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." The search did not produce the revelation, but was itself the result of the revelation.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
It is relevant to hymnody if God commanded them to write those other songs, even though they were not inspired. :2cents:
The point is that these other OT songs are not relevant to NT hymnody. You have used the operative principle -- "God commanded them to write." All that is needed is to apply this operative principle to NT worship. Where has God commanded the NT church to write praise songs for use in public worship? That is the real state of the question.
Round and round we go.... I said this thing few posts back. If the command in Eph and Col is to use songs in general (not Psalms) to teach (i.e. expound), then that is a command to write new songs in order to "teach" and "admonish", the same terms used to describe preaching. But hey, I've already said that a while back.
I agree the whole argument settles on what is commanded. I don't see a clear cut case that the command to sing is only inspired songs (i.e. Psalms), in either the OT or the NT. But as I said before, I will continue to study. Bowing out for now...
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
Nobody is denying that Heb 2:12 establishes that Ps. 22:22 is referring to Christ but that is clearly one of the "all things written of [Christ] in the Law...the Prophets and the Psalms [that] must be fulfilled. But Heb. 2:12 does not establish the point that all that is in the Psalms refers directly to Christ.
The writer undoubtedly appealed to that particular Psalm as a speech of Christ because he thought his readership would regard any citation from the Psalms as such. If not, the bare recital of the Psalm does not prove his point that Jesus and believers are brethren, because the readership might take the cynical point of view that this particular psalm is not necessarily the speech of Christ.

Quite aside from the fact that Peter affirms precisely this "low" view of the writing of the psalms when he tells us that the prophets made careful search and inquiry into the scriptures (1 Pt. 1: 10,11)
Inspired Peter maintains the high view because he specifically states that their search consisted of the things which "the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." The search did not produce the revelation, but was itself the result of the revelation.
And how does what you are saying differ from Puritan Sailor who wrote

Most of the Psalms were not dictated. They are the reflections of men, meditating upon God and his redemption, yet superintended by the Spirit.
 

Gesetveemet

Puritan Board Sophomore
Is exclusive psalmody necessary for correct worship? . . . aside from that, tell me about the necessity of psalmody?

Thanks.

I guess I don't adhere to exclusive psalmody since I believe doxologies are also permissible (and Reformed).

In a nutshell, psalmody is the best safeguard to prevent heresy from singing it's way into the church. :2cents:
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Round and round we go.... I said this thing few posts back. If the command in Eph and Col is to use songs in general (not Psalms) to teach (i.e. expound), then that is a command to write new songs in order to "teach" and "admonish", the same terms used to describe preaching. But hey, I've already said that a while back.
Well, I wasn't wanting to engage in yet another discussion on this topic. I think if you centre on that point of what is commanded in NT worship then it might just turn out to be a fruitful discussion. I would only add that a command to sing/use does not equate to a command to write; that is an implication which requires proving, and would help clarify issues if you somehow managed to succeed. Blessings!
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
And how does what you are saying differ from Puritan Sailor who wrote

Most of the Psalms were not dictated. They are the reflections of men, meditating upon God and his redemption, yet superintended by the Spirit.
The history of the doctrine shows that there is a great gulf between the original Protestant doctrine of dictation, as codified in the Westminster Confession under the name of immediate inspiration, and the later Warfieldian doctrine of superintendence, which amounts to mediate inspiration at best. I will leave it to your investigative skills to trace the history of the doctrine for yourself. Blessings!
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
And how does what you are saying differ from Puritan Sailor who wrote

Most of the Psalms were not dictated. They are the reflections of men, meditating upon God and his redemption, yet superintended by the Spirit.
The history of the doctrine shows that there is a great gulf between the original Protestant doctrine of dictation, as codified in the Westminster Confession under the name of immediate inspiration, and the later Warfieldian doctrine of superintendence, which amounts to mediate inspiration at best. I will leave it to your investigative skills to trace the history of the doctrine for yourself. Blessings!
I was not aware that there was a difference between Warfield and earlier Protestantism. Would this have been a common feature of Princeton as a whole? Any works you would recommend on the subject?
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
And how does what you are saying differ from Puritan Sailor who wrote

Most of the Psalms were not dictated. They are the reflections of men, meditating upon God and his redemption, yet superintended by the Spirit.
The history of the doctrine shows that there is a great gulf between the original Protestant doctrine of dictation, as codified in the Westminster Confession under the name of immediate inspiration, and the later Warfieldian doctrine of superintendence, which amounts to mediate inspiration at best. I will leave it to your investigative skills to trace the history of the doctrine for yourself. Blessings!
Having done that tracing about 20 years back, I didn't arrive at the conclusion that the Warfieldian dctrine of inspiration itself is at all a "mediate" inspiration; nor did I conclude that the confession defines inspiration istelf any differently than PS has done.

Don't bother replying with a reference to Ted Letis. Although Letis correctly noted that Warfield anchored the authority of Scripture in the autographa rather than the apographa, as had been historically the case, that change changes not the nature of what the action of inspiration actually is, but only changes the documents that are consdered to be inspired. And the question at issue here is what is the action of inspiration itself.
 
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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I was not aware that there was a difference between Warfield and earlier Protestantism. Would this have been a common feature of Princeton as a whole? Any works you would recommend on the subject?
Primary sources are best, but for a general overview of the doctrine, and the historical shift which began to distinguish between primary and secondary authors, see G. C. Berkouwer, 'The God-breathed character of holy scripture,' in Holy Scripture.

For the traditional view of immediate inspiration, there is a clear discussion in Samuel Rutherford's Due Right of Presbyteries, where he argues at length that the decision of the Council of Jerusalem was by mediate inspiration, and that this council was therefore an ordinary presbytery. In the process of his discussion he states clearly what immediate inspiration is, and distinguishes it from a human process of reasoning.

But the question is now, if as prophets and immediately inspired prophets and apostles they did so consult with Scripture which they read, as they made any thing canonical Scripture upon this medium, and formal reason, because they did read it, and learn it out of books, and not because the immediate inspiration of the Holy Ghost taught them what they should make canonical Scripture. Suppose a sentence of a heathen poet; suppose this, that Paul left his cloak at Troas: not the knowledge of sense, not natural reason, not experience, none of these can be a formal medium, a formal mean to make scripture; but as “thus saith Jehovah in his word” is the formal reason why the Church believeth the Scripture to be the Word of God, so the formal reason that maketh prophets and apostles to put down any truth, as that which is formally canonical scripture – whether it be a supernatural truth, as, The word was made flesh; or a moral truth, as, Children obey your parents; or a natural truth, as The ox knoweth his owner; or an experienced truth, as Make not friendship with an angry man; or a truth of heathen morality, as, We are the offspring of God; or a truth of sense, Paul left his cloak at Troas – I say, the only formal reason that maketh it divine and Scriptural truth is the immediate inspiration of God.
Prof. Rutherford provides a specific example which shows clearly that the doctrine of immediate inspiration excludes the human process:

though Matthew did read in Isaiah, A Virgin shall conceive and bear a son, yet Matthew maketh it not a part of the New Testament, because Isaiah said it, but because the Holy Ghost did immediately suggest it to him, as a divine truth. For a holy man might draw out of the Old and New Testament a chapter of orthodox truths, all in Scripture words, and believe them to be God’s truth; yet that chapter should not formally be the Scripture of God, because, though the author did write it by the light of faith, yet the prophetical and apostolical spirit did not suggest it and inspire it to the author.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Having done that tracing about 20 years back, I didn't arrive at the conclusion that the Warfieldian dctrine of inspiration itself is at all a "mediate" inspiration; nor did I conclude that the confession defines inspiration istelf any differently than PS has done.
I leave you to your own conclusions.
 

YXU

Puritan Board Freshman
10. ‘That we have no good metrical translation of the Psalms.’

A Chinese Psalter is on its way, God willing, it should be published in the end of this year, it is based on RPCNA's Psalter.

God's grace, Chinese is very easy to put into metre.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
For any who might be interested in the differences between the Warfieldian and traditional doctrine of inspiration, I note Dr. Warfield's own acknowledgement on this subject, from The Westminster Assembly and its Work, p. 276, in which he reflects on what he calls the "mechanical conception" of John White, assessor to the Westminster Assembly, and distinguisheses it from his own commitment to the "concursus of inspiration:"

It is almost pathetic to observe White’s efforts to mitigate the effects of his somewhat mechanical conception of the mode of inspiration in the matter of the style of the authors. Others made similar efforts and sometimes with more success. But the time had not yet come when the true concursus of inspiration, by which we may see that every word of Scripture is truly divine and yet every word is as truly human, had become the common property of all. In this, too, White is a fair exponent of his day, and reminds us anew that so far from denying verbal inspiration and the inerrancy of Scripture, the tendency to error of the time was in the opposite direction; and in the strenuousness of its assertion of the fact of an inspiration which extended to the expression and secured infallibility, it was ever in danger of conceiving its mode after a mechanical fashion. That this was the ruling attitude of the middle of the seventeenth century among the Continental theologians, whether Reformed or Lutheran, everybody acknowledges. It is clear from what we have seen that the English Puritans and Scotch Presbyterians were not an isolated body cut off from the currents of thought of their day; but were in harmony with the best theologizing and highest conceptions of their Continental brethren.
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
For the traditional view of immediate inspiration, there is a clear discussion in Samuel Rutherford's Due Right of Presbyteries, where he argues at length that the decision of the Council of Jerusalem was by mediate inspiration, and that this council was therefore an ordinary presbytery. In the process of his discussion he states clearly what immediate inspiration is, and distinguishes it from a human process of reasoning.
Rutherford was flatly unscriptural and clearly wrong if he thought that the conclusion of the Jerusalem council was not immediately inspired. For Peter, speaking in support of the anti-Judaizing view speaks as an apostle, one of those to whom Jesus promised that "the Holy Spirit...will teach you all things" (John 14:26). In addition, the letter the elders and the apostles wrote says "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden..." (Acts 15:28). Their decision was not reached as the consulted with Scripture nor by formal reason, but they claim that the Holy Spirit let them know His mind on the matter.

armourbearer/467782 said:
Rutherford said:
But the question is now, if as prophets and immediately inspired prophets and apostles they did so consult with Scripture which they read, as they made any thing canonical Scripture upon this medium, and formal reason, because they did read it, and learn it out of books, and not because the immediate inspiration of the Holy Ghost taught them what they should make canonical Scripture.
Nobody here denies this. Nor does Warfield ever argue that a human writer wrote anything recognized as canonical apart from the Spirit's work.

armourbearer/467782 said:
Rutherford said:
Suppose a sentence of a heathen poet; suppose this, that Paul left his cloak at Troas: not the knowledge of sense, not natural reason, not experience, none of these can be a formal medium, a formal mean to make scripture; but as “thus saith Jehovah in his word” is the formal reason why the Church believeth the Scripture to be the Word of God, so the formal reason that maketh prophets and apostles to put down any truth, as that which is formally canonical scripture – whether it be a supernatural truth, as, The word was made flesh; or a moral truth, as, Children obey your parents; or a natural truth, as The ox knoweth his owner; or an experienced truth, as Make not friendship with an angry man; or a truth of heathen morality, as, We are the offspring of God; or a truth of sense, Paul left his cloak at Troas – I say, the only formal reason that maketh it divine and Scriptural truth is the immediate inspiration of God.
And I don't think Warfield would deny this either. Certainly I don't.
 
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