Question on EP

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kevin.carroll

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
If one wishes to use Rev. 5 to support UH, then they should have no problem with the person who appeals to Revelation to support inscense in worship, slain lambs and all the rest.

I for one and unwilling to accept this.
While that is a false analogy (and we both know it!), one could argue quite convincingly, that the singining of Psalms was tied to OT ceremonial worship...
Convincingly?
Maybe not. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. :p
 

kevin.carroll

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
Originally posted by puritansailor
I'm not using the NPW. That is a strawman. I'm not trying to slip in something not forbidden. I'm asking something fairly simple. In order to make it an element, it must be a clear command. Where is that command? EP makes the assertion that only the Psalms are commanded for singing as an element of worship. Now prove it. Show me the command.
You are asking us to demonstrate from the Scriptures (in one particular text, no less) that God commands that we sing nothing but Psalms.

But in this, you are assuming that we have the prerogative to make and sing our own uninspired songs in God's worship, without demonstrating from Scripture any such right; whereas we are assuming that God has commanded particular songs (the Psalms) to be sung, which you agree to, and are simply requesting your authority from Scripture to add your non-canonical songs to the songs of the Psalter. Our position is that the Psalms should be sung (you agree). Your position is that other songs should also be sung (we disagree). If yours is the contested position, the burden of proof rests upon you. We don't have to show that God has explicitly forbidden all other songs; you have to show that God has permitted other songs. Again, God's regulation applies to which particular songs are employed in His worship. You must show His appointment of any theologically accurate non-canonical songs, or show that His regulation of particular songs has been relaxed under the New Testament.
We believe that Eph/Col gives us the warrant. That is why the discussion of what "hymns" and "spiritual songs" are is so pertinent, and the dicussion comes full circle. I think we can all agree that "psalms" means the psalter as we understand it. EP'ers would say that the latter two terms also refer to the Psalter, thus we should only sing Psalms. We disagree, and believe that they give the church permission to write hymns.

Do you see now why I want to flee to Rev 5?

In the end, we are quibbling over the meaning of those two terms.
 

kevin.carroll

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Show me the verse that says sing the Psalms only.
2 Chronicles 29:30
Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.
Last time I checked, Im no Levite...and I don't worship in the Temple...And we are under the New Covenant...And a historical indicative is hardly a durative imperative.

[Edited on 5-5-2006 by kevin.carroll]
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
Originally posted by puritansailor
I'm not using the NPW. That is a strawman. I'm not trying to slip in something not forbidden. I'm asking something fairly simple. In order to make it an element, it must be a clear command. Where is that command? EP makes the assertion that only the Psalms are commanded for singing as an element of worship. Now prove it. Show me the command.
You are asking us to demonstrate from the Scriptures (in one particular text, no less) that God commands that we sing nothing but Psalms.

But in this, you are assuming that we have the prerogative to make and sing our own uninspired songs in God's worship, without demonstrating from Scripture any such right; whereas we are assuming that God has commanded particular songs (the Psalms) to be sung, which you agree to, and are simply requesting your authority from Scripture to add your non-canonical songs to the songs of the Psalter. Our position is that the Psalms should be sung (you agree). Your position is that other songs should also be sung (we disagree). If yours is the contested position, the burden of proof rests upon you. We don't have to show that God has explicitly forbidden all other songs; you have to show that God has permitted other songs. Again, God's regulation applies to which particular songs are employed in His worship. You must show His appointment of any theologically accurate non-canonical songs, or show that His regulation of particular songs has been relaxed under the New Testament.
No. I'm not arguing to include hymns, at least not yet. I'm forcing you prove that only the Psalms are commanded. The burden of proof is on you. It must be clear if you will bind peoples conscience with it. As I've said before, over and over again in this thread, the word usage for psalms, hymns, and songs has a broader use in Scripture than just the Book of Psalms. I read Paul commanding "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs." Prove that this means Psalms. That is not the normal usage of the words in the culture in which Paul ministered.

And again, the debate here is not about inspiration, but authorization. Even Bushell admits that (pg. 15) even though he still falls into the rhetoric of inspired vs. non-inspired in the very next chapter. If Paul is commanding the use of general types of music for singing (i.e. normal Greek usage of the words, and sometimes the Hebrew usage too) then he is commanding new songs for the purpose of teaching and admonishing each other in the faith. Why do you not interpret Paul that way instead?
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Originally posted by Kaalvenist1. The word is not hode: in Rev. 5:9 it is oden, in Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 it is odais; and it translates as "songs" in the Eph./Col. passages, not "hymn."
You DO know the difference between a lemma and a lexical form, don't you? On the other two points I stand corrected. The resolution on my screen is not that whippy and I misread the accent. My eye also skipped a line..."spiritual songs" is correct.
Not having actually learned Greek, I think I know what you're talking about. I know that the word is ode, and that it only appears thus in the two passages because of its relation to other words. I was just trying to give the words as they are found in the text.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
We believe that Eph/Col gives us the warrant. That is why the discussion of what "hymns" and "spiritual songs" are is so pertinent, and the dicussion comes full circle. I think we can all agree that "psalms" means the psalter as we understand it. EP'ers would say that the latter two terms also refer to the Psalter, thus we should only sing Psalms. We disagree, and believe that they give the church permission to write hymns.

Do you see now why I want to flee to Rev 5?

In the end, we are quibbling over the meaning of those two terms.
1. But where does the text say to write non-canonical songs? At the most, if you can maintain your interpretation of those words, it would command (not permit) us to sing non-canonical songs, which would have already existed in that time, and not authorize us to write and sing our own stuff. But again, there is no record showing that the Ephesian and Colossian Christians were familiar with Trinity Hymnal.

2. The Septuagint translation of the Old Testament was already extant in the churches at the time of the writing of Ephesians and Colossians...but Revelation, being the last book written (A.D. 94-96), was not. Do you at all question the validity of relying upon that text which Paul himself did not have, and refusing to turn to the text which he and all the churches had? (Out of the five times he quotes the Old Testament to the Ephesians, four of the quotes are definitely quotes of the Septuagint, and the other reads identically in the Masoretic and Septuagint; meaning it was probably a quote of the Septuagint like the rest.)

3. I do not argue that the Greek words psalmos, humnos, and ode each refers only to songs of the Psalter in every instance of their occurrence in the Greek language, or even in the Bible (Old or New Testament). You seem to think that to be my position. Let me say again: That is not their sole meaning in Greek, or in the Bible. I simply argue that the preponderance of usage (psalmos being used almost only, if not only, of the Psalms; humnos and ode being frequently and commonly used to refer to the Psalms, in the Septuagint, in the New Testament [Matt. 26:40; Mark 14:26], and in writers of that period like Philo and Josephus), together with the common practice of calling the same thing by different names in close connection (Exod 34:7; Lev. 16:21; 1 Kings 6:12; 1 Chron. 29:19; Ps. 19:7, 8; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:4, etc.), and the fact that the only hymnal we actually know of from that period is the Psalter, all argue that these three terms refer to the songs of the Psalter.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Show me the verse that says sing the Psalms only.
2 Chronicles 29:30
Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.
Last time I checked, Im no Levite...and I don't worship in the Temple...And we are under the New Covenant...And a historical indicative is hardly a durative imperative.

[Edited on 5-5-2006 by kevin.carroll]
1. Your arguments sound like you're opposed to psalmody at all, not just exclusive psalmody. Are you trying to say that psalmody is a type or ceremony, done away with by Christ under the new covenant?

2. An historical indicative is a durative imperative, when it is an approved practice. (We don't just rely upon explicit precept, but upon approved example, right?) The reformation of the Temple being an approved, authorized action of Hezekiah (see, e.g., v. 25), we are to consider the particulars thereof to be approved, authorized actions, unless the historian takes exception to them.

3. You sound as though you don't understand why I would refer to this text in defense of exclusive psalmody. Would you like me to explain?
 

kevin.carroll

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Originally posted by Kaalvenist1. The word is not hode: in Rev. 5:9 it is oden, in Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 it is odais; and it translates as "songs" in the Eph./Col. passages, not "hymn."
You DO know the difference between a lemma and a lexical form, don't you? On the other two points I stand corrected. The resolution on my screen is not that whippy and I misread the accent. My eye also skipped a line..."spiritual songs" is correct.
Not having actually learned Greek, I think I know what you're talking about. I know that the word is ode, and that it only appears thus in the two passages because of its relation to other words. I was just trying to give the words as they are found in the text.
My bad then. Hope I didn't sound condescending, because I certainly didn't mean to! I was quoting the word as one would find it in a lexicon. You were quoting it as it is found in the text in question. I should have been more specific.
 

kevin.carroll

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
1. But where does the text say to write non-canonical songs? At the most, if you can maintain your interpretation of those words, it would command (not permit) us to sing non-canonical songs, which would have already existed in that time, and not authorize us to write and sing our own stuff. But again, there is no record showing that the Ephesian and Colossian Christians were familiar with Trinity Hymnal.[/quote]

OK, how's this: where was the command to write the psalter? I'm not sure that is the most persuasive arguement you have put forward.

2. The Septuagint translation of the Old Testament was already extant in the churches at the time of the writing of Ephesians and Colossians...but Revelation, being the last book written (A.D. 94-96), was not. Do you at all question the validity of relying upon that text which Paul himself did not have, and refusing to turn to the text which he and all the churches had? (Out of the five times he quotes the Old Testament to the Ephesians, four of the quotes are definitely quotes of the Septuagint, and the other reads identically in the Masoretic and Septuagint; meaning it was probably a quote of the Septuagint like the rest.)

3. I do not argue that the Greek words psalmos, humnos, and ode each refers only to songs of the Psalter in every instance of their occurrence in the Greek language, or even in the Bible (Old or New Testament). You seem to think that to be my position. Let me say again: That is not their sole meaning in Greek, or in the Bible. I simply argue that the preponderance of usage (psalmos being used almost only, if not only, of the Psalms; humnos and ode being frequently and commonly used to refer to the Psalms, in the Septuagint, in the New Testament [Matt. 26:40; Mark 14:26], and in writers of that period like Philo and Josephus), together with the common practice of calling the same thing by different names in close connection (Exod 34:7; Lev. 16:21; 1 Kings 6:12; 1 Chron. 29:19; Ps. 19:7, 8; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:4, etc.), and the fact that the only hymnal we actually know of from that period is the Psalter, all argue that these three terms refer to the songs of the Psalter.
OK, I see where we are disagreeing. This may not be one of YOUR arguments but it is a classic EP argument. It goes like this:

1. Paul commands the Church to sing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs.

2. Each one of those designations are used in the headings of the Psalter.

3. Therefore, Paul is commanding the Church to sing Psalms only.

But, as you have so deftly pointed out, the words have a broader semantic range and, thus, are open to interpretation.

Let's leave Rev. 5 out for a moment. What then do you do with 1 Co. 14:26, in which the word translated "hymn" is psalmos? Are we really to believe that Paul is criticising the Corinthians for singing the Psalms? Is it not more likely, contextually, that they were multiplying the production of their own hymns for the wrong reasons (attention-getting, etc) and that the result was strife in public worship?
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by puritansailor
No. I'm not arguing to include hymns, at least not yet. I'm forcing you prove that only the Psalms are commanded. The burden of proof is on you. It must be clear if you will bind peoples conscience with it. As I've said before, over and over again in this thread, the word usage for psalms, hymns, and songs has a broader use in Scripture than just the Book of Psalms. I read Paul commanding "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs." Prove that this means Psalms. That is not the normal usage of the words in the culture in which Paul ministered.

And again, the debate here is not about inspiration, but authorization. Even Bushell admits that (pg. 15) even though he still falls into the rhetoric of inspired vs. non-inspired in the very next chapter. If Paul is commanding the use of general types of music for singing (i.e. normal Greek usage of the words, and sometimes the Hebrew usage too) then he is commanding new songs for the purpose of teaching and admonishing each other in the faith. Why do you not interpret Paul that way instead?
1. I believe that I can logically demonstrate the position of exclusive psalmody from Scripture. But if two people agree that the Bible teaches we should sing psalms in worship, and one wants to introduce non-canonical songs, does it not rest upon him to demonstrate that the Scripture warrants it? If people come to my church, they will sing only Psalms. Nobody that I know has a problem with that. No one's conscience is bound to something that Scripture does not warrant (singing of Psalms). But this evening, I will be driving up to Denver to attend a conference on justification. At that conference, if they do what they did last year, they will sing non-canonical songs (with accompaniment). They will attempt to bind my conscience to this thing. I will not sing with them, because I do not see a warrant for that practice from the Word of God. It rests upon them, and all other advocates for non-canonical songs, to demonstrate that warrant.

2. Paul does not command the writing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; he commands the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, which were already extant in that time and place. Again, it falls to the advocates for non-canonical songs to demonstrate warrant for singing songs that did not exist in that period; otherwise, Paul is telling the Ephesian and Colossian Christians to sing songs they already had, not songs that would not exist for another 1500+ years.

3. I have not met with any commentator that maintains psalmos to refer to a "general type of music for singing"; they all maintain that it refers to the Psalter. You agree with this. (I think.) But then you have Paul putting the inspired text of Scripture, on the same level with non-canonical songs. Would we put Calvin's Institutes on a level with the book of Romans? Why, then, would Paul, writing under divine inspiration, put the hymns of Watts on a level with the Psalms of David?

4. How were those terms used in the Greek culture? How does that somehow disqualify Paul's usage from referring to canonical songs?

5. How are we to distinguish between humnois and odais pneumatikais?

6. What does pneumatikos mean, if it is not a reference to the "Spirit-given" or "inspired" text?
 

kevin.carroll

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Show me the verse that says sing the Psalms only.
2 Chronicles 29:30
Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.
Last time I checked, Im no Levite...and I don't worship in the Temple...And we are under the New Covenant...And a historical indicative is hardly a durative imperative.

[Edited on 5-5-2006 by kevin.carroll]
1. Your arguments sound like you're opposed to psalmody at all, not just exclusive psalmody. Are you trying to say that psalmody is a type or ceremony, done away with by Christ under the new covenant?

2. An historical indicative is a durative imperative, when it is an approved practice. (We don't just rely upon explicit precept, but upon approved example, right?) The reformation of the Temple being an approved, authorized action of Hezekiah (see, e.g., v. 25), we are to consider the particulars thereof to be approved, authorized actions, unless the historian takes exception to them.

3. You sound as though you don't understand why I would refer to this text in defense of exclusive psalmody. Would you like me to explain?
I guess it boils down to the idea that I believe God gives us commands that look like: "Do this!" and "Don't do that."

The "good and necessary consequence" clause of the Confessions gives me the screaming heebie jeebies because it is far too subjective. I do not believe that God leaves it to us to figure out what He wants us to do. He says, "Do this" and "Don't do that."
So, give that persepctive (an admitted presupposition) , when you talk about what Hezekiah did, I am totally nonplussed and still ask, "Where is the command?"

Don't misunderstand me, btw. I'm not against Psalmody. In fact, I am seeking ways to incorporate more into the worship of our church. It's EP I have a beef with.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
OK, how's this: where was the command to write the psalter? I'm not sure that is the most persuasive arguement you have put forward.
Because it is the inspired, canonical text, we therefore infer a command to write. But when the Ephesian and Colossian Christians were told to sing "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," do not think that this is a command, first and foremost, to us in America, in the year 2006, to sing Watts, Wesley, Toplady, Cowper, et al. It was a command to the Ephesians and Colossians to sing songs which they had in their possession. So many find here a command to write songs, that they seem to forget what the text actually says, and who it was being written to. They (1st century Christians) were not commanded to sing songs that did not yet exist; they were told to sing songs that were then in existence. If it is a command to sing non-canonical songs, it is a command to sing the non-canonical songs then in their possession, which we no longer have.

OK, I see where we are disagreeing. This may not be one of YOUR arguments but it is a classic EP argument. It goes like this:

1. Paul commands the Church to sing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs.

2. Each one of those designations are used in the headings of the Psalter.

3. Therefore, Paul is commanding the Church to sing Psalms only.

But, as you have so deftly pointed out, the words have a broader semantic range and, thus, are open to interpretation.

Let's leave Rev. 5 out for a moment. What then do you do with 1 Co. 14:26, in which the word translated "hymn" is psalmos? Are we really to believe that Paul is criticising the Corinthians for singing the Psalms? Is it not more likely, contextually, that they were multiplying the production of their own hymns for the wrong reasons (attention-getting, etc) and that the result was strife in public worship?
1. It isn't translated "hymn" in my version (AV).

2. Contextually, I see no problem with understanding it to refer to the Psalms of David. Your line, "Are we really to believe that Paul is criticising the Corinthians for singing the Psalms?" is interesting to me, aside from the Britishism "criticising."

a. You seem to imply that these are non-canonical songs, and this is why Paul is criticizing them. These would be an argument for exclusive psalmody, not againt.

b. The situation in Corinth seemed to be a free-for-all, with everyone trying to contribute, without concern for edification, decency, or order. Why would this preclude the idea that they were singing the Psalms of David? If my church were to meet, and everyone wanted to sing their own favorite Psalm or Psalm selection, with several different precentors going up to lead in the singing of each of these Psalms, I don't doubt that it would be chaos.

c. What "psalms" were these, if not the Psalms of David? Can you point to a single actual example of such a psalm?

d. If they weren't the Psalms, wouldn't the context indicate that they were at least produced by the extraordinary influence of the Holy Ghost, which is no longer given (I am a cessationist, after all).
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
I guess it boils down to the idea that I believe God gives us commands that look like: "Do this!" and "Don't do that."

The "good and necessary consequence" clause of the Confessions gives me the screaming heebie jeebies because it is far too subjective. I do not believe that God leaves it to us to figure out what He wants us to do. He says, "Do this" and "Don't do that."
So, give that persepctive (an admitted presupposition) , when you talk about what Hezekiah did, I am totally nonplussed and still ask, "Where is the command?"
Exactly....with Psalmody, we all admit we have a "Do this!"

But do we find a "Do this!" with hymnody? It seems a major stretch for this to be the case as with all other uninspired elements of worship (prayer and preaching) God has given us either 1) an ordained office or 2) promised help from His Spirit.

When it comes to worship, we need not always look for a "Don't do this!", for a person that requires thus, follows the NPW, and not the RPW.

We all agree on the "Do this!" for Psalms, but not on the "Do this!" for hymns. The case for the inclusion of hymns is weak at best, non-existent at worst.
 

kevin.carroll

Puritan Board Junior
Well, I have repeatedly pointed out the "Do this" in Eph. and Col., but we have have hit the empasse we always seem to hit which is: what are hymns and spiritual songs.

Sean has argued that there is no command to "write," therefore Paul must be referring to extant songs, viz. the Psalms. One could just as easily say that there is no command to "study," therefore I should only preach canoncial, extant sermons like Acts 2. He also refuses to own up to the fact that the command to "write" the Psalms that we infer from the existence of the Psalms (an unwarranted assumption), brings us back to the fact that the command would only apply to the autographs. God never told us to translate the Scriptures (though it is right that we did), much less paraphrase them to make them fit the meter and rythym necessary to sing them in English. So, we should only be singing the Psalms in Hebrew...or perhaps Greek. That is not a reductio ad absurdum (well, maybe a little), but to remain consistent, the conclusion is inescapable.

In the end, I think the most damaging to the EP position is that it misses the progress of revelation in forbidding me to sing the name and works of Jesus in corporate worship. That makes no sense.

In the end, we will have to agree to disagree again. I'll put up with you, as the weaker brother, while you put up with me who is exercising liberty in singing, Holy, Holy, Holy! :p ;) :handshake:
:p:handshake:
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Well, I have repeatedly pointed out the "Do this" in Eph. and Col., but we have have hit the empasse we always seem to hit which is: what are hymns and spiritual songs.
I agree. I think to define "hymn" and "song" as "not Psalms" is questionable at best, so to rest your argument to include them on this basis would not be a good thing In my humble opinion.

Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Sean has argued that there is no command to "write," therefore Paul must be referring to extant songs, viz. the Psalms. One could just as easily say that there is no command to "study," therefore I should only preach canoncial, extant sermons like Acts 2.
2Ti 2:15 Study4704 to show3936 thyself4572 approved1384 unto God,2316 a workman2040 that needeth not to be ashamed,422 rightly dividing3718 the3588 word3056 of truth.225

Originally posted by kevin.carroll
In the end, I think the most damaging to the EP position is that it misses the progress of revelation in forbidding me to sing the name and works of Jesus in corporate worship. That makes no sense.
This is an appeal to pity. It also hinges on the "insufficiency" of the Psalter. The Psalms speak of Christ adequately for song.

Originally posted by kevin.carroll
In the end, we will have to agree to disagree again. I'll put up with you, as the weaker brother, while you put up with me who is exercising liberty in singing, Holy, Holy, Holy! :p ;) :handshake:
:p:handshake:
This is where I see people getting off track with the RPW. Worship is NOT about liberty, but obedience. The rest of life is liberty to do as one wishes, but worship must be commanded lest we burden the conscience with man-made doctrines. If one burdens the conscience with an unclear command to sing "hymns", then it is placing the conscience of worshipers under a bondage, not liberty.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
I may be join you in your liberty Kevin, but let me finish Bushell's book before I finally decide to leave EP or not :)

[Edited on 5-5-2006 by puritansailor]
 

kevin.carroll

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
I agree. I think to define "hymn" and "song" as "not Psalms" is questionable at best, so to rest your argument to include them on this basis would not be a good thing In my humble opinion.
For what it's worth, is not your argument resting on the same thing?

2Ti 2:15 Study4704 to show3936 thyself4572 approved1384 unto God,2316 a workman2040 that needeth not to be ashamed,422 rightly dividing3718 the3588 word3056 of truth.225
Ummmmmmmmmmm...I forgot about that one. :lol:

This is an appeal to pity. It also hinges on the "insufficiency" of the Psalter. The Psalms speak of Christ adequately for song.
I completely disagree. Even in heaven they sing, "Worthy is the Lamb. Isn' that Ps. 151:6? Oh wait...it's not...

This is where I see people getting off track with the RPW. Worship is NOT about liberty, but obedience. The rest of life is liberty to do as one wishes, but worship must be commanded lest we burden the conscience with man-made doctrines. If one burdens the conscience with an unclear command to sing "hymns", then it is placing the conscience of worshipers under a bondage, not liberty.
Ah but you see, I and other non-EP'ers are being obedient to the Scriptures as we understand them. So how can you fault us?

BTW, Calvin commended the singing of the Ten Commandments. Put THAT in your pipe and :detective:

:D
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Well, I have repeatedly pointed out the "Do this" in Eph. and Col., but we have have hit the empasse we always seem to hit which is: what are hymns and spiritual songs.
I agree. I think to define "hymn" and "song" as "not Psalms" is questionable at best, so to rest your argument to include them on this basis would not be a good thing In my humble opinion.
Or one could say that to define "hymn" as "Psalm" against 1500 odd years of Greek linguistical evidence would be not a good thing. I guess Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Plato, Pindar and all of Greek authors did not have a chance to read the uninspired, translated superscriptions to the book of Psalms.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Well, I have repeatedly pointed out the "Do this" in Eph. and Col., but we have have hit the empasse we always seem to hit which is: what are hymns and spiritual songs.
I agree. I think to define "hymn" and "song" as "not Psalms" is questionable at best, so to rest your argument to include them on this basis would not be a good thing In my humble opinion.
Or one could say that to define "hymn" as "Psalm" against 1500 odd years of Greek linguistical evidence would be not a good thing. I guess Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Plato, Pindar and all of Greek authors did not have a chance to read the uninspired, translated superscriptions to the book of Psalms.
You're right, Fred. I'm sure that Paul was much more familiar with Homer, Herodotus, and Plato than with the Septuagint, since he quoted them so much more frequently. And I'm sure that the songs in praise of pagan Greek deities somehow have bearing upon what songs God authorizes us to sing.

http://www.puritanboard.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=15129

Originally posted by Kaalvenist
4. Many argue that the Gentile character of these churches determines how we should interpret "hymns" and "songs." The argument is then made that, because these words (in pagan Gentile literature) referred to uninspired compositions, they should be understood as such when they appear in these passages. I would briefly respond,

(1.) We cannot assume that Paul would adopt such an interpretation of those words, as a concession to the Gentile Christians.

(2.) The apostle's frequent usage of common words, which have been given special Christian meaning (as well as his frequent quotations of the Old Testament scriptures in the epistle to the Ephesians) argues that the Gentile Christians, by the time of these epistles, were already well established in the "Christian culture." They would have understood these words, not with their former Gentile understanding, but with a new, particularly Christian understanding.

(3.) The singing of God's praise is a particularly specified element of worship, under both Old and New Testaments. It is highly doubtful that the pagan culture of the time would influence how this ordinance would be observed, any more than the pagan culture would influence the observance of any other ordinances of worship (preaching, prayer, reading of Scripture, baptism, the Lord's supper).

(4.) The "hymns" and "songs" of pagan Gentiles, who did not have the Spirit of God at all, would of course have been uninspired; this does not mean that the "hymns" and "songs" of Christians would have been uninspired, any more than the "hymns" and "songs" of Christians would have been in praise of pagan gods.

Joe Nesom writes of the word "hymns," "In classical Greek this word was used of a festive lyric written in praise of a god or hero. Therefore we understand a hymn to be a song that is of extra-biblical origin and employs us in the direct praise of the Most High." I note,

(1.) This points us to "classical Greek," rather than attempting to determine how the Bible uses the word "hymn."

(2.) It is "written in praise of a god or hero." He draws upon an obviously pagan usage to determine how a Christian ordinance is to be observed.

(3.) The definition he gives from classical Greek makes no mention of its inspiration or lack thereof; yet he still draws the conclusion, "Therefore we understand a hymn to be a song that is of extra-biblical origin," etc.

(4.) He himself makes a confusion between the words "hymn" and "song." "Therefore we understand a hymn to be a song," etc.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.[23]

23. Acts 15:15; John 5:46; II Peter 1:20-21
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
I guess it boils down to the idea that I believe God gives us commands that look like: "Do this!" and "Don't do that."

The "good and necessary consequence" clause of the Confessions gives me the screaming heebie jeebies because it is far too subjective. I do not believe that God leaves it to us to figure out what He wants us to do. He says, "Do this" and "Don't do that."
So, give that persepctive (an admitted presupposition) , when you talk about what Hezekiah did, I am totally nonplussed and still ask, "Where is the command?"
Ahem... Presbyterians believe in "good and necessary consequence." Where do you find the explicit command, in so many words, to baptize babies? Where do you find the command to observe the first day Sabbath? Heck, Presbyterian church government is largely based upon "approved practice" -- Acts 15 doesn't lay down commands, but examples.

In point of fact, Christ used "good and necessary consequence" to prove the resurrection to the Sadducees (which is why that text gets cited as a proof to the "good and necessary consequence" clause in the Confession).

Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Don't misunderstand me, btw. I'm not against Psalmody. In fact, I am seeking ways to incorporate more into the worship of our church. It's EP I have a beef with.
Then don't argue like it's a ceremonial, done away with by Christ under the new covenant. If you want to defend psalmody, you're shooting yourself in the foot when you make statements like that.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Well, I have repeatedly pointed out the "Do this" in Eph. and Col., but we have have hit the empasse we always seem to hit which is: what are hymns and spiritual songs.
And we continue to deal with your arguments based on Rev. 5, 1 Cor. 14, etc., and you continue to refuse to deal with any arguments based upon extant writers actually familiar with the Psalter who referred to the Psalms with those terms; or with arguments based upon the commonly used tautology of using several terms to refer to the same things (i.e. "iniquity and transgression and sin," Exod. 34:7).

Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Sean has argued that there is no command to "write," therefore Paul must be referring to extant songs, viz. the Psalms. One could just as easily say that there is no command to "study," therefore I should only preach canoncial, extant sermons like Acts 2.
No logical connection between the two. Jeff pointed out the command to study, which you acknowledged. And you still have the fact that the Ephesian and Colossian Christians were not commanded to sing songs that would not be written for several hundred years.

Originally posted by kevin.carroll
He also refuses to own up to the fact that the command to "write" the Psalms that we infer from the existence of the Psalms (an unwarranted assumption), brings us back to the fact that the command would only apply to the autographs. God never told us to translate the Scriptures (though it is right that we did), much less paraphrase them to make them fit the meter and rythym necessary to sing them in English. So, we should only be singing the Psalms in Hebrew...or perhaps Greek. That is not a reductio ad absurdum (well, maybe a little), but to remain consistent, the conclusion is inescapable.
1. Actually, you're now discussing the apographa, not the autographa. I could be mistaken, but the Greek New Testaments and Hebrew Old Testaments we have today weren't actually penned by the apostles and prophets -- they were penned by UBS, or Scrivener, et al.

2. The fact that Christ and the apostles used a translation of the Old Testament (including the Psalms they sang) is enough authorization we need for using translations.

3. Your "inescapable conclusion" would lead to Sola Scriptura demanding that we read the Scriptures only in Hebrew and Greek.

Originally posted by kevin.carroll
In the end, I think the most damaging to the EP position is that it misses the progress of revelation in forbidding me to sing the name and works of Jesus in corporate worship. That makes no sense.
Show me where it stands written that we are bound by the command of God to do these things. Until then, you may stick to your emotional sentimentality, and I will stick with Scripture.

Originally posted by kevin.carroll
In the end, we will have to agree to disagree again. I'll put up with you, as the weaker brother, while you put up with me who is exercising liberty in singing, Holy, Holy, Holy! :p ;) :handshake:
:p:handshake:
Interesting that you should mention that about the "weaker brother." Thomas Thompson of Ireland had some interesting remarks on that in 1902:
I cannot say, as has been said by some of the members of this Conference, that I have been singing Psalms as long as I remember. I was brought up in a country congregation under one, possibly, of the ablest ministers of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland in his day; and he gave us a Paraphrase every Lord's day. But I have been singing Psalms, and Psalms exclusively, in the worship of God since I became a Licentiate. My conversion, if I may speak of it in that way, happened thus: a good man, long since gone to his rest, said to me in my last session at college and to others, "Gentlemen, you will be Licentiates in a month or two, and if you take my advice, when preaching in a vacancy, you will never give out a Paraphrase. If you do, you will wound the conscience of some good man in the congregation, and if you preach like the Apostle Paul you may not get the congregation." I at once said to myself, if it is wrong for me to wound the conscience of a good man before I become a minister, it would surely be wrong for me to wound the conscience of a good man when I have entered the ministry. I am, therefore, as you will see, a Psalm-singer on the principle laid down by the Apostle in the Epistle to the Romans, 14th chapter, 19th verse, "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another;" and also in the first Epistle to the Corinthians, 8th chapter and 13th verse, "Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend." This, I think, is a good principle; and I wish that all the ministers in the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland understood it as I have understood it, and acted upon it as I have acted upon it. I, however, have long since passed beyond that principle, having made a careful study of the subject; and from that study I believe that uninspired hymns were never appointed by the Divine Being for any part of the Praise Worship of the Church; and I believe also that we are not permitted to worship God in any way not appointed by Himself. I came to the conclusion that it would be wrong for me to present anything to the Divine Being in the Praise Worship in the Sanctuary except the Divinely inspired and Divinely appointed Book of Psalms.
Might we then paraphrase the Apostle, "Wherefore, if hymns make my brother to offend, I will sing no hymns while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend"? If we are the weaker brethren, it is your duty to avoid causing us to stumble.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
OK. I'm going to try to refocus the thread again. We've gotten a little scattered.

There appear then to be two issues involved where the crux of the debate hangs (at least for me).

First, it's not an issue of "inspired vs. uninspired" but a matter of authorization. There are plenty of "inspired" songs in the canon of Scripture which EP advocates exclude from worship because they are not authorized for that purpose (i.e. songs of Moses, Rev. 5, etc.). There are also references to broader usages of "psalms" in the OT outside the book of Psalms. So let us discard the rhetoric of "inspired vs. unspired" since that just clouds the issue. It's a matter of what is authorized as the element of song for worship.

Now, if we all can agree with that (and can't imagine why not, even Bushell admits that, pg. 15) then the final issue is what Paul really said. That is our NT command regarding the element of song, at least the one in dispute.

Can we all agree thus far?
 

kevin.carroll

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
In the end, I think the most damaging to the EP position is that it misses the progress of revelation in forbidding me to sing the name and works of Jesus in corporate worship. That makes no sense.
Show me where it stands written that we are bound by the command of God to do these things. Until then, you may stick to your emotional sentimentality, and I will stick with Scripture.
Ah, the cheap ad hominem coupled with the false dilemma. I wondered when this thread would take its inevitable ugly turn. Now that it has, I will bow out of the conversation, even though I would have like to respond to a few of your points.

I would point out, however, that I could retort that you can mindlessly cling to your tradition and I will stick with the Scriptures, but that would be equally false and uncharitable, wouldn't it? In the final analysis, we both appeal to the Scriptures and arrive at different conclusions. This is no reason to get nasty.

Peace.

[Edited on 5-6-2006 by kevin.carroll]
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
Originally posted by kevin.carroll
In the end, I think the most damaging to the EP position is that it misses the progress of revelation in forbidding me to sing the name and works of Jesus in corporate worship. That makes no sense.
Show me where it stands written that we are bound by the command of God to do these things. Until then, you may stick to your emotional sentimentality, and I will stick with Scripture.
Ah, the cheap ad hominem coupled with the false dilemma. I wondered when this thread would take its inevitable ugly turn. Now that it has, I will bow out of the conversation, even though I would have like to respond to a few of your points.

I would point out, however, that I could retort that you can mindlessly cling to your tradition and I will stick with the Scriptures, but that would be equally false and uncharitable, wouldn't it? In the final analysis, we both appeal to the Scriptures and arrive at different conclusions. This is no reason to get nasty.

Peace.

[Edited on 5-6-2006 by kevin.carroll]
My sincerest apologies, Kevin. I found myself rushed in my writing of a response, and tired of reiterating myself. When replying specifically to your comments, I found myself saying, "As I said previously," or "As I said in a previous post," or "As I have said before." I found myself (wrongfully) angered at your seeming refusal to pay the slightest mind to my posts. I recognize my sin in this, and ask your forgiveness.

In hindsight, it would have been better simply to quote one of my previous posts treating your objection, viz.

Originally posted by Kaalvenist
3. The entire argument of "singing the name of Jesus" is defective at best, superstitious at worst. According to this argument, I can sing Psalm 2, which all admit is one of the most Messianic Psalms in the entire Psalter; which, in the AV and the 1650 Psalter, speaks of the Lord's "Anointed"; in The Book of Psalms for Singing speaks of "Messiah"; and in the 1912 Psalter speaks of "Christ"; I say, I can sing this Psalm, but because I haven't sung the name "Jesus" (and note, not "Joshua," or "Yeshua," or "Jeshua," or some other variant, but "Jesus"), I am somehow limiting the prerogatives of believers, and restricting the flow of redemptive history. Is this not a superstitious attachment to the bare sounding of syllables, without any concern for what is substantially meant (since the substance is met in Psalm 2)?
Again, I apologize for my rude comment, and hope that you will not be disuaded from continuing what may yet be a profitable discussion. I still await your remarks on Pliny's letter (see thread here).
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by puritansailor
...the final issue is what Paul really said. That is our NT command regarding the element of song, at least the one in dispute.

Can we all agree thus far?
Nope.

When we discuss first-day Sabbath observance, we begin in the Old Testament. Even when we discuss baptism (a New Testament rite), we begin with the Old Testament. Since psalmody clearly comes to us from the Old Testament, why would we begin the discussion with Eph. 5:19/Col. 3:16? Why not begin with where psalmody begins in the Bible, i.e. in the Old Testament? :2cents:
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
Originally posted by puritansailor
...the final issue is what Paul really said. That is our NT command regarding the element of song, at least the one in dispute.

Can we all agree thus far?
Nope.

When we discuss first-day Sabbath observance, we begin in the Old Testament. Even when we discuss baptism (a New Testament rite), we begin with the Old Testament. Since psalmody clearly comes to us from the Old Testament, why would we begin the discussion with Eph. 5:19/Col. 3:16? Why not begin with where psalmody begins in the Bible, i.e. in the Old Testament? :2cents:
Or rather since we know that there was corporate worship before David ever lived or the Psalms were written, why not begin with Exodus 15, or the content of Abrahamic song?
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Fred,
I'm curious what do you do with Exodus 15:20 as far as bringing in dance in public worship if Exodus 15ff speaks to public worship practices for the church?

[Edited on 5-8-2006 by NaphtaliPress]
 
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