(Redux) Exclusive Psalmody Debate

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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
As i stated above there is evidence of hymns that were sung by the Pharisees that are not found in the Book of Psalms, and they predate Christ.
Larry, I doubt seriously that you would regard these compositions as falling under the kind of songs the apostle Paul was authorising in Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16. If not, what is the purpose of alluding to them? Is it merely to show that the terms he employs were used outside of the Christian church? What bearing does that have on anything? We are concerned to know what his terms would have meant to a true worshipper of God within the Chistian church.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Which bias would that be?. I can give just as much "biblical proof" that we should be dancing in the aisles as you can give that we should be writing our own songs. But I know that many non-EPers would reject "Praise Him with the tambourine and dance" while at the same time championing "sing a new song" to protect their precious hymns.
Show me one place it commands us to dance a new dance to the Lord, which (sing to the Lord a new song) is the basis of the RPW-valid non-EP stance.

Your premise is false - your conclusion is false.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
And Eph 5:14 seems to be part of a hymn as well...
Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.
This is a quote from Isaiah, actually.

So to suggest that nothing but the Psalms were sung until the time of Arius seems to be erroneous.
Even if you were to provide evidence of hymns being written, this would not prove EP wrong. You need biblical authorization, not historical example.
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
Your premise is false because you have failed to show one passage of normative practice of the New Covenant Church which falls between Matthew and Jude, minus the transiting book of Acts to "Sing a New Song". But you also do not find it in the transiting book of acts..

You must show that the new testament church is commanded to sing "New Songs", and Revelation does not count since that is not the new testament church but heavenly worship and not Intituted yet. Find a Normative Epistle or a Normative New Testament book that says "Sing to the Lord a New Song", then I might reconsider.....

Michael

Show me one place it commands us to dance a new dance to the Lord, which is the basis of the RPW-valid non-EP stance.

Your premise is false - your conclusion is false.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
p1] Paul commands us to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
p2] the Psalms (and Isaiah) command us to sing a new song to the Lord

c1] we should compose and sing at least new hymns and spiritual songs to the Lord

or if you follow chronological precedent:

p1] the Psalms (and Isaiah) command us to sing a new song to the Lord
p2] Paul commands us to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs

c1] we should compose and sing at least new hymns and spiritual songs to the Lord
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Your premise is false because you have failed to show one passage of normative practice of the New Covenant Church which falls between Matthew and Jude, minus the transiting book of Acts to "Sing a New Song". But you also do not find it in the transiting book of acts..

You must show that the new testament church is commanded to sing "New Songs", and Revelation does not count since that is not the new testament church but heavenly worship and not Intituted yet. Find a Normative Epistle or a Normative New Testament book that says "Sing to the Lord a New Song", then I might reconsider.....

Michael
You understand that the precedent is the Psalms? - unless the NT authors somewhere invalidated the Psalms (and Isaiah), the command stands - sing to the Lord a new song.
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
p1] The Psalms and Isaiah are commanding us to sing new songs which are the Psalms.
p2] We are not commanded to sing new songs in the new testament covenant..
p3] So, Psalms, Hymns, and Songs are the Book of Psalms...
p4] We sing the Psalms with the knowledge of the fuller revelation of the New Testament and so the Psalms are unveiled..

c1] We should not compose and sing new songs to the Lord.


In your format....

Michael


p1] Paul commands us to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
p2] the Psalms (and Isaiah) command us to sing a new song to the Lord

c1] we should compose and sing at least new hymns and spiritual songs to the Lord

or if you follow chronological precedent:

p1] the Psalms (and Isaiah) command us to sing a new song to the Lord
p2] Paul commands us to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs

c1] we should compose and sing at least new hymns and spiritual songs to the Lord
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
My Church has an organ. That evil thing! I never could play it! It could only be pure evil.:(
Don't let Calvin know -

"To sing the praises of God upon the harp and psaltery," says Calvin, "unquestionably formed a part of the training of the law and of the service of God under that dispensation of shadows and figures, but they are not now to be used in public thanksgiving."1 He says again: "With respect to the tabret, harp, and psaltery, we have formerly observed, and will find it necessary afterwards to repeat the same remark, that the Levites, under the law, were justified in making use of instrumental music in the worship of God; it having been his will to train his people, while they were yet tender and like children, by such rudiments until the coming of Christ. But now, when the clear light of the gospel has dissipated the shadows of the law and taught us that God is to be served in a simpler form, it would be to act a foolish and mistaken part to imitate that which the prophet enjoined only upon those of his own time."2 He further observes: "We are to remember that the worship of God was never understood to consist in such outward services, which were only necessary to help forward a people as yet weak and rude in knowledge in the spiritual worship of God. A difference is to be observed in this respect between his people under the Old and under the New Testament; for now that Christ has appeared, and the church has reached full age, it were only to bury the light of the gospel should we introduce the shadows of a departed dispensation. From this it appears that the Papists, as I shall have occasion to show elsewhere, in employing instrumental music cannot be said so much to imitate the practice of God's ancient people as to ape it in a senseless and absurd manner, exhibiting a silly delight in that worship of the Old Testament which was figurative and terminated with the gospel."3

ENDNOTES:
1. On Ps. lxxi. 22.
2. On Ps. lxxxi. 3.
3. On Ps. xcii. 1.

"Besides this, if there be a fair Lamp in the Church, if the Organs pipe merrily, if there be store of gay copes and vestments, if the puppets be well gilded, if men perfume them thoroughly and seek their favor with many other such dotages: that is all the perfection of the Papists." (Sermons on Galatians, p 520)

"For, like other persons, they supposed God like themselves, for whatever delights us, we think must also please the Deity. Hence the immense heap of ceremonies in the Papacy, since our eyes delight in such splendors; hence we think this to be required of us by God, as if he delighted in what
pleases us. This is, indeed, a gross error." (Commentary on Daniel, page 195)

Calvin mimics Augustine -

"The Church received the Psalter from the temple and the synagogue, and adopted it into liturgic use, “with hymns and spiritual songs, “ all magnifying the crucified and glorified Christ. With the fulfillment of prophecy by the destruction of the Temple and the dispersion of the Jews, everything pertaining to the law was sloughed from its ripened stalk; and the Psalter blossomed with the consummate flowers and fruitage which were its deeper intent, and which had waited so long to be disclosed."

Calvin referred to the use of the organ as "the devil's bagpipes".



 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Larry, I doubt seriously that you would regard these compositions as falling under the kind of songs the apostle Paul was authorising in Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16. If not, what is the purpose of alluding to them?
The point was simply to show that hymns were written before Arius. To give the impression that hymns were invented 400 years after the NT Church was founded does not seem to be an honest defense of EP to me.
 

etexas

Puritan Board Doctor
Don't let Calvin know -

"To sing the praises of God upon the harp and psaltery," says Calvin, "unquestionably formed a part of the training of the law and of the service of God under that dispensation of shadows and figures, but they are not now to be used in public thanksgiving."1 He says again: "With respect to the tabret, harp, and psaltery, we have formerly observed, and will find it necessary afterwards to repeat the same remark, that the Levites, under the law, were justified in making use of instrumental music in the worship of God; it having been his will to train his people, while they were yet tender and like children, by such rudiments until the coming of Christ. But now, when the clear light of the gospel has dissipated the shadows of the law and taught us that God is to be served in a simpler form, it would be to act a foolish and mistaken part to imitate that which the prophet enjoined only upon those of his own time."2 He further observes: "We are to remember that the worship of God was never understood to consist in such outward services, which were only necessary to help forward a people as yet weak and rude in knowledge in the spiritual worship of God. A difference is to be observed in this respect between his people under the Old and under the New Testament; for now that Christ has appeared, and the church has reached full age, it were only to bury the light of the gospel should we introduce the shadows of a departed dispensation. From this it appears that the Papists, as I shall have occasion to show elsewhere, in employing instrumental music cannot be said so much to imitate the practice of God's ancient people as to ape it in a senseless and absurd manner, exhibiting a silly delight in that worship of the Old Testament which was figurative and terminated with the gospel."3

ENDNOTES:
1. On Ps. lxxi. 22.
2. On Ps. lxxxi. 3.
3. On Ps. xcii. 1.

"Besides this, if there be a fair Lamp in the Church, if the Organs pipe merrily, if there be store of gay copes and vestments, if the puppets be well gilded, if men perfume them thoroughly and seek their favor with many other such dotages: that is all the perfection of the Papists." (Sermons on Galatians, p 520)

"For, like other persons, they supposed God like themselves, for whatever delights us, we think must also please the Deity. Hence the immense heap of ceremonies in the Papacy, since our eyes delight in such splendors; hence we think this to be required of us by God, as if he delighted in what
pleases us. This is, indeed, a gross error." (Commentary on Daniel, page 195)

Calvin mimics Augustine -

"The Church received the Psalter from the temple and the synagogue, and adopted it into liturgic use, “with hymns and spiritual songs, “ all magnifying the crucified and glorified Christ. With the fulfillment of prophecy by the destruction of the Temple and the dispersion of the Jews, everything pertaining to the law was sloughed from its ripened stalk; and the Psalter blossomed with the consummate flowers and fruitage which were its deeper intent, and which had waited so long to be disclosed."

Calvin referred to the use of the organ as "the devil's bagpipes".



[/QUOTE
Hi Matt! Now I am glad I really cannot play the thing! Grace and Peace.
 
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Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
The Precedent of the Psalms, is that the Psalms tell us "Sing unto the Lord a New Song, etc.. Speaking about itself...

By the way, your understanding of the RPW is lacking within Reformed Baptist understanding when you said "unless the NT authors somewhere invalidated the Psalms (and Isaiah), the command stands - sing to the Lord a new song."

We view, unless the command is given in each covenant we are not bound to adhere to the old covenant practice, which is why we reject circumcision = infant baptism notion... unless we are directly commanded to baptize infants in the new covenant we do not follow the pattern of baptizing our infants because infants were circumcised in the old covenant... Just thought I would show your inconsistently here regarding the New Song and Old Testament Precedents.......

Michael
You understand that the precedent is the Psalms? - unless the NT authors somewhere invalidated the Psalms (and Isaiah), the command stands - sing to the Lord a new song.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
As Rev. Winzer noted in another place, God took great care in the composition and assimilation of the biblical Psalter. David, Asaph, the sons of Korah, and others were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write songs for the Church. Other individuals were not given this responsibility. I understand how strong the desire is to lock onto a verse and take it in the most literal sense, but this can often be dangerous and that is understood even by those Reformed believers who do not hold to EP because of verses like "sing a new song."

Why would God have inspired the Psalmists of scripture just to have everyone start writing songs as they were inclined? Why have the inspired songs at all? We do not add to what is read in worship so why would we want to add to what is sung? How did the Israelites, the ones who originally heard "sing a new song" understand those words? Did they start writing their own songs? I'm not aware of other hymnals from the period.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
And Eph 5:14 seems to be part of a hymn as well...
Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.
This is a quote from Isaiah, actually.
Please be more specific and site the verse.

So to suggest that nothing but the Psalms were sung until the time of Arius seems to be erroneous.
Even if you were to provide evidence of hymns being written, this would not prove EP wrong. You need biblical authorization, not historical example.
It was not an attempt to prove EP wrong, just to show that one of the arguments used for EP (the invention of hymns by Arius) seems to go against history.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
The Precedent of the Psalms, is that the Psalms tell us "Sing unto the Lord a New Song, etc.. Speaking about itself...
Prove it

By the way, your understanding of the RPW is lacking within Reformed Baptist understanding when you said "unless the NT authors somewhere invalidated the Psalms (and Isaiah), the command stands - sing to the Lord a new song."

We view, unless the command is given in each covenant we are not bound to adhere to the old covenant practice, which is why we reject circumcision = infant baptism notion... unless we are directly commanded to baptize infants in the new covenant we do not follow the pattern of baptizing our infants because infants were circumcised in the old covenant... Just thought I would show your inconsistently here regarding the New Song and Old Testament Precedents.......

Michael
read this again:

JD said:
p1] Paul commands us to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
p2] the Psalms (and Isaiah) command us to sing a new song to the Lord

c1] we should compose and sing at least new hymns and spiritual songs to the Lord
worst case - Paul revalidated the Psalms - and the commands contained therein - which is 100% RPW.

BTW - Christ held a very high view of the Psalms (and Isaiah), too...
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
As Calvin rightly states, it is of perspective of content, not reinventing new songs.

"The Psalmist had good reason therefore for animating the godly
to look forward for the full accomplishment of the mercy of God, that
they might be persuaded of divine protection until such time as the
Messiah should arise who would gather all Israel. He calls this a new song, as we have noticed elsewhere, to distinguish it from those with which the saints commonly and daily praised God, for praise is their continued exercise."

Of Psalm 96:

"This opinion is founded upon the inscription of the psalm in the Septuagint, Vulgate, Æthiopic, and Arabic versions, which is, “A song of David when the house was built after the captivity.” Consequently, strictly speaking, this is not a new song. But it may be called new, from its having been adapted to a new purpose — from its having been intended to celebrate new mercies conferred upon the Jews, and to lead the mind forward to the glorious era of the coming of the Messiah, and the establishment of his kingdom, which probably was the matter of more general expectation among the chosen people, at the period when the temple was rebuilt, than when the ark was brought to Mount Zion from the house of Obed-edom. "

"Sing unto the Lord a new song,” when he speaks of the future restoration of the Church, and the eternal kingdom of Christ."

Same song, new perspective.

"3. And he hath put into my mouth a new song. In the first clause of the verse he concludes the description of what God had done for him. By God’s putting a new song into his mouth he denotes the consummation of his deliverance."

Commenting on Isaiah he says,

"New is here contrasted with what is Ordinary, and thus he extols the infinite mercy of God, which was to be revealed in Christ, and which ought therefore to be celebrated and sung with the highest praises."

Perspective of fulfillment, not writing of a new composition.

 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Why would God have inspired the Psalmists of scripture just to have everyone start writing songs as they were inclined? Why have the inspired songs at all? We do not add to what is read in worship so why would we want to add to what is sung? How did the Israelites, the ones who originally heard "sing a new song" understand those words? Did they start writing their own songs? I'm not aware of other hymnals from the period.
Asking the "why" to things that God has kept for Himself is a dangerous area to tread.

You could ask the same question in this manner, "Why would God go through the trouble of inspiring prayers to be included in His Word and then want us to start praying prayers as we are inclined?"

As far as the Israelites interpreting "sing a new song" from the Isa. passage...hopefully they would have realized that was for the age of Messiah as Jesus Himself correctly interpreted when the fulfillment of that passage occurred.
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
I think I did prove it, but maybe I will give a better shot tomorrow... its late...

but one thing comes to mind.. When you said "worst case - Paul revalidated the Psalms - and the commands contained therein"

As much as we are commanded to SING the Psalms, we are not command to do everything in the Psalms... Otherwise, Where is YOUR Altar, and your Sacrifice... Where is YOUR Incense, and your Goats and Bulls.. How bout Dancing? We are commanded to Sing the Psalms, and in new light. But everything of the Old Covenant in the Psalms have been done away with, including "New Songs" and the above list...

Michael


Prove it



read this again:

p1] Paul commands us to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
p2] the Psalms (and Isaiah) command us to sing a new song to the Lord

c1] we should compose and sing at least new hymns and spiritual songs to the Lord

worst case - Paul revalidated the Psalms - and the commands contained therein

BTW - Christ held a very high view of the Psalms (and Isaiah), too...
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Asking the "why" to things that God has kept for Himself is a dangerous area to tread.

You could ask the same question in this manner, "Why would God go through the trouble of inspiring prayers to be included in His Word and then want us to start praying prayers as we are inclined?"
But this is a false comparison because there is no inspired prayer book written by inspired prayer-writers in the Bible. There is, however, an inspired song book written by inspired Psalmists. By "inspired songs" I mean songs that were obviously written for the entire Church. There are no such prayers in the bible, only prayers by individuals that happen to be inspired only in the sense that they made it into scripture. I think the teleological issue stands. God did not give us 150 songs only to let us do whatever we want with them.

As far as the Israelites interpreting "sing a new song" from the Isa. passage...hopefully they would have realized that was for the age of Messiah as Jesus Himself correctly interpreted when the fulfillment of that passage occurred.
Which interpretation of Jesus are you referencing?
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I think I did prove it, but maybe I will give a better shot tomorrow... its late...

but one thing comes to mind.. When you said "worst case - Paul revalidated the Psalms - and the commands contained therein"

As much as we are commanded to SING the Psalms, we are not command to do everything in the Psalms... Otherwise, Where is YOUR Altar, and your Sacrifice... Where is YOUR Incense, and your Goats and Bulls..
Well...as I was asking you to do - let's see what Scripture says:

Hebrews 10

Christ's Sacrifice Once for All


1For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. 2Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sin? 3But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin every year. 4For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

5Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,

"Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body have you prepared for me;
6in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
7Then I said, 'Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'"

8When he said above, "You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law), 9then he added, "Behold, I have come to do your will." He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
How bout Dancing?
Psalm 150:4
Praise him with tambourine and dance;praise him with strings and pipe!

Interesting...


We are commanded to Sing the Psalms, and in new light. But everything of the Old Covenant in the Psalms have been done away with, including "New Songs" and the above list...
See my syllogism again - you have not invalidated it nor proven your conclusion.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
But this is a false comparison because there is no inspired prayer book written by inspired prayer-writers in the Bible. There is, however, an inspired song book written by inspired Psalmists. By "inspired songs" I mean songs that were obviously written for the entire Church. There are no such prayers in the bible, only prayers by individuals that happen to be inspired only in the sense that they made it into scripture. I think the teleological issue stands. God did not give us 150 songs only to let us do whatever we want with them.
My point was that to ask questions as to "why does God do thus and so" when we are not told in His Word is dangerous. I was simply giving an example of an extreme use of that kind of question. I was not trying to imply that both questions were of equal validity, but rather trying to use an extremely ridiculous example.


Which interpretation of Jesus are you referencing?
After He reads from that Isaiah passage in Lk 4:21 He says, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

That was put in an earlier post so i was reluctant to re-post it as this thread is starting to get quite long.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Calvin's introduction to the Psalm states this:

"What is there now to do? It is to have songs not only honest, but also holy, which will be like spurs to incite us to pray to and praise God, and to meditate upon his works in order to love, fear, honor and glorify him. Moreover, that which St. Augustine has said is true, that no one is able to sing things worthy of God except that which he has received from him. Therefore, when we have looked thoroughly, and searched here and there, we shall not find better songs nor more fitting for the purpose, than the Psalms of David, which the Holy Spirit spoke and made through him. And moreover, when we sing them, we are certain that God puts in our mouths these, as if he himself were singing in us to exalt his glory. Wherefore Chrysostom exhorts, as well as the men, the women and the little children to accustom themselves to singing them, in order that this may be a sort of meditation to associate themselves with the company of the angels."

The WCF also affirms the singing of Pslams, as the divines were EP:


The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXI
Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day


Paragraph 5:
The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear,[17] the sound preaching [18] and conscionable hearing of the Word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith, and reverence,[19] singing of psalms with grace in the heart;[20] as also, the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ, are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God:[21] beside religious oaths,[22] vows,[23] solemn fastings,[24] and thanksgivings upon special occasions,[25] which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in an holy and religious manner.[26]



17. Luke 4:16-17; Acts 15:21; Col. 4:16; I Thess. 5:27; Rev. 1:3
18. II Tim. 4:2; Acts 5:42
19. James 1:22; Acts 10:33; Matt. 13:19; Heb. 4:2; Isa. 66:2
20. Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19; James 5:13; I Cor. 14:15
21. Matt. 28:19; I Cor. 11:23-29; Acts 2:42
22. Deut. 6:13; Neh. 10:29; II Cor. 1:23
23. Psa. 116:14; Isa. 19:21; Eccl. 5:4-5
24. Joel 2:12; Est. 4:16; Matt. 9:15; Acts 14:23
25. Exod. 15:1-21; Psa. 107:1-43; Neh. 12:27-43; Est. 9:20-22
26. Heb. 12:28.

The Psalms alone were directly commanded to be used in the formal worship of the Church under the Old Testament dispensation. This statement will be borne out by such passages as 1 Chron. 16:4, 7; 2 Chron. 29:30; Ps. 105:2; Ps. 95:1, 2; and Neh. 12:24.​

The hymns contained in the Psalter were the only matter of praise in the formal worship of the Old Testament Church. It seems entirely safe to affirm this without any hesitation. There is no hint or trace, either in the Bible or in Jewish tradition, of other songs being used in worship.​

God commanded that His people should praise Him with Psalms. There is no repeal of that regulation. There is nothing in all the scope of New Testament teaching to indicate that the ordinance of praise as it had been instituted before had served its end and was repealed. The Church is one. If the Psalms were authorized to be used in the Old Testament dispensation, they are still the authoritative matter of praise.​

The hymns of the Book of Psalms are admirably adapted to serve as the medium of praise in this Christian dispensation. They are full of Christ. And though written so long before His coming they constantly speak of a Christ as having already come, as having already suffered, as having already ascended, as coming again to judgment.​

Wishart rightly says:​

There is definite command to make use of the hymns of
inspiration in the worship of the New Testament Church. Such
commands are found in the two classic passages, Eph. v. 19 and
Col. iii. 16. That the devotional compositions mentioned in these
commands can be no other than the songs of the Book of Psalms
would seem to be evident from these considerations:
(1) There is no evidence that any uninspired Christian hymn
was in existence at the time these commands were given, nor for
more than a hundred years thereafter.
(2) These are not commands to make hymns, but to use
hymns and Spirit-given songs such as were already at hand.
These could be found only within the volume of inspiration.
(3) The epithet " spiritual" seems to mark these songs as
being the product of inspiration.
(4) It is implied in one of the passages that by the use of
the psalms and hymns and songs the Word of Christ would dwell
richly in the worshiper, which expression, " the Word of Christ,"
we would naturally take to mean the Word of divine inspiration.
(5) It is not likely that the Apostle would put inspired and
uninspired songs upon the same basis, and speak of them as equal
in devotional value and spiritual profit.
(6) As a matter of fact all the terms used in these passages
have been applied to the songs contained in the Book of Psalms.
In view of these considerations we venture to look upon Eph. v. 19 and Col. iii. 16 as commands to make use of the songs of the Psalter in the worship of God.​

Michael S. Bushell says about New Songs:

We cannot enter here into a detailed exegesis of the musical portions of the Apocalypse. A few comments, however, concerning certain aspects of the subject may be of some help. Appeal is sometimes made to the "new song" of Revelation 14:3 as justification for the making of “new songs" now. The passage in question must, however, be seen in the context of the general concept of eschatological "newness" which finds expression in so many of the apocalyptic sections of Scripture. The phrase "new song (ode kaine, shir chodesh)[2] is found in a number of places in both Testaments. Originally it signified a song of praise inspired by gratitude for new mercies. As such it occurs six times in the psalter.[3]Obviously the reference to a "new song" in each of these instances is either a reference to the particular psalm in question or else a figure of speech to be interpreted metonymically for a doxology or prayer of thanksgiving. In any event they do not constitute a warrant for us to produce uninspired worship song any more than they did for the Old Testament saints. Quite often, especially in the eschatological portions of Scripture, the phrase "new song" is merely a figure of speech, having no direct reference at all to literal worship song. Such is the case, for example, in Isaiah 42:10 (cf. 24:14ff, Rev. 5:13), where the islands and their inhabitants, the cities and their dwellers, and everything that lives and moves in the sea are summoned to praise the Lord with a "new song." Attribution of song here to inanimate objects is, of course, a hyperbolic device intended to express poetically the comprehensive scope of God's saving operations and the fullness of the praise that is due unto His Holy Name (cf. Isa. 55:12ff). Certainly there is no warrant here for the production of uninspired worship song.
The concept of “newness” is a leading feature of the apocalyptic portions of Scripture, and this is particularly true of the Book of Revelation. We are told, for example, of a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21: 1; 2 Pet. 3:13; Isa. 65:17); the new Jerusalem (Rev. 3:12; 21:2); the new name (Rev. 2:17; 3:12; Isa. 62:2; 65:15); and the new song (Rev. 5:9; 14:3). Indeed, we are told that all things will be made new (Rev. 21:5). The concept of "newness" in the Book of Revelation is thus used as a poetic device to express in a heightened sense the fullness and the scope of the eschatological redemption of all things. The "new song," the "new name," the "new heavens," the "new earth," and the "new Jerusalem" are all yet future. The fact that we have in these visions a present anticipation of this newness, provides no more warrant for the production of "new" worship song than it does for the building of a “new Jerusalem." Quite the contrary is the case. It is very significant, in fact, that worship song is placed in the category of the "new" things of John's vision. The distinguishing character of the "newness" attributed to these objects is its divine origin. The old creation groans and travails even now under the corruption of sin, so the Lord Himself will provide a new one. Men do not themselves build the New Jerusalem; it is fashioned directly by the hand of God and brought down from heaven (Rev. 21:2). Eschatological "newness" in the Book of Revelation is functionally equivalent to divine origin. This is just as true of the "new song" as it is of the "new heavens" and the "new earth." Eschatological “newness" in song may thus be seen as functionally equivalent to immediate inspiration by God. Seen in this way, the "new" songs of Revelation, far from providing a warrant for the use of uninspired songs in worship, bring to the fore once again the same basic principle that we have seen time and again in our consideration of the biblical principles of worship, namely, that the production of acceptable worship song is the sole prerogative of the Lord God Himself as He works through inspired authors set apart by Him to that very task.
Of course, it must be conceded that the apocalyptic visions of Isaiah and the Book of Revelation do have reference to a certain extent to our own dispensation. Certainly the "new covenant" (Jer. 31:31ff; 1 Cor. 11:25; Heb. 8:8ff-, 9:15), the description of the Christian as a "new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17), and so on, are present anticipations of the eschatological situation described in John's vision.

The question arises as to whether there is any sense, proleptic or otherwise, in which the worship song of the pre-consummation church is to share in this eschatological newness. In response to this question it may be observed, first of all, that much of the “newness” enjoyed by the Church in this dispensation is clearly proleptic or anticipatory in nature. Even our salvation, though complete in Christ, is seen in Scripture to have a future reference. Our redemptive “newness” has not yet been fully realized. We are to put on the “new self” (Eph. 4:22-24) because our "old self" was crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6), and yet every Christian bears witness to the strength of the "old self' yet remaining (cf. Rom. 7:23). We are new creations in Christ, and yet we wait for that day when all things will be made new. What all of this teaches us is that "newness" in the present state of things is not at all inconsistent with the continuation of certain aspects of the old order. Of the many examples that could be mentioned here, there is perhaps none clearer than that of the "new commandment" given by Christ to His disciples. His "new commandment," that we love one another (John 13:34), was not really a new commandment at all. It was in fact incorporated into the Mosaic law (Lev. 19:18). It was, as John tells us, a new commandment that was at the same time an old commandment (1 John 2:7; 2 John 5). The newness lay in the new perspective that we are given on the old commandment as a result of the manifestation of God's love in Christ. The "newness" of the New Testament with respect to the law of God does not have to do so much with content as with perspective. The law has not been abolished in Christ. It has been fulfilled and therefore placed in a new light, but it has not been superseded by a new law.

Good stuff.
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
:amen: and double :amen:

Keep up the good work...

Night All
Michael


Calvin's introduction to the Psalm states this:

"What is there now to do? It is to have songs not only honest, but also holy, which will be like spurs to incite us to pray to and praise God, and to meditate upon his works in order to love, fear, honor and glorify him. Moreover, that which St. Augustine has said is true, that no one is able to sing things worthy of God except that which he has received from him. Therefore, when we have looked thoroughly, and searched here and there, we shall not find better songs nor more fitting for the purpose, than the Psalms of David, which the Holy Spirit spoke and made through him. And moreover, when we sing them, we are certain that God puts in our mouths these, as if he himself were singing in us to exalt his glory. Wherefore Chrysostom exhorts, as well as the men, the women and the little children to accustom themselves to singing them, in order that this may be a sort of meditation to associate themselves with the company of the angels."

The WCF also affirms the singing of Pslams, as the divines were EP:


The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXI
Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day


Paragraph 5:
The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear,[17] the sound preaching [18] and conscionable hearing of the Word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith, and reverence,[19] singing of psalms with grace in the heart;[20] as also, the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ, are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God:[21] beside religious oaths,[22] vows,[23] solemn fastings,[24] and thanksgivings upon special occasions,[25] which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in an holy and religious manner.[26]



17. Luke 4:16-17; Acts 15:21; Col. 4:16; I Thess. 5:27; Rev. 1:3
18. II Tim. 4:2; Acts 5:42
19. James 1:22; Acts 10:33; Matt. 13:19; Heb. 4:2; Isa. 66:2
20. Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19; James 5:13; I Cor. 14:15
21. Matt. 28:19; I Cor. 11:23-29; Acts 2:42
22. Deut. 6:13; Neh. 10:29; II Cor. 1:23
23. Psa. 116:14; Isa. 19:21; Eccl. 5:4-5
24. Joel 2:12; Est. 4:16; Matt. 9:15; Acts 14:23
25. Exod. 15:1-21; Psa. 107:1-43; Neh. 12:27-43; Est. 9:20-22
26. Heb. 12:28.

The Psalms alone were directly commanded to be used in the formal worship of the Church under the Old Testament dispensation. This statement will be borne out by such passages as 1 Chron. 16:4, 7; 2 Chron. 29:30; Ps. 105:2; Ps. 95:1, 2; and Neh. 12:24.​

The hymns contained in the Psalter were the only matter of praise in the formal worship of the Old Testament Church. It seems entirely safe to affirm this without any hesitation. There is no hint or trace, either in the Bible or in Jewish tradition, of other songs being used in worship.​

God commanded that His people should praise Him with Psalms. There is no repeal of that regulation. There is nothing in all the scope of New Testament teaching to indicate that the ordinance of praise as it had been instituted before had served its end and was repealed. The Church is one. If the Psalms were authorized to be used in the Old Testament dispensation, they are still the authoritative matter of praise.​

The hymns of the Book of Psalms are admirably adapted to serve as the medium of praise in this Christian dispensation. They are full of Christ. And though written so long before His coming they constantly speak of a Christ as having already come, as having already suffered, as having already ascended, as coming again to judgment.​

Wishart rightly says:​

There is definite command to make use of the hymns of
inspiration in the worship of the New Testament Church. Such
commands are found in the two classic passages, Eph. v. 19 and
Col. iii. 16. That the devotional compositions mentioned in these
commands can be no other than the songs of the Book of Psalms
would seem to be evident from these considerations:
(1) There is no evidence that any uninspired Christian hymn
was in existence at the time these commands were given, nor for
more than a hundred years thereafter.
(2) These are not commands to make hymns, but to use
hymns and Spirit-given songs such as were already at hand.
These could be found only within the volume of inspiration.
(3) The epithet " spiritual" seems to mark these songs as
being the product of inspiration.
(4) It is implied in one of the passages that by the use of
the psalms and hymns and songs the Word of Christ would dwell
richly in the worshiper, which expression, " the Word of Christ,"
we would naturally take to mean the Word of divine inspiration.
(5) It is not likely that the Apostle would put inspired and
uninspired songs upon the same basis, and speak of them as equal
in devotional value and spiritual profit.
(6) As a matter of fact all the terms used in these passages
have been applied to the songs contained in the Book of Psalms.
In view of these considerations we venture to look upon Eph. v. 19 and Col. iii. 16 as commands to make use of the songs of the Psalter in the worship of God.​

Michael S. Bushell says about New Songs:

We cannot enter here into a detailed exegesis of the musical portions of the Apocalypse. A few comments, however, concerning certain aspects of the subject may be of some help. Appeal is sometimes made to the "new song" of Revelation 14:3 as justification for the making of “new songs" now. The passage in question must, however, be seen in the context of the general concept of eschatological "newness" which finds expression in so many of the apocalyptic sections of Scripture. The phrase "new song (ode kaine, shir chodesh)[2] is found in a number of places in both Testaments. Originally it signified a song of praise inspired by gratitude for new mercies. As such it occurs six times in the psalter.[3]Obviously the reference to a "new song" in each of these instances is either a reference to the particular psalm in question or else a figure of speech to be interpreted metonymically for a doxology or prayer of thanksgiving. In any event they do not constitute a warrant for us to produce uninspired worship song any more than they did for the Old Testament saints. Quite often, especially in the eschatological portions of Scripture, the phrase "new song" is merely a figure of speech, having no direct reference at all to literal worship song. Such is the case, for example, in Isaiah 42:10 (cf. 24:14ff, Rev. 5:13), where the islands and their inhabitants, the cities and their dwellers, and everything that lives and moves in the sea are summoned to praise the Lord with a "new song." Attribution of song here to inanimate objects is, of course, a hyperbolic device intended to express poetically the comprehensive scope of God's saving operations and the fullness of the praise that is due unto His Holy Name (cf. Isa. 55:12ff). Certainly there is no warrant here for the production of uninspired worship song.
The concept of “newness” is a leading feature of the apocalyptic portions of Scripture, and this is particularly true of the Book of Revelation. We are told, for example, of a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21: 1; 2 Pet. 3:13; Isa. 65:17); the new Jerusalem (Rev. 3:12; 21:2); the new name (Rev. 2:17; 3:12; Isa. 62:2; 65:15); and the new song (Rev. 5:9; 14:3). Indeed, we are told that all things will be made new (Rev. 21:5). The concept of "newness" in the Book of Revelation is thus used as a poetic device to express in a heightened sense the fullness and the scope of the eschatological redemption of all things. The "new song," the "new name," the "new heavens," the "new earth," and the "new Jerusalem" are all yet future. The fact that we have in these visions a present anticipation of this newness, provides no more warrant for the production of "new" worship song than it does for the building of a “new Jerusalem." Quite the contrary is the case. It is very significant, in fact, that worship song is placed in the category of the "new" things of John's vision. The distinguishing character of the "newness" attributed to these objects is its divine origin. The old creation groans and travails even now under the corruption of sin, so the Lord Himself will provide a new one. Men do not themselves build the New Jerusalem; it is fashioned directly by the hand of God and brought down from heaven (Rev. 21:2). Eschatological "newness" in the Book of Revelation is functionally equivalent to divine origin. This is just as true of the "new song" as it is of the "new heavens" and the "new earth." Eschatological “newness" in song may thus be seen as functionally equivalent to immediate inspiration by God. Seen in this way, the "new" songs of Revelation, far from providing a warrant for the use of uninspired songs in worship, bring to the fore once again the same basic principle that we have seen time and again in our consideration of the biblical principles of worship, namely, that the production of acceptable worship song is the sole prerogative of the Lord God Himself as He works through inspired authors set apart by Him to that very task.
Of course, it must be conceded that the apocalyptic visions of Isaiah and the Book of Revelation do have reference to a certain extent to our own dispensation. Certainly the "new covenant" (Jer. 31:31ff; 1 Cor. 11:25; Heb. 8:8ff-, 9:15), the description of the Christian as a "new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17), and so on, are present anticipations of the eschatological situation described in John's vision.

The question arises as to whether there is any sense, proleptic or otherwise, in which the worship song of the pre-consummation church is to share in this eschatological newness. In response to this question it may be observed, first of all, that much of the “newness” enjoyed by the Church in this dispensation is clearly proleptic or anticipatory in nature. Even our salvation, though complete in Christ, is seen in Scripture to have a future reference. Our redemptive “newness” has not yet been fully realized. We are to put on the “new self” (Eph. 4:22-24) because our "old self" was crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6), and yet every Christian bears witness to the strength of the "old self' yet remaining (cf. Rom. 7:23). We are new creations in Christ, and yet we wait for that day when all things will be made new. What all of this teaches us is that "newness" in the present state of things is not at all inconsistent with the continuation of certain aspects of the old order. Of the many examples that could be mentioned here, there is perhaps none clearer than that of the "new commandment" given by Christ to His disciples. His "new commandment," that we love one another (John 13:34), was not really a new commandment at all. It was in fact incorporated into the Mosaic law (Lev. 19:18). It was, as John tells us, a new commandment that was at the same time an old commandment (1 John 2:7; 2 John 5). The newness lay in the new perspective that we are given on the old commandment as a result of the manifestation of God's love in Christ. The "newness" of the New Testament with respect to the law of God does not have to do so much with content as with perspective. The law has not been abolished in Christ. It has been fulfilled and therefore placed in a new light, but it has not been superseded by a new law.

Good stuff.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
But this is a false comparison because there is no inspired prayer book written by inspired prayer-writers in the Bible. There is, however, an inspired song book written by inspired Psalmists. By "inspired songs" I mean songs that were obviously written for the entire Church. There are no such prayers in the bible, only prayers by individuals that happen to be inspired only in the sense that they made it into scripture. I think the teleological issue stands. God did not give us 150 songs only to let us do whatever we want with them.
Again - your premise is flawed - the Psalms are 150 extant examples of correct song writing - just as the prayers captured in Scripture model correct prayer for the church.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Again - your premise is flawed - the Psalms are 150 extant examples (there were potentially more) of correct song writing - just as the prayers captured in Scripture model correct prayer for the church.
David and the other Psalmists were prophets, writing under the direct inspiration of God. If that is an "example" does that mean that you have the same inspiration? Where did you find that description of the Psalms? The Book of Psalms is a hymnal given specifically by God to the entire Church; it's not just an example.

2 Chronicles 29:30 said:
And Hezekiah the king and the officials commanded the Levites to sing praises to the LORD with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed down and worshiped.
The "words of David and Asaph" were the Church's hymnal. How is my premise flawed, exactly? You said it was but didn't give any reason, then just made your own assertion.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Again - your premise is flawed - the Psalms are 150 extant examples of correct song writing - just as the prayers captured in Scripture model correct prayer for the church.
God has promised the Spirit for our lackness in prayer. He has ordained an office for the preaching of the Word. He USED TO have an office for the ordinary composition of song!

The million dollar question is, has God promised to bless the composition of song by Joe Shmoe? Where is the authority to compose such a holy ordinance of God? When messing with the worship of God, one had better be sure that God has promised his blessing upon the activity.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Obviously the reference to a "new song" in each of these instances is either a reference to the particular psalm in question or else a figure of speech to be interpreted metonymically for a doxology or prayer of thanksgiving.
Obviously?

This premise is not proven. David did not say "sing to the Lord this new song". Thus the conclusion is false.


Attribution of song here to inanimate objects is, of course, a hyperbolic device intended to express poetically the comprehensive scope of God's saving operations and the fullness of the praise that is due unto His Holy Name (cf. Isa. 55:12ff).
So - Christ was just being hyperbolic?

Luke 19:40
He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out."

I think not.

Again - premise not Scripturally proven and invalid.
 
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