Titles of Psalms in the LXX and in the NT

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Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
The titles of the Psalms in the Septuagint are as follows:

ψαλμος (3-9, 11-15, 19-25, 29-31, 38-41, 43-44, 46-51, 62-68, 73, 75-77, 79-85, 87-88, 92, 94, 98-101, 108-110, 139-141, 143)

συνεσιν (32, 42, 44-45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88-89, 142)

υμνοις (6, 54-55, 61, 67, 76)

ωδη (4, 18, 30, 39, 45, 48, 65-68, 75-76, 83, 87-88, 91-93, 95-96, 108, 120-134)

Paul's terms for the Psalter are:

In Colossians 3:16:
1. ψαλμοις
2. υμνοις
3. ωδαις πνευματικαις

In Ephesians 5:19:
1. ψαλμοις
2. υμνοις
3. ωδαις πνευματικαις

Colossians 3:16 ο λογος του χριστου ενοικειτω εν υμιν πλουσιως εν παση σοφια διδασκοντες και νουθετουντες εαυτους ψαλμοις και υμνοις και ωδαις πνευματικαις εν χαριτι αδοντες εν τη καρδια υμων τω κυριω

Ephesians 5:19 λαλουντες εαυτοις ψαλμοις και υμνοις και ωδαις πνευματικαις αδοντες και ψαλλοντες εν τη καρδια υμων τω κυριω

It would be reasonable, with the Westminster Divines, to conclude that Paul was not referring to un-inspired songs, nor inspired words not commanded to be sung, but to the divinely inspired Psalter, as translated into the Greek Septuagint.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Just remember, though, that the psalm titles in the Old Testament and the LXX are not inspired. Might change your argument a bit.
 

markkoller

Puritan Board Freshman
Just remember, though, that the psalm titles in the Old Testament and the LXX are not inspired. Might change your argument a bit.
Paul would have had no reason to doubt that the headings of the Psalms were inspired. It is my understanding that they were accepted in Paul's day. See comments page 24 of The Songs of Zion by Michael Bushell. Paul's use of these commonly understood terms would have been easily understood by his readers. Whether or not they are or were inspired is not the issue. They were accurate. I don't believe it changes the argument at all.

The question is, "What was Paul referring to?"

The answer = The inspired Psalms of the Old Testament.
 

R. Scott Clark

Puritan Board Senior
Just remember, though, that the psalm titles in the Old Testament and the LXX are not inspired. Might change your argument a bit.
Richard,

Whether the titles were inspired isn't really material since Paul quotes other uninspired sources ("All Cretans are...) in Titus 1 and elsewhere. The OT is chock full of references and allusions to uninspired texts. What matters is what the inspired writer made of the source and what point the we, the hearers and readers of the inspired use of the uninspired source, are to make of the inspired instruction.

There's no doubt that Paul used versions of the Greek translation(s) of the OT and given his formulaic use of "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" it's quite reasonable to think that he would have borrowed it from a well-known, existing source. Thus, he's citing something with which his audience is already familiar.

Thanks for this Adam. It's very useful!
 
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