Titles of Psalms in the LXX and in the NT

Discussion in 'A capella Exclusive Psalmody' started by Christusregnat, Jul 2, 2012.

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  1. Christusregnat

    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.
     
  2. SolaGratia

    SolaGratia Puritan Board Junior

    Excellent job!
     
  3. Christusregnat

    Christusregnat Puritan Board Professor

  4. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Post-Graduate

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

    SolaGratia Puritan Board Junior

    David, the sweet psalmist of the Church, and Paul was inspired.
     
  6. markkoller

    markkoller Puritan Board Freshman

    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.
     
  7. R. Scott Clark

    R. Scott Clark Puritan Board Senior

    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!
     
  8. Christusregnat

    Christusregnat Puritan Board Professor

    You are welcome, brother! I'm glad you found it useful.
     
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