Reply to 'Some Other Scriptures To Consider' Dear Mr. Brown,
Thank you for your irenic comments. One of my frequent prayers is that I will always be teachable: â€śRebuke not a scorner, lest he hate thee: but rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.â€ť â€śIron sharpeneth iron, so doeth man sharpen the face of his friendâ€ť (Prov. 9:8; 27:17).
As I trust you know, the Bible is its own dictionary and is its own commentary. As believers, we must turn to God's Word to understand God's words. Thus we must always be watchful that we are not unconsciously putting modern definitions upon words in the Bible, including â€śhymnsâ€ť and â€śsongs.â€ť We should look to the Bible to determine the meaning of those words. We should ask ourselves, â€śwhat do they mean in the language of Scripture? What did the words mean to the writer and to his first century audience?â€ť Continued below..
Reply ctd to Some other Scriptures to consider The misunderstanding of what is meant by â€śpsalms,â€ť â€śhymns,â€ť and â€śsongsâ€ť in the New Testament is because many believers do not know that the 150 compositions in the book of Psalms were titled as â€śpsalmsâ€ť (Heb. (mizmohr) , â€śpraiseâ€ť (t'hillah)â€ť and â€śsongsâ€ť (sheer) .
In the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint), which was the Bible used by the believers in Ephesus and Colossae, the book of Psalms is divided into â€śpsalms,â€ť â€śhymnsâ€ť and â€śsongsâ€ť â€“ thus Paul's use of â€śpsalms, hymns and spiritual songsâ€ť in Eph. 5:19 and Col 3:16 to refer to the entire book of Psalms, not to uninspired compositions. (â€śSpiritualâ€ť means â€śinspired by the Holy Spirit.â€ť)
The Greek word psalmos is the equivalent of mizmohr and is translated â€śpsalms.â€ť Humnos is the Greek word that is the equivalent of t'hillah and is translated â€śhymnâ€ť or sometimes â€śpraise.â€ť Odee is translated â€śsong.â€ť Psalmos, humnos and odee follow the Old Testament, of course, and are used often in the titles of the Psalms in the Septuagint. Sixty-seven are titled psalmos. Six are simply titled humnos. Thirty-five are titled odee. Twelve of the titles are both psalmos and odee, and two are both psalmos and humnos. And Psalm 76 is titled with all three: â€śpsalmos, humnos and odeeâ€ť (â€śpsalm, hymn and songâ€ť).
Reply ctd to Some other Scriptures to consider We no longer make the distinction between the three titles of inspired compositions and refer to all of them as simply the psalms. Sadly, this has resulted in the widespread belief that when the Bible says â€śpsalmsâ€ť it means the book of Psalms and when it says â€śhymnsâ€ť and â€śspiritual songsâ€ť it means uninspired compositions.
When the writers of the New Testament used the terms translated in our English Bibles as â€śpsalms,â€ť â€śhymnsâ€ť and â€śsongsâ€ť they were referring to the inspired psalms. They were certainly not referring to uninspired compositions. Every first century believer, Jew or gentile, who heard â€śpsalms, hymns and spiritual songsâ€ť knew immediately that the reference was to the inspired compositions in the psalter. That is how the compositions were titled. It would never occur to them to think that â€śpsalms, hymns and spiritual songsâ€ť meant â€śinspired psalms and uninspired compositions.â€ť
Reply ctd to Some other Scriptures to consider The hymn Jesus and the disciples sang in Mt. 26:30 and Mk. 14:26 was undoubtedly the hymn that was ALWAYS sung at the conclusion of Passover, part or all of the Great Hallel, psalms 113-118.
In Acts 16:25, Paul and Silas sang a hymn. The 1599 Geneva Bible translates it correctly: â€śNow at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang Psalms unto God, and the prisoners heard them.â€ť
The quote of Rom. 15:9 you cite is from the NIV. I am very sorry to see that the translators simply inserted the word â€śhymns.â€ť The word is not in the verse in the Greek nor in any other English translation I have consulted. Not even humnos is in that verse (even if it was, it would simply mean one of the psalms). The KJV and the Geneva Bible both translate the verse accurately: â€ś...For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.â€ť (KJV) â€ś...For this cause I will confess thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy Name.â€ť (Geneva Bible).
Reply to 'Some Other Scriptures To Consider' Please accept my brotherly urging to use a version more faithful to the original text; one that is based on the Received Text (Textus Receptus). I recommend the Geneva Bible of 1599/1560 from Tolle Lege Press.
There is much more to be said, but to keep my response reasonably brief, there is no evidence whatsoever, Biblical or historical, direct or inferential, that â€śhymnâ€ť or â€śsongâ€ť in the Bible ever means an uninspired human composition.
In fact, uninspired hymns have been usede to introduce heresy into the church. A very interesting book is â€śHymns, Heretics and Historyâ€ť by Louis F. DeBoer at http://www.amprpress.com/hymns_&_heretics.htm I highly recommend it.
In addition, I would appreciate it if you would take the time to prayerfully study the resources at
The bottom line is: No one has ever found a commandment in Scripture to sing uninspired songs in worship. Please think and pray about that.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Response to Mike Mike,
A brotherly suggestion -- if you want to get your point across, drop the invectives. "The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient..." (II Tim 2:24)
I suggest "What Christ Says About The Rapture": http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1124101058502
and my series on "the great tribulation" beginning at http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=91206222644
Blessings in Christ,
Reply to NB To NB -- I wish you had provided your e-mail address so I could respond to you personally.
All I can say is that you must not have listened to the sermon. It is replete with Scripture citations.
I might ask you to please provide Scriptures that authorize any songs other than the Psalms in worship. No one has ever found any. On the contrary, only the Psalms are authorized by God for song in worship.
Of course, you can say, as many do, that "what is not prohibited in Scripture is permitted." Then you have no Biblical basis for opposing almost anything in worship -- drama, puppet shows, dancing, circus acts, you name it -- as long as it claims to be somehow "Christian."
You may find this book edifying: http://www.amprpress.com/hymns_&_heretics.htm
Reply to M Anderson To M Anderson -- I have been in communication with Pastor Sean, but since you did not leave your e-mail address I must use this forum to reply.
Here are the Scriptures I read and/or cited in the sermon regarding Biblical worship: Col. 2:18-23; Hos. 4:13; Jn. 4:23; Rom. 10:1-4; Mk. 7:6-9; Mt. 15:9; 25:21-23; Deut. 12:32; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:18. I also read from chapters 21:1 and 21:5 of the Westminster Confession, handed out those sections with the Scripture proofs, and of course I encourage my listeners to be Bereans and look up the verses: Mt. 15:9; Acts 17:25; Mt. 4:9-10; Deut. 15:19; Ex. 20:4-6; Acts 15:21; Rev 1:3; 2 Tim. 4:2; Jas. 1:22; Acts 10:33; Mt. 13:19; Heb. 4:2; Isa. 66:2; Col 3:16; Eph. 5:19; Jas. 5:13; Mt. 28:19; I Cor. 11:23-28; Acts 2:42; Deut. 6:13; Neh. 10:29; Isa.19:21; Ecc. 5:4-5; Joel 2:12; Est. 4:16; Mt. 9:15; I Cor. 7:5; Ps 107; Est. 9:22; Heb. 12:28.
May I suggest you also listen to my sermon series on worship at sermonaudio.com
RE: Great Sermon! I have sent you the PDF of "Anarchy In Worship" by James Begg. For those of you who would like to read this excellent work, it is available at http://www.archive.org/details/AnarchyInWorship
This is from the description on that site:
"The principles upheld in this book are extremely important today, for as the title page notes "When nations are to perish in their sins, 'Tis in the Church the leprosy begins." Begg lays his foundations in the second commandment and deals with all man-made innovations in the worship of God. The four types of innovators exposed are especially interesting, being: 1.) the presumptuous and blasphemous innovator; 2.) the popularity-hunting innovator; 3.) the politic and scheming innovator; 4.) the asthetic innovator. Women preachers, drama, dance and numerous other modern inventions in public worship would all be rejected outright if these Biblical principles were faithfully followed. Herein we also see why those holding to the Scriptural law of worship and the Westminster Confession of Faith must reject musical instruments in public worship just an unbiblical innovation - a resurrecting of the abrogated ceremonial law - and thus a denial of the finished work of Christ."