Archive for October, 2014

Commerce Covenants and Meat’s Offered to Idols

October 31, 2014

Commerce Covenants and Meat’s Offered to Idols
Michael Daniels, Oct, 2014

Must Christians boycott places of business that support by the funds they receive from our business abominable violations of the law of God? R.C Sproul Jr. answered this with a resounding NO! Christians are not morally obligated to boycott places of business that supports abominable violations of the law of God. R.C. Sproul’s article is found @

But is this truly the case? What has the Reformed Church believed on this topic? R.C. Sproul Jr. places this issue in the realm of ‘meats offered to idols’, but is it really?

I believe R.C. Sproul Jr. is absolutely wrong here! Historically the Reformed Church has said we are not to do business with those who use the funds they receive from our business to commit abominable violations of the laws of God.

Westminster divine George Gillespie wrote a work titled ‘Another Most Useful Case of Conscience Discussed and Resolved, Concerning Associations and Confederacies with Idolaters, Infidels, Heretics, or Any Other Known Enemies of Truth and Godliness’ 1644, Gillespie said the following,

“As for civil covenants, if they be for commerce or peace, which were called spondai, they are allowed, according to the Scriptures, Gen. 14.13; 31.44; 1 Kings 5.12; Jer. 29.7; Rom. 12.18. … A covenant of peace or commerce with such may happen to be unlawful in respect of some circumstances, as when peace is given to these rebels, murderers, incendiaries in the kingdom, who, by the law of God, ought to be destroyed by the hand of justice; or when commerce with idolaters is so abused, as to furnish them with the things that they are known to make use of in their idolatry.”

There is a moral duty to not furnish anyone with what leads to an abominable violation of Gods law whether it be with money or goods.

So if I know a business is using the profits for something that is a gross violation of the law of God, I can not do business with them. Starbucks and J.C. Penny’s come to mind with their financial support of Sodomy.

And if I am in business and I sell goods that leads to a gross violation of the law of God I can not sell the goods to the person such as a wedding cake or being a photographer otherwise I become an accomplice to their sin. Psalm 50:18, “When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.”

Such is the example of Nehemiah! That the Sabbath was/is not only to be observed by Gentiles is evident from that passage of divine Scripture of Nehemiah. He not only prevented the Jews to break the Sabbath but also the Gentile vendors. He prevented a gross abominable violation of the law of God and had he not he would have been an accomplice with the Sabbath breakers (Psalm 50:18) since he knew for certain that they had meant to break the Sabbath law. Nehemiah is not only an example of a godly civil magistrate for today but an example to all including Christian business owners to not be accomplice with those we are certain will violate God’s law in a gross and abominable way, by means of our providing goods towards that end or by not speaking up to them.

“By what rule did Nehemiah not only forbid the breach of the Sabbath, but did also threaten bodily punishment upon the men of Tyre? (although they were heathens yet were they at this time within the gates and compass his jurisdiction, Neh. Xiii. 21.) Certainly he though himself bound in conscience to see that the Sabbath should not be profaned by any that were within his gates, according to this fourth commandment.” -Thomas Shepard, Theses Sabbaticae, 1649

This does not mean I can not do business with unbelievers but it does depends on the circumstances and knowledge of the situation.

But what about Paul and the ‘Meats offered to Idols’?

We simply cannot play Paul’s word’s against John’s. In Revelation, twice the eating of food sacrificed to idols was called abominable. Like many other issues in Scripture it is far more nuanced than just one passage by the Apostle Paul. All of Scripture must interpret Scripture, and we cannot isolate one passage apart from all of Scripture and interpret it independently.

“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, **to eat things sacrificed unto idols**, and to commit fornication.” (Rev. 2:14)

“Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and **to eat things sacrificed unto idols**.” (Rev. 2:20)

Paul also said further in his ‘meat offered to idols’ dialog,

“What say I then? that the idol is anything? or that that which is sacrificed to idols, is anything? Nay, but that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not unto God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with the devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of the devils. Ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of the devils. Do we provoke the Lord to anger? are we stronger than he?” (1 Corinthians 10:19-22)

So in a really real sense offering meats to idols is really a sacrifice to demons and Paul says we must not partake of the Lord’s table if we partake of the table of devils.

So we must explain how Paul’s word and John’s words are reconcilable, how that eating meat sacrificed to idols is put into the same category as fornication, and yet when we’re not aware we are allowed to eat.

George Gillespie has an extended section on that topic in his Disputation Against English Popish Ceremonies. Gillespie points out that in Revelation 2:14-20 that the churches of Pergamos and Thyatira are reproved of just such a practice. He explains that we must be careful to not to participate in the fellowship of demons either directly or by not removing the idolatry as Scripture commands, Exodus 23:13, Exodus 23:24; Exodus 34:13; Numbers 33:52; Deuteronomy 7:5; Deuteronomy 7:25; Deuteronomy 7:26.

“And ye shall take heed to all things that I have said unto you: and ye shall make no mention of the name of other gods, neither shall it be heard out of thy mouth.” (Exodus 23:13),

“But thus ye shall deal with them, Ye shall overthrow their altars, and break down their pillars, and ye shall cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.” (Deuteronomy 7:5),

“The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire, and covet not the silver and gold, that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therewith: for it is an abomination before the Lord thy God. Bring not therefore abomination into thine house, lest thou be accursed like it, but utterly abhor it, and count it most abominable: for it is accursed.” (Deuteronomy 7:25-26),

“Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, neither serve them, nor do after the works of them: but utterly overthrow them, and break in pieces their images.” (Exodus 23:24),

“But ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their images in pieces, and cut down their groves” (Exodus 34:13),

“Ye shall then drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you, and destroy all their pictures, and break asunder all their images of metal, and pluck down all their high places” (Numbers 33:52)

Paul tells us not to ask where it comes from because if we know that it is sacrificed to idols then we become united to them in their idolatry.

Gillespie’s quotation of Zanchius is extremely helpful:

“it is true in and of themselves these things are nothing; but in respect of things offered in sacrifice they are something because it is through these things, we are united to those to whom they are offered in sacrifice. Who are they? Demons”

On page 69 of the same work, Gillespie wrote “Of the second sort of idolothites, the Apostle begans to speak in ver. 23. The Corinthians moved a question, Whether they might lawfully eat things sacrificed to idols? In privatis onviviis, saith Pareus. The Apostle resolves them that domi in privato convictu, they might eat them, except it were in the case of scandal”

Gillespie then goes on to say, regarding the First sorts of Idolothites, “are simply and in themselves unlawful. And if meats sacrificed to idols be so unlawful, then much more such things and rites as have not only been sacrificed and destinated to the honour of idols.”

Gillespie is saying that the first sort of Idolothite, the eating of meat that has been set apart for the purpose of idolatry, whereas the second is that which is presented according to a common use. In the first, the meat is offered as sacrificed and hence “holy” meat, whereas the latter it is offered merely as meat at a private gathering.

When one buys meat at the market they can buy whatever meat is there so long as it is not presented as a meat set apart to an idol. When at a private gathering with unbelievers one should eat any meat put in front of them as common food fit for common consumption. One who eats this meat is the second sort of an Idolothite, and are not partaking in idolatry.

However, when the meat is offered as “holy” meat, then to join in the partaking of it is to join oneself to the idolatrous practices, even if it is in “private”.

Augustine said that it is better to die of hunger than to eat of such idolatry.

So the difference is a matter of circumstance and intent. For it to qualify as the second sort of Idolothite, both the circumstances of receiving it and the intent of the offering and the receiver must be purely of “common use”, holding no religious significance whatsoever.

For example if you knew that some of the meat that was sold in the market had been sacrificed to idols but it was not being put forward as such and you couldn’t know if the particular meat you were buying was that meat then it would be perfectly lawful to buy, even though you know there is a good possibility that it was sacrificed to an idol.

George Gillespie is not alone here. If you read the section of Gillespie’s ‘Disputation Against the English Popish Ceremonies’ you will see that he is merely restating the standard reformed position as he quotes from Zanchius, Beza, Cartwright, Perkins and Augustine.

So when it comes to having a Commerce Covenant with infidels, we are permitted to do business with them, as the Scripture teaches but if we happen to KNOW for certain that they plan on using the business transactions to further a wicked ambition or commit a wicked violation of the laws of God then we are morally obligated to NOT furnish them with such means and ability and to do so would make us an accomplice in their wicked actions. We are free to engage in commerce with idolaters so long as it is not abused, such as to furnish them with the things that they are known to make use of in their idolatry..

This is not legalism but Biblical Reformed theology!

George Gillespie, Another Most Useful Case of Conscience Discussed and Resolved, Concerning Associations and Confederacies with Idolaters, Infidels, Heretics, or Any Other Known Enemies of Truth and Godliness, 1644, @

Thomas Shepard, Theses Sabbaticae, 1649

George Gillespie, Disputation Against the English Poplish Ceremonies, 1645,

Appendix 1 Extended Portion George Gillespie’s Treatise on ‘Meat’s Offered to Idols’, Disputation Against the English Poplish Ceremonies, 1645,

On Meats Offered to Idols Discourse

Pgs. 68 – 71

“The proposition thus explained is confirmed by these five proofs: 1. God’s own precept, – “Ye shall defile also the covering of they graven images of silver, and the ornaments of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth, thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence,” Isa. Xxx. 22. The covering of the idol here spoken of, Gasper Sanctus rightly understandth to be that, quo aut induebantur simulaera Gentilico ritu, aut bracteuas quibus lignece imaginea integantur, aut quo homines idolis sacrificaturi amiciebantur; so that the least appurtenances of idols are to be avoided. When the apostle Jude would have us to hate garments spotted with the flesh, his meaning is, detestandam esscvel superficiem ipsaus mali sive peccati, quam tuniece appellatione subiumuere videtur, as our own. Rolloke hath observed, If the very covering of an idol be forbidden, what shall be thought of other things which are not only spotted, but irrecoverably polluted with idols? Many such precepts were given to Israel, as “Ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves,” Exod. Xxxiv. 13, “The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver nor gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein; for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God,” Deut. Vii. 25, 26. Read to the same purpose, Num. Xxxiii. 53; Deut. Vii. 5; xii. 2, 3.

Secondly, God hath not only by his precepts commanded us to abolish all the relics of idolatry, but by his promises also manifested unto us how acceptable service this should be to him. There is a command “That the Israelites should destroy the Canaanites,” Num. Xxxiii. 52, evertantque res omens idololatricas ipsorum eui mandato, saith Junius, subjicitur sua promissio, namely, that the Lord would give them the promised land, and they should dispossess the inhabitants thereof, ver. 53; yeah, there is a promise of remission and reconciliation to this work: “By this shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged and this is all the fruit to take away his sin when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalk-stones that are beaten asunder, the groves and images shall not stand up.” Isa. Xxvii. 9.

Thirdly, the churches of Pergamos and Thyatira are reproved for suffering the use of idolothies, Rev. ii. 14-20, where the eating of things sacrifices to idols is condemned as idolatry and spiritual adultery, as Perkins noteth. Paybody, therefore, is greatly mistaken when he thinks that meats sacrifices to idols, being the good creatures of God, were allowed by the Lord, out of the case of scandal, notwithstanding of idolatrous pollution; for the eating of things sacrificed to idols is reproved as idolatry, Rev. ii; and the eating of such things is condemned as a fellowship with devils, 1 Cor. x. 20. Now idolatry and fellowship with devils, I suppose, are unlawful, though no scandal should follow upon them. And whereas he thinks meats sacrificed to idols to be lawful enough out of the case of scandal, for this reason, because they are the good creatures of God, he should have considered better the Apostle’s mind conerning such Idolothites; which Zanehius seteth down thus: Verum est, per se haec nihil sunt, sed, respectu eoerum quibus immolantur aliquid sunt; quia per haecillis quibus immolantur, nos consoeiamur. Qui isti? Daemones. For our better understanding of this matter, we must distinguish two sorts of idolothites, both which we find, 1. Cor. x. Of the one, the Apostle speaks from the 14th verse of that chapter to the 23d; of the other, from the 23d verse to the end. This is Beza’s distinction in his Annotations on that chapter. Of the first sort, he delivers the Apostle’s mind thus: That as Christians have their holy banquets, which hare badges of their communion both of Christ and among themselves; and as the Israelites, by their sacrifices, did seal their copulation in the same religion, so also idolaters, cum suisidolis aut potius daemonibus, solemnibusillis epulis copulantur. So that this sort of idolothites were eaten in temples, and public solemn lanquets, which were dedicated to the honour of idols, 1 Cor. Viii. 10. Cartwright showeth that the Apostle is comparing the table of the Lord with the table of idolaters; whereupon it followeth, that as we use the Lord’s table religiously, so that table of idolaters of which the Apostle speaketh, had stat in the idolatrous worship like that feast, Num. Xxv.3; quod in honorem falsorum Deorum celebrabatur, saith Calvin

This first sort of idolothities Pareus calls the sacrifices of idols; and from such, he saith, the Apostle dissuadeth by this argument, Partcipare epulis idolorum, est idololatria. Of the second sort of Idolothites, the Apostle begins to speak in ver. 23. The Corinthians moved a question, Whether they might lawfully eat things sacrificed to idols? In privatis conviviis, saith Pareus. The Apostle resolves them that domi in primvato convictu, they might eat them, except it were in the case of scandal; thus Beza. The first sort of idolothites are meant of Rev. ii., as Beza there noteth; and of this sort must we understand Augustine to mean whilst he saith, that it were better mori fame, quam idolothites vesci. These sorts are simply and in themselves unlawful, then much more such things and rites as have not only been sacrificed and destinated to the honour of idols (for this is but one kind of idolatrous abuse), but also of a long time publicly and solemnly employed in the worshipping of idols, and deeply defiled with idolatry, much more, I say, are they unlawful to be applied to God’s most pure and holy worship, and therein used by us publicly and solemnly, so that the world may see us conforming and joining ourselves unto idolaters.

Fourthly, I fortify my proposition by approved examples; and, first, we find that Jacob, Gen. Xxxv. 4, did not only abolish out of his house the idols, but their ear-rings also, because they were superstitionis insignia, as Calvin; res ad idolatriam pertinentes, as Junius; monilia idolis consecrata, as Pareus calleth them; all writing upon that place. We have also the example of Elijah, 1 Kings xviii. 30: he would by no means offer upon Baal’s altar, but would needs repair the Lord’s altar, though this should hold the people longer in expectation. This he did, in P. Martyr’s judgment, because he thought it a great indignity to offer sacrifice to the Lord upon the altar of Baal; whereupon Martyr reprehendeth those who, in administering the true supper of the Lord, uti velint Papisticis vestibus et instrumentis. Further, we have the example of Jehu, who is commended for the destroying of Baal out of Israel, with his image, his house, and his very vestments, 2 Kings x. 22-28. And what example more considerable than that of Hezekiah, who not only abolished such monuments of idolatry as at their first institution were but men’s invention, but break down also the brazen serpent (though originally set up at God’s own command), when once he saw it abused to idolatry? 2 Kings xvii. 4. This deed of Hezekiah Pope Steven doth greatly praise, and professeth that it is set before us for our imitation, that when our predecessors have wrought some things which might have been without fault in their time, and afterward they are converted into error and superstition, they may be quickly destroyed by us who come after them. Farellus saith, that princes and magistrates should learn by this example of Hezekiah what they should do with those significant rites of men’s devising which have turned to superstition. Yea, the Bishop of Winchester acknowledgeth, that whatsoever is taken up at the injunction of men, when it is drawn to superstition, cometh under the compass of the brazen serpent, and is to be abolished; and he excepteth nothing from this example but only things of God’s own prescribing. Moreover, we have example of good Josiah, 2 Kings xxiii., for he did not only destroy the houses, and the high places of Baal, but his vessels also, and his grove, and his altars; yeaj, the horses and chariots which had been given o the sun. The example also of penitent Manasseh, who not only overthrew the strange gods, but their altars too, 2 Chron. Xxxiii. 15. And of Moses, the man of God, who was not content to execute vengeance on the idolatrous Israelites, except he should also utterly destroy the monuments of their idolatry, Exod. Xxxii. 17-20. Lastly, we have the example of Daniel, who would not defile himself with a portion of the king’s meat, Dan. I. 8; because saith Junius, it was converted in usum idololatricum; for at the banquets of the Babylonians and other Gentiles, erant proaemessa sive praemissa, quae diis praemittebantur, they used to consecreate their meat and drink to idols upon the same, so that their meat and drink fell under the prohibition of idolothites. This is the reason which is given by the most of the interpreters for Daniel’s fearing to pollute himself with the king’s meat and wine; and it is hath also approbation of a Papist.

Fifthly, Our proposition is backed with a twofold reason, for things which have been notoriously abused to idolatry should be abolished: 1. Quia Monent. Quia movent. First then, they are monitory, and preserve the memory of idols; monumentum in good things is both moniumentum and munimentum; but monumentum in evil things (such as idolatry) is only moniumentum, which monet mentem, to remember upon such things as ought not to be once named among saints, but should lie buried in the eternal darkness of silent oblivion. Those relics therefore of idolatry, quibus quasi monumentis posteritas admoneatur (as Wolphius rightly saith), are to be quite defaced and destroyed, because they serve to honour the memory of cursed idols. God would not have so much as the name of an idol to be remembered among his people, but commanded to destroy their names as well as themselves, Exod. Xxiii. 13; Deut. Xii. 3; Josh. Xxiii. 7; whereby we are admonished, as Calvin saith, how destestable idolatry is before God, cujus memoriam vult penitus deleri, he posthac ullum ejus vestigium appareat: yeah, he requreth, corum omnium memoriam deleri, quae semeldieata sunt idolis. If Morecai would not give his countenance, Esth.. iii. 2, nor do any reverence to a living monument of that nation whose name God had ordained to be blotted out from under the heaven, much less should we give connivance, and far less countenance, but least of all reverence, Deut. Xxv. 19, to the head and dumb monuments of those idols which God hath devoted to utter destruction, with all their naughty appurtenances, so that he will not have their names to be once mentioned or remembered again. But, secondly, movent too; such idolothous remainders move us to turn back to idolatry. For usu compertum habemus, superstitiones etiam postquam explosae essent, si qua relicta fuissent earum monumenta, cum memoriam sui ipsarum apud homines, tum id tandem ut revocerantur obtinuisse, saith Wolphius, who hereupon thinkgs it behoveful to destroy funditus such vestiges of superstition for this cause, if there were no more: ut et aspirantibus ad revocandam idololatriam spes frangatur, et res novas molientibus ansa pariter ac materia praeripiatur. God would have Israel to overthrow all idolatrous monuments, lest thereby they should be snared, Deut. Vii. 25; xii. 30. And if the law command to cover a pit, lest an ox or an ass should fall therein, Exod. Xxi. 23, shall we suffer a pit to be open wherein the precious souls of men and women, which all the world cannot ransom, are likely to fall? Did God command to make a battlement for the roof of a house, and that for the safety of men’s bodies, Deut. Xxii. 8, and shall we not only not put up a battlement, or object some bar for the safety of men’s souls, but also leave the way slippery and full of snares? Read we not that the Lord, who knew what was in man, and saw how propense he was to idolatry, did not only remove out of his people’s way all such things as might any allure or entice them to idolatry (even to the cutting off the names of the idols out of the land, Zech. Xiii. 2), but also hedge up their way with thorns that they might not find their paths, nor overtake their idol gods when they should seek after them? Hos. Ii, 6, 7. And shall we by the very contrary course not only hedge up the way of idolatry with thorns, which may stop and stay such as have an inclination aiming forward, but also lay before them inciting and enticing occasions which add to their own propension, such delectation as spurreth forward with a swift facility?

Thus, having both explained and confirmed the proposition of our present argument, …”


Short but explicit 10 Point Survey/Systematic View of musical instruments in worship throughout 1 and 2 Chronicles with Historical Resources

October 21, 2014

Short but explicit 10 Point Survey/Systematic View of musical instruments in worship throughout 1 and 2 Chronicles

Ever so often I get asked, “Why don’t you believe we should use musical instruments in the worship of God?” and “If Musical Instruments were used in the Old Testament, why are we now not allowed to use them?”

Throughout the history of the church it had been understood that musical instruments were no longer to be done in the worship of God. The first musical instrument was introduced in Christian worship by Pope Vitalian in 667 A.D. and this was due to the change in perspective in the church from the Synagogue model of worship to the Temple model of worship which is the position of the Roman Catholic Church. This is the main reason why the Roman Catholic Church has Incense, Musical Instruments, Vestments, Transubstantiation, etc, because they have adopted the Temple model of Worship. But the New Testament Church is not to be based on the Temple Model. The Temple along with all the sacrifices and all the Temple Rituals are done away with outwardly according to the Book of Hebrews. The reality of these ordinances still remain for us today but we no longer to perform the outward aspects of these sacrifices and rituals.

The New Testament church is based on the model of the Synagogue. It was the weekly gathering of the saints throughout the Old Testament. It was set up by God through Moses in Lev. 23:3 which is the Holy Convocations (Miqra) that God appointed on the weekly bases. Even the Apostles declared that Moses was the one who set up Synagogues in every city in Acts 15:21. So we know that the Synagogue was set up according to divine revelation given to Moses and it was set up from the time of the giving of the law on Mount Sinai.

The Synagogue only had the non-sacrificial/rituals of the temple. The Synagogue worship consisted of Prayer, Reading and Hearing the Word of God, Exposition of Scripture, Singing of Psalms without Musical Instruments. In fact to this day Orthodox Jews and Karaite Jew (Non-Rabbinical Jews) do not have musical instruments in worship and the reason at least according to the Karaite Jews is that there is no Temple and No sacrifice. You see the Church is the continuation of the Synagogue of the Old Testament. In James 2:2 James declared that Christian worship assemblies are called Synagogues and we know that the Ecclesia existed in the Old Testament which is testified by Stephens in Acts 7:38, “This is he, that was in the church (Ecclesia) in the wilderness with the Angel (Christ) which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us”.

So what does this have to do with Musical Instruments?

You see Musical Instruments were part of the sacrificial system, 2 Chronicles 29:29-30. They were commanded only by the Levitical Priesthood, 1 Chronicles 15:16. They were put away after the burnt offerings, 2 Chronicles 29:28. No one besides the Levites were able to play the musical instruments. They were part and parcel of the Levitical Sacrifices.

But you might say, “Wait a minute! What about the Psalms that declares us to praise Him with musical instruments?” The Psalms speak to us in Sacrificial Language by using Old Covenant Cultic Symbolism in the same way the Revelation uses Old Covenant Cultic Symbolism for Worship in Heaven. We sing in the Psalms of the hyssop (5 1:7), the altar (43:4), the sack-cloth (69:11), the evening sacrifice (141:2), the goats and bulls (66:15), the cherubim (80:1), and the ark (132:8). No one applies these with a wooden literalism to the church today.

What what about Psalm 150? All the Earth is to praise Him! Given the fact that Psalm 150 incorporates the instrumentation of the temple, the taboret playing and dancing of victory celebrations as well as instruments only used upon secular occasions…; coupled with the exhortation for everything that breathes to praise Yahovah it should be rather obvious that this Psalm was not meant to be used as a literal instruction guide for public worship. Psalm 150 is an exhortation expressed in poetic language which teaches that everyone in heaven and on earth should praise Yahovah with every fiber of his being. Within worship the only instruments allowed were psaltries, harps and cymbols. The timbrels were used during civil celebrations for national deliverance and were accompanied by women dancing.

So just as we no longer to offer up incense in worship we are also no longer to offer up musical instruments in worship. They were directly tied to the Temple and burnt offerings and never played in worship outside of the Temple or without a sacrifice being performed.. How do we know this? Take your time and go through this bullet proof listing of the systematic view of musical instruments according to 1 and 2 Chronicles,

1. The use of musical instruments in the OT worship was a function of the Levites, who presided over the sacrificial system.

1 Chronicles 15:16 And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.

2. The specifically appointed function of these Levites was to minister before the ark of the LORD.

1 Chronicles 16:4-6 And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel: 5 Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obededom: and Jeiel with psalteries and with harps; but Asaph made a sound with cymbals; 6 Benaiah also and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God.

1 Chronicles 16:37 So he left there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day’s work required:

3. Those appointed to play musical instruments were specifically-named members of the priestly family, who were charged to employ the “instruments of God” in connection with the burnt offerings “according to all that is written in the law of the LORD.”

1 Chronicles 16:39-42 And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD in the high place that was at Gibeon, 40 To offer burnt offerings unto the LORD upon the altar of the burnt offering continually morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the law of the LORD, which he commanded Israel; {morning…: Heb. in the morning, and in the evening} 41 And with them Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest that were chosen, who were expressed by name, to give thanks to the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever; 42 And with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should make a sound, and with musical instruments of God. And the sons of Jeduthun were porters.

4. Within the order of the priests and Levites there were 4,000 appointed to play musical instruments made by David himself for the purpose of praising God.

1 Chronicles 23:2-5 And he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. 3 Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand. 4 Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the LORD; and six thousand were officers and judges: 5 Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith.

5. In addition to ministering before the ark of the LORD and praising in connection with the burnt offering, some of the priests and Levites were set apart to prophesy with musical instruments.

1 Chronicles 25:1-2 Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was: 2 Of the sons of Asaph; Zaccur, and Joseph, and Nethaniah, and Asarelah, the sons of Asaph under the hands of Asaph, which prophesied according to the order of the king.

6. The employment of the instruments was a function of the priests, arrayed in white linen.

2 Chronicles 5:12-13 Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets 13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD;

2 Chronicles 7:6 And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood.

7. The use of the musical instruments by the Levites was carefully done according to the prescription of God through His prophets – only Levites, and only the specific instruments appointed by God.

2 Chronicles 29:25-26 And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the LORD by his prophets. 26 And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.

8. The Levitical function of employing the musical instruments commenced with the offering of the burnt offering.

2 Chronicles 29:27 And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel.

9. The Levitical function of employing the musical instruments stopped at the completion of the burnt offering.

2 Chronicles 29:28 And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.

10. When the burnt offering was finished, the instruments were put away, but the singing of praises continued in reverent worship to God.

2 Chronicles 29:29-30 And when they had made an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and worshipped. 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.

In the End it comes down to this, No temple, no sacrifice; no sacrifice, no instruments…

What was the historical view through the church?

On Musical Instruments in the early church,

“The use of singing with instrumental music was not received in the Christian church as it was among the Jews in their infant state, but only the use of plain song” –Justin Martyr

“Leave the pipe to the shepherd, the flute to the men who are in fear of gods and are intent on their idol-worshipping. Such musical instruments must be excluded…” –Clement of Alexandria

“Praise Him with harp, for the tongue is a harp of the Lord; ‘and with the lute, praise Him, understanding the mouth as a lute moved by the Spirit.” –Clement of Alexandria

“But as for us, we make use of one instrument alone: only the Word of peace, by whom we pay homage to God, no longer with ancient harp or trumpet or drum or flute –Clement of Alexandria

“The [theater and the arena] resemble each other also in their ceremony, having the same proces­sion to the scene of their display from temples and altars, and that mournful profusion of incense and blood, with music of pipes and trumpets.” -Tertullian

“One imitates the hoarse, warlike clanging of the trumpet. Another with his breath blowing into a pipe regulates its mournful sounds. …Why should I speak of…those great tragic vocal ravings? Why should I speak of strings set vibrating with noise? Even if these things were not dedicated to idols, they should not be approached and gazed upon by faithful Christians.” -Novatian

“When formerly the people of the circumcision worshipped through symbols and types, it was not unreasonable that they raised hymns to God on psalteries and cithara … we however … upon a living psaltery and an animate cithara and in spiritual songs that we render the hymn. And so more sweetly pleasing to God than any musical instrument would be the symphony of the people of God, by which, in every church of God, with kindred spirit and single disposition, with one mind and unanimity of faith and piety, we raise melody in unison in our psalmody.” –Eusebius of Caesarea

Commentary on Ps. 33:2, “It was only permitted to the Jews, as sacrifices was, for the heaviness and grossness of their souls. God condescended to their weakness, because they were lately drawn off from idols: but now instead of “musical instruments”, we may use our own bodies to praise him withal.” –Chrysostom

“Praise the Lord on the cithara, sing to him on the psaltery of ten strings, etc. The cithara is the practical soul set in motion by the commandments of God; the psaltery is the pure mind set in otion by spiritual knowledge. The musical instruments of the Old Testament are not unsuitable for us if understood spiritually; figuratively the body can be called a cithara and the soul a psaltery, which are likened to musically to the wise man who fittingly employs the limbs of the body and the powers of the soul as strings. Sweetly sings he who sings in the mind, uttering spiritual songs, singing in his heart to God.” Evagrius Ponticus

“Praise the Lord with Harp; sing unto Him with the Psaltery of ten strings, … the name of Christ brought it to pass that harps should be banished out of this place. … Let none turn his heart to instruments …”-Augustine of Hippo

“If God bore with bloodly sacrifices, because of men’s childishness at that time, why should you wonder he bore with music of the harp and a psaltery?” Isidore of Pelusium

“When he ordained in the law, then, concerning these things, was because of their weakness, not their need or their intention” –Theodoret

Wherefore the use of such instruments and other things appropriate to those who are childish is dispensed with in the churches and singing alone has been left over.” –Theodoret

The Council of Laodicea of 367 forbid the use of musical instruments.

The Council of Carthage of 416 addressed the issue and declared, “On the Lord’s Day, let all instruments of music be silenced.”

The first musical instrument was introduced in Christian worship by Pope Vitalian in 667 A.D. and this was due to the change in perspective in the church from the Synagogue model of worship to the Temple model of worship which is the position of the Roman Catholic Church.

Oecolampadius/Myconius on the Duty of Magistrates and see that God’s Name is hallowed

October 14, 2014

“God has charged governments His servants, with the sword and with the highest external power for the protection of the good and for vengeance upon and punishment of evil-doers. For this reason, every Christian government with which we desire to be numbered, should do all in its power to see that God’s Name is hallowed among its subjects, God’s kingdom extended, and His will observed by the assiduous extirpation of crimes.”

Confession of Basel of 1534, First Draft Written by Johann Oecolampadius in 1531, Revised and Extended by his Successor Oswald Myconius

Henry Bullinger on the Judicial laws and the Magistrate’s Duty in matters of Religion and the Sabbath Day

October 13, 2014

Henry Bullinger (1504 – 1575)

“This one thing I add more; that it is the duty of a christian magistrate, or at leastwise of a good householder, to compel to amendment the breakers and contemners of God’s sabbath and worship. The peers of Israel, and all the people of God, did stone to death (as the Lord commanded them) the man that disobediently did gather sticks on the sabbath-day [Numbers 15:32-6]. Why then should it not be lawful for a christian magistrate to punish by bodily imprisonment, by loss of goods, or by death, the despisers of religion, of the true and lawful worship of the sabbath-day? […] For it is a heinous sin and a detestable schism, if the congregation be assembled, either in cities or villages, for thee then to seek out byways to hide thyself, and not to come from there, but to contemn the church of God and assembly of saints: as the Anabaptists have taken an use to do.” -Henry Bullinger, Fifty godly and learned sermons divided into the five decades containing the chief and principal points of Christian religion, ed. Thomas Harding (1849-52 Parker edn; 4 vols, Grand Rapids, 2004), i, 261-2.

“the substance of God’s judicial laws is not taken away or abolished.” -Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575), The Decades

Henry Bullinger writing to John Calvin on the execution of Michael Servetus

“I know that many have wished that you had not defended this principle; but many also thank you, and among others our church. Urbanus Regius has long ago proved, in a work of his own, and all the ministers of Luneberg agree with him, that heretics, when they are blasphemers, ought to be punished. There are also many other pious men who think the same, and consider that such offenders ought not only to be silenced, but to be put to death. Do not repent therefore of what you have done: the Lord will uphold your righteous efforts. I know that your disposition is not cruel, and that you will favour no barbarity. Who knows not, that a boundary must be set to things of this kind? But how it could be possible to spare such a man as Servetus, that serpent of all heresies, that most obdurate of men, I see not.”[1] [1] Cited in Paul Henry, The Life and Times of John Calvin, the Great Reformer: Volume II, trans. Henry Stebbing (London: Whittaker and Co., 1849), 234.

Henry Bullinger on the Qualifications of Civil Magistrates

October 13, 2014

And how this place and argument do require, that I speak somewhat touching the office or authority of the magistrate: which (by God’s help) I will assay to do, not that I mean or can allege all that may be said thereof, but that which shall seem most properly to declare the meaning of it, and is most necessary for this present treatise.

Magistratus (which word we use for the room wherein the magistrate is) doth take the name a magistris populi designandis, “of assigning the masters, guiders, and captains of the people.” That room and place is called by the name of “power” or “authority,” by reason of the power that is given to it of God. It is called by the name of “domination,” for the dominion that the Lord doth grant it upon the earth. They are called princes that have that dominion: for they have a pre-eminence above the people. They are called consuls, of counseling; and kings, of commanding, ruling, and governing the people. So, then, the magistracy (that I may henceforward use this word of the magistrate’s power and place) is an office, and an action in executing of the same.


The magistracy, by the scriptures, may be defined to be a divine ordinance or action, whereby the good being defended by the prince’s aid, and the evil suppressed by the same authority, godliness, justice, honesty, peace, and tranquility, both public and private, are safely preserved. Whereby we gather, that to govern a commonwealth, and to execute the office of a magistrate, is a worship and service to God himself. God verily is delighted therein. For the office of a magistrate is a thing most excellent, and abounding with all good works, as in my former sermon I have declared.

Here I have to speak somewhat touching the election of magistrates: and first, to whom the choice and ordering of the magistrate doth belong secondarily, whom and what kind of men it is best to choose to be magistrates; and lastly, the manner and order of consecrating those which once are chosen.

Touching the election of magistrates, to whom that office should belong… Now for the good election of magistrates, the Lord himself declareth whom and what kind of men he will have to be chosen, in these very words: “Look over all the people, consider them diligently, and choose from among them men of courage, such as fear God, speakers of truth, and haters of covetousness, and make them rulers over thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens, to judge the people at all seasons.” Four things the Lord requireth in a good governour. First, that he be a man of courage, of strength or force, that is, which hath ability to do the thing whereunto he is appointed. That ability consisteth in mind rather than in body. For it is required, that he be not a fool, but wise and skilful in that which he hath to do: because the office of a captain is to know how to set his army in order of battle, rather than to fight himself; or as a chariot-man ought rather to know how to guide his cart in driving, than to draw it himself. And therewithal too, there is demanded a boldness of stomach to dare to do the things that he already knoweth; for constancy and sufferance are very needful in every captain.

In the second place that is set down, which indeed is the first; let him fear God, let him be religious and not superstitious. No idolater preserveth the commonwealth, but rather destroyeth it; and a wicked man defendeth not truth and true religion, but persecuteth and driveth them out of his jurisdiction. Let this magistrate of ours therefore be of the right religion, sound in faith, believing the word of God, and knowing that God is present among men and doth repay to whom he list according to their deserts. …

Thirdly, there is required of him, which msut be chosen and called to be magistrate, that he be true in word and deed, so that he be not found to be an hypocrite, a liar, a deceiver, a turncoat, nor one which out of one mouth doth blow both hot and cold; but faithful, simple, a plain dealer, and blameless. He must not be more liberal in promising than in performing. He must not be one that setteth light by an oath, not a false swearer, nor a perjured man. Fourthly, because many are in the office desires riches, and seek to increase their wealth by bribes, the Lord removeth such from the magistracy and forbiddeth good magistrates to be covetous: yea, he doth expressly charge them to hate and abhor it; as he both also, in another place, not only forbid them to take bribes, but also command them to shake off and rid their hands of all rewards. Covetousness and greedy desires of bribes are the very plagues that choke good magistrates. …

This place is made more manifest by conferring it with other places in the law of God. Moses, in Deuteronomy, saith to the people: “Bring men of wisdom, of understanding, and of an honest life, according to your tribes.” [Deuteronomy 1:13] Three things here again doth the wise man, Moses, require in them that are to be appointed magistrates in his commonweal. First, saith he, let them be wise. But the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Let them therefore be ordained as magistrates, that are friends to God and true religion; let them be wise, and not foolish idiots. Secondarily, they must be men of understanding; that is, men of experience, who by long and continual exercise in handling of matters are able at the first brunt to deal in all cases according to the law. Lastly, they must be men of honest report, whose life and sound conversation are by their deeds perfectly tried and sufficiently witnessed of unto the people: and finally, they must be such as bear authority, and not be despised as rascal and vile knaves.”

-Henry Bullinger, The Decades

Henry Bullinger on Lawful versus Unlawful Magistrates

October 13, 2014

“Now many there are which will have the magistrate to be of two sorts, to wit, either good or bad. The good magistrate is he who, being lawfully ordained, doth lawfully execute his office and duty. The evil magistrate is he which, when he hath by evil means got the authority, doth turn and dispose it as himself lusteth. And hereupon the question wont to be demanded: Whether an evil, that is, a tyrannical, magistrate, be of God or no? To this I answer, that God is the author of Good, and not of evil. For God by nature is good, and all his purposes are good, being directed to the health, and preservation, not to the destruction of us men. Therefore the good and healthful ordaining of the magistrate, without all doubt, is of God himself, who is the author of all goodness. But here is it requisite, that we make a difference betwixt the office which is the good ordinance of God, and the evil person that doth not rightly execute that good office. If therefore in the magistrate evil be found, and not the good for which he was ordained, that cometh of other causes, and the fault thereof is in the men and person, which neglect God and corrupt the ordinance of God, and not in God, nor in his ordinance.: for either the evil prince, seduced by the devil, corrupteth the ways of God, and by his own fault and naughtiness transgresseth God’s ordinance, so far, that he both worthily deserve the name of devilish power, and not divine authority; – (we have an example hereof in the magistrate of Jerusalem: for although he were able to refer the beginning of his power by degrees unto Moses, and so unto God himself who did ordain it; yet, for because he taketh the Saviour in the garden and bindeth him, to his servants it is said, “Ye are come out as it were to a thief with swords and staves; when I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched not forth your hands against me; but this is even your hour, and the power of darkness.” Lo, here he calleth the ordinary magistrate the power of the devil, when he abuseth his power. What could be more evidently spoken?

So the, verily, we ought not at any time to defend the tyrannical power, and say that it is of God: for tyranny is not a divine but a devilish, kind of government; and tyrants themselves are properly the servants of the devil, and not of God. ”

Pg. 314 The decades by Henry Bullinger

Johannes Seu on the Duty of Magistrates in Religion and a Country Flourishing with Unity in Religion

October 10, 2014

Reformed pastor at Middelburg, Johannes Seu, declare as he urges the local ruler to “do his duty” by enforcing religious uniformity:

“How can there be a quiet and a peaceful life and how can a country flourish if its citizenry is divided by diverse conceptions of religion? There is nothing so baneful for the community as disunity, diversity, and contention in matters religious. Therefore a magistrate must stand guard diligently that false doctrine and heresy are precluded and eliminated, for these are the well-springs of all disunity among the citizens . . . . It is as clear as the noon-day sun that unity achieved by the sword of the magistrate is the one and only beginning, the middle, and the end, of peace and prosperity in the land.” [Quoted in No. 1172 of the Knuttel Collection of Dutch Historical Tracts (Copy in general Library of the University of Michigan).]

Johannes Seu was a native of the Dutch Zeeland, he died in 1613 at Middelburg, capital of Zeeland, was a Reformed minister. As pastor he first served in Germany, in 1575 being preacher of the Calvinist refugees at Frankfurt on the Main. From 1576 he was a Reformed clergyman at Middelburg, Holland. Seu was a bitter opponent of the Mennonites. It was obviously Seu who caused the imprisonment of Hans de Ries at Middelburg in 1578, when de Ries visited this town. Seu also wrote some books against the Mennonites: Schriftmatige Artykelen tegen de ongeschikte en valsche dwaelingen der wederdoopers (Middelburg, 1599), Corte Beschrijvinge van het ampt der overheid ende wederlegginge van een boucxken dat eenen Wederdooper met verswijging zijns naems . . . heeft laten uitgaen . . . tegen het recht gebruijk des crijchs (Middelburg, 1600). In his Waeraghtighe grondige bewijsinge . . . van den Kinderdoop (Leiden, 1601) he defended infant baptism, attacking believers’ baptism; it is the duty of the magistrates to eradicate the Mennonites by forbidding their meetings and removing their preachers.

Lutheran Definition of Natural Law Extended to Blasphemy and Idolatry

October 9, 2014

“In their agreement with Calvin and Beza about both elements of this call to the use of magisterial force against heretics, many other ‘magisterial Reformation’ Protestant leaders, as Brad Gregory has recently stressed in Salvation at Stake, cited the precedent of the Mosaic Commonwealth, especially Deuteronomy 13:6 and Leviticus 24:14, which specified the punishment of ‘false prophets’. In many of these arguments, the Mosaic Theocracy served as divine positive law commanding punishment. Lutherans further cited these and other passages in 1557 as part of ‘natural law’ which bound all authorities in their rule:

“For civil government should not only preserve the bodies of subjects as a shepherd preserves cattle or sheep, but should also uphold outward discipline and regulate government to God’s honour, should remove and punish public idolatry and blasphemy.” Gregory, Salvation at Stake, 82-3”

John Locke, Toleration and Early Enlightenment Culture, John Marshall pg. 233

Philip Melancthon, Magistrate keeper of Both Tables of the Law and Lutheran Theonomy

October 9, 2014

“In which I am of one mind with that most learned Doctor Philip Melancthon, “The Magistrate is not merely appointed by God as both the keeper and avenger of the second Table, but certainly also, and especially, of pure religion, with respect to which he keeps an external discipline.”

Cited by Theodore Beza in Concerning the Punishment of Heretics by the Civil Magistrate

A Survey and Concise View of Exclusive Psalmody

October 8, 2014

In the Old Testament the singing of praise is commanded with an explicit delineation of content: “the words of David, and of Asaph the seer” (2 Chronicles 29:30)

The Book of Psalms or Sefer Tehillim is properly the ‘Scrolls of Praise’ which contain Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs.

The Greek Septuagint as well as other translations of the book of Psalms contain the various titles in the inscriptions of each Psalm. One is a Psalm, One is a Song, One is a Hymn, another is a Psalm and Hymn and yet another a Hymn and Song.

When we get to Paul’s words in Ephesians and Colossians, the terms have already been well known on what they refer to which was the Sefer Tehillim and was part of a Triadic Expression.

A Triadic Expression was very common in Hebrew culture and is compared to our exclamation mark.

But there are two kinds of Triadic Expressions.. One that defines the emphasizes in exact detail such as the holiness of God, “Holy, Holy, Holy” but there is also a Triadic Expression that is an emphasis with slight different nuances.. In this kind the three-fold expression is more than emphasis. The Bible contains many examples of these triadic expression. For example: Exodus 34:7—“iniquity and transgression and sin”; Deuteronomy 5:31 and 6:1—“commandments and statutes and judgments”; Matthew 22:37—“with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (cf. Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27); Acts 2:22—“miracles and wonders and signs”..

“Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs” is Triadic Expression of the second form. All three refer to the same thing, the book of Psalms but there are slight nuances within each category that are found in the Psalter, different Psalms are called by the slight different category, One a Psalm, One a Song, One a Hymn, one a Hymn and a Song”…

The same applies the Commandments, Statues and Judgments.. They are all part of the one law but they give slight nuances within the One law of God with different emphasis. These categories are the direct reason why the Reformers divided the law into the three categories.

The commandments, statues, and judgments are similar, but they do add a unique content to the overall concept of the emphasis.


Psalm 76 of the Greek Old Testament, “εἰς τὸ τέλος ἐν ὕμνοις ψαλμὸς τῷ ασαφ ᾠδὴ πρὸς τὸν ἀσσύριον.” Notice, ὕμνοις (humnois), ψαλμὸς (psalmos), ᾠδὴ (ode). Compare to Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16.

Doctor Scott Clark of Westminster Theological Seminary West said,

“The first-century (apostolic) church used the LXX more than any other form (translation) of the Old Testament. .. At the top of the Psalms in the LXX were titles or superscriptions. Those superscriptions described each Psalm, they categorized the psalms in 4 classes or groups: ψαλμος [Psalms], συνεσις; [understanding], υμνος [Hymns], ωδη [Ode/Song]. .. Paul invokes them in Colossians 3:16. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom (σοφίᾳ), singing psalms (ψαλμοις) and hymns (υμνοις) and spiritual songs (ωδαις πνευματικαις), with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” .. If Paul was invoking familiar categories that pre-existed the NT church by 250-300 years then we must account for that in our interpretation and application of these two passages.” – Dr. Scott Clark


The Puritans Preface to the Psalms of David in Metre said,

“where the matter and words are of immediately Divine inspiration; and to us David’s Psalms seem plainly intended by those terms of Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs, which the Apostle useth, Ephes. 5.19, Col. 3.16.“


Which contained the followed Puritans who has their name ascribed to the authoring of the Psalms of David in Metre, “Thomas Manton, D.D., Henry Langley, D.D., John Owen, D.D., William Jenkyn., James Innes., Thomas Watson., Thomas Lye., Matthew Poole., John Milward., John Chester., George Cokayn., Matthew Meade., Robert Francklin., Thomas Dooelittle., Thomas Vincent., Nathanael Vincent., John Ryther., William Tomson., Nicolas Blakie., Charles Morton., Edmund Calamy., William Carslake., James Janeway., John Hickes., John Baker., Richard Mayo.”


Here are some of the closest historical quotes nearest to Paul on the issue other then the Septuagint,

Josephus (37 – 100) called the Psalms “Hymns”, “And now David being freed from wars and dangers, and enjoying for the future a profound peace, composed songs and hymns to God of several sorts of metre; some of those which he made were trimeters, and some were pentameters. He also made instruments of music, and taught the Levites to sing hymns to God, both on that called the sabbath day, and on other festivals. ” -Josephus: The Complete Works


Philo ( 20 BC – 50 AD), a first century Jewish philosopher, always uses the word “hymn” when referring to the Psalms of the Old Testament.

Tertullian (160 – 225) on the Letter of Pliny (61 – 112) and the singing of Psalms to Christ,

David ille apud nos canit Christum, per quern, se cecinit ipse Christus,” which maybe freely rendered thus: That David, of whom I have been speaking, sings among us Christ, by whom Christ himself has sung (or celebrated) himself. Found in Tertullian’s treatise, De Carne Christi


Eusebius (c. 260–c. 340), bishop of Caesarea said, “The command to sing Psalms in the name of the Lord was obeyed by everyone in every place”


Council of Laodicea (360), it was decreed that no psalms composed by uninspired men should be used in the Church service. The compositions thus excluded are styled in the language of the Council, “psalmoi idiotikoi,” which means psalms not pertaining to the canon of Scripture, or at least not the direct product of supernatural inspiration.


and in 563 Council of Laodicea was reaffirmed in Braga,


Ut extra psalmos vel canoni-carum Scripturarum Novi et Vctcris Tcstamenti nihil podice compositum in ecdesia psallatur.” first Council of Braga, held A. D. 563, no poetic composition be sung in the Church except the Psalms of the sacred canon..

The Dutch Reformed Churches followed the pattern of the Early Church and reaffirmed the sole singing of Psalms.

The Psalms of David, in the edition of Petrus Dathenus, shall be sung in the Christian meetings of the Netherlands Churches (as has been done until now), abandoning the hymns which are not found in Holy Scripture. –National Synod of Dort, 1578, Art. 76.

Only the Psalms of David shall be sung in the church, omitting the hymns which one cannot find in Holy Scripture. –National Synod of Middelburg, 1581, Art. 51.

The Psalms of David shall be sung in the churches, omitting the hymns which one does not find in Holy Scripture. –National Synod of Gravenhage, 1586, Art. 62.


The Presbyterian Churches of England and Scotland followed suit,

Westminster Confession 21:5: “The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear; the sound preaching, and conscionable hearing of the word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith, and reverence; singing of psalms with grace in the heart [Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19; James 5:13]; as also the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ; are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God: besides religious oaths and vows, solemn fastings, and thanksgivings upon special occasions, which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in a holy and religious manner.”

Westminster Directory for Public Worship of God: “Of Singing of Psalms. It is the duty of Christians to praise God publickly, by singing of psalms together in the congregation, and also privately in the family. In singing of psalms, the voice is to be tenably and gravely ordered; but the chief care must be to sing with understanding, and with grace in the heart, making melody unto the Lord [Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19]. That the whole congregation may join herein, every one that can read is to have a psalm book; and all others, not disabled by age or otherwise, are to be exhorted to learn to read. But for the present, where many in the congregation cannot read, it is convenient that the minister, or some other fit person appointed by him and the other ruling officers, do read the psalm, line by line, before the singing thereof.”