Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs

A querist wrote:
>Palms, hymns and spiritiual songs” are three separate and
>distinct categories – each having a common purpose – to praise God and
>edify one another – but accomplishing this purpose in a different method –
>the difference being the difference between a psalm, hymn and spiritual
>song. I’m having a difficult time trying to justify my leaning toward general
>categories when Paul was very specific in naming three different

The categories of songs that Paul enumerated are binding. The songs we sing are to limited to the subset of songs that belong to the categories of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Bawdy songs, love songs, How much is That Doggie in the Window, and such like, do not fit the bill of what Paul specified. However, nothing in the context requires that the song leader select one or more from each category for each service. The way I read it, the songs selected must come exclusively from these three categories, not that all three categories are required for each service. Early Christian
literature from the first three centuries also specifically concurrs that ordinary love songs are not proper selections for Christian worship.

About James Johnson

Bible student for 60 years. Preacher of the gospel for over 40 years. Author of commentary on Revelation, All Power to the Lamb. Married with children. Worked in aerospace and computer engineering for over 40 years.
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