From: Ben Crick (
Date: Thu Sep 03 1998 - 19:20:58 EDT

On Wed 2 Sep 98 (23:56:15), wrote:
> Non-instrumentalists argue that PSALLO is an exclusive word that means
> "sing" and therefore does not mean "sing and play". Thus, they argue, it
> is wrong for us to sing praises to the accompaniment of the instrument.
> A few questions:
> a) What then is the word(s) for "sing & play" together?

 Dear Erl

 Jonathan and Jim have already answered. My favourite verse for church
 organists or guitarists or percussionists is Psalm 33:3, "Play skilfully
 with a loud noise". That hardly applies to the vocalists!

 We did have a long thread on YALLW (Y=Psi in b-greek transliteration)
 on this List not so long ago; see the WWW archives...
> b) There are plenty of references in the Old Testament that clearly
> mention singing to the accompaniment of instruments. What is the
> Hebrew, and is it an exclusive word? More importantly, how does the
> Septuagint translate the original? Are the words used for singing
> variants of PSALLO? This is the question I really want answered! If
> they are, then it can easily be demonstrated that PSALLO is not an
> exclusive word and is in fact much like our English word "sing" --
> limited in meaning, but applied broadly in its actual usage.

 The Western Church is more Latin-based than Greek-based. "To sing" is
 cano, canere, cantavi, cantatum, from which we get the words "canary" and
 "cantata". The Greek for "to sing" is hUMNEW, from which we get the word
 "hymn". See Hebrews 2:12. See also Ephesians 5:19 (Colossians 3:16),
 KAI YALLONTES THi KARDIAi hUMWN TWi KURIWi. The word WiDH gives us our word
 "ode". YALLW implies singing to the harp or lyre.

> c) Does anyone have any other thoughts about the validity or folly of
> the argument presented in general?

 The Eastern church generally (the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches)
 won't have an organ in the place; and until recently, neither would the
 Church of Scotland (Presbyterian). There are some newer denominations and
 fellowships that want to follow the "New Testament Order" of the early
 church in the book of Acts. To this end, they discount the Psalms as
 being "Old Testament", superseded by the New Testament and now obsolete.
 "Law keeping", like the observance of church festivals such as Christmas
 and Easter, is anathema to them, it seems. It seems they too woodenly
 apply such texts as Galatians 4:10. But see Colossians 2:16.

 This is something like idolmeats and vegetarianism, IMHO (1 Corinthians 8).
 It is for the sake of the weaker brethren with their tender consciences that
 we refrain from provoking them to anger. But I have to ask, who is the
 weaker, and who is the stronger, in this context (musical instruments in

 Fearing this is now off-topic, I bid you "be strong"!

 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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