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  • Submitted: Feb 10 2012 12:58 AM
  • Last Updated: Feb 18 2012 11:58 AM
  • File Size: 617K
  • Views: 4569
  • Downloads: 711
  • Author: M.C. Kurfees
  • e-Sword Version: 9.x - 10.x

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Download Kurfees, M. C. - Instrumental Music in the Worship 1.0

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Ecclesiology Church History Modern (1800-Today) Expository Topics Exegesis Greek Word Study Illustrations/Quotations Sermon Helps

Author:
M.C. Kurfees

e-Sword Version:
9.x - 10.x

Instrumental Music in the Worship is a book that tackles a topic that many in modern-day "Christianity" have never even considered: the addition of instrumental music in worship.

This book discusses some of the following topics:
  • The "instrumental music is inherent in the Greek word psallo" argument (translated "make melody" in Ephesians 5:19).
  • The "music was allowed in the Old Testament" argument.
  • The "harpers harping" in Revelation
  • When exactly instrumental music was introduced into Christian worship (interestingly enough, some reliable resources say it was in the year 666).
  • The universally acknowledged truth that there was no instruments in the worship of the church for centuries.
  • Quotations from famous lexicographers, historians, and denominational commentators which denounce the use of instruments in worship.
NOTE: This book is now available in a fully re-formatted PDF file, searchable and clickable, here.

Various quotations from denominational scholars given in the book:

Professor Girardeau said:



Some few yet stand firm against what is now called, in a painfully significant phrase, the "downgrade" tendencies of this age. Prominent among them is that eminent servant of Christ--a star in His right hand--the Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon, who not only proclaims with power the pure doctrines of God's word, but retains and upholds an apostolic simplicity of worship. The great congregation which is blessed with the privilege of listening to his instructions has no organ "to assist" them in singing their praises to their God and Savior. They find their vocal organs sufficient. Their tongues and voices express the gratitude of their hearts.


...

John Calvin. This illustrious Reformer and reputed founder of Presbyterianism says:
Musical instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting up of lamps, and the restoration of the other shadows of the law. The papists, therefore, have foolishly borrowed this, as well as many other things, from the Jews. Men who are fond of outward pomp may delight in that noise; but the simplicity which God recommends to us by the apostle is far more pleasing to Him. Paul allows us to bless God in the public assembly of the saints, only in a known tongue (1Co_14:16). The voice of man, although not understood by the generality, assuredly excels all inanimate instruments of music; and yet we see what Paul determines concerning speaking in an unknown tongue. What shall we then say of chanting which fills the ears with nothing but an empty sound? * * * What, therefore, was in use under the law is by no means entitled to our practice under the Gospel; and these things being not only superfluous, but useless, are to be abstained from because pure and simple modulation is sufficient for the praise of God, if it is sung with the heart and with the mouth. We know that our Lord Jesus Christ has appeared, and by His advent has abolished these legal shadows. Instrumental music, we therefore maintain, was only tolerated on account of the times and the people, because they were as boys, as the sacred Scripture speaketh, whose condition required these puerile rudiments. But in gospel times we must not have recourse to these unless we wish to destroy the evangelical perfection and to obscure the meridian light which we enjoy in Christ our Lord.--Calvin's Commentary on the Thirty-third Psalm, and on 1Sa_18:1-9.

Vincent, commenting on I Cor 14:15:

But neither Basil, nor Ambrose, nor Chrysostom, in their panegyrics upon music, mention instrumental music, and Basil expressly condemns it. Bingham dismisses the matter summarily, and cites Justin Martyr as saying expressly that instrumental music was not used in the Christian Church. The verb is used here in the general sense of singing praise.--Word Studies, Vol. III., pp. 269, 270.


Adam Clarke, the illustrious Methodist commentator, says:
But were it even evident, which it is not, either from this or any other place in the sacred writings, that instruments of music were prescribed by Divine authority under the law, could this be adduced with any semblance of reason, that they ought to be used in Christian worship? No; the whole spirit, soul, and genius of the Christian religion are against this: and those who know the Church of God best, and what constitutes its genuine spiritual state, know that these things have been introduced as a substitute for the life and power of religion; and that where they prevail most, there is least of the power of Christianity. Away with such portentous baubles from the worship of that infinite Spirit who requires his followers to worship him in spirit and in truth, for to no such worship are those instruments friendly.--Commentary, Vol. II., pp. 690, 691, note on 2Ch_29:25.

Justin Martyr:
Simply singing is not agreeable to children, but singing with lifeless instruments and with dancing and clapping; on which account the use of this kind of instruments and of others agreeable to children is removed from the songs in the churches, and there is left remaining simply singing.--Justin's Questions and Answers to the Orthodox, Ques. 107, p. 462.


Table of Contents
  • Preliminary Considerations
  • Psallo as Defined by the Lexicons
  • The Periods of the Greek Language
  • Change of Meaning in the History of Words
  • Psallo as Affected by the Law of Evolution with More from the Lexicons
  • Psallo with a Significant Parallel
  • Facts Accounting for Differences Among the Lexicographers
  • Scope of the Divine Command Authorizing Music in the Worship of God
  • Psallo in the Septuagint with the Bearing of the Revised Version on the Question
  • Apostolic Example and Instrumental Music
  • The Harps and Harpers of Revelation
  • The Claim Concerning Clement and Ambrose
  • Music Among the Jews--A Parallel Controversy
  • Testimony of Specialists, Encyclopedists, Historians, and Commentators
  • Testimony of Leading Scholars Connected with the Religious Restoration of the Nineteenth Century
  • Making Tests of Fellowship and Causing Division
  • An Appeal to the Candid and Reflecting


Thank you for making this work available. While it might not hold great general interest, it is an important historical document that presents the a cappella case for singing in worship.
Thanks so much for the file. Very valuable.
this is arguably the best, most exhaustive treatment of this issue, particularly in examing the changing meaning of word/language use over time...thanks for making it so available and easily accessible again

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