Each One Has A Psalm

What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a psalm (ψαλμὸν), an instructiion (διδαχὴν), a revelation (ἀποκάλυψιν), a foreign language (γλῶσσαν), or an interpretation (ἑρμηνείαν). Let all things be done for building up…..

—1 Corinthians 14:26

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  1. This is not the best passage to appeal to in support of exclusive psalmody, if that is your reason for quoting it. First Corinthians 14 cotains many instructions which applied to the unique situation of the apostolic church prior to the closing of the canon (instructions regarding tongues, prophecy, revelations, etc.). While we can certainly learn some general principles from this chapter which we can apply to our worship today (for example, do everything decently and in good order), at the same time it is of limited use when it comes to discerning specific principles and elements for worship in our normative, post-apostolic, ecclesial situation where we have access to the completed canon of Scripture.

    • Hi Geoff,

      The point wasn’t to argue for exclusive psalmody. Since c. 2007 I’ve been advocating Mr Murray’s view. I was reminded of this verse recently and thought it would be helpful simply to observe what the verse actually says since most English translations mysteriously choose the the English noun “hymn” rather than transliterating the since believers who rely on English translations would be led to think, by most translations, that what the Corinthians were doing was singing a non-canonical song. It may have been but the word “psalm” is not a likely way to signal “non-canonical song.”

      I fully understand that there are phenomena described here that are peculiar to the canonical history of redemption. Singing God’s Word, however, whether a psalm or some other passage, was not, through most all of Christian history, regarded as an act that could only be done by canonical actors in the canonical history of redemption.

  2. It’s good to note this. I was just thinking about this text the other day and wondered how this might have looked in practice on a Lord’s day gathering- “each one has a Psalm.” Can you share any insights on this?

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