New Wineskins: Another Article Posted: “The Early Church on Christian Music,” by Danny Corbitt

WineskinsbannerThe first four articles in the New Wineskins series on instrumental music have now been posted.

The complete list is —

Introduction — The Instrumental Music Issue, by Jay Guin

On God’s Salvation, Galatians, and the Instrument, by Jay Guin

“Thy Kingdom Come” and the Instrument, by Jay Guin

The Early Church on Christian Music, by Danny Corbitt

Reconsidering Ephesians 5:19, by Clyde Symonette

Psallo: Lost in the Translation, by Danny Corbitt

Reflective or Regulative, by Al Maxey

An Afternoon with Rick Atchley and Chris Seidman, Part 1

An Afternoon with Rick Atchley and Chris Seidman, Part 2

An Afternoon with Rick Atchley and Chris Seidman, Part 3

An Afternoon with Rick Atchley and Chris Seidman, Part 4

Reflections on My Interview with Rick Atchley and Chris Seidman, by Jay Guin

David’s Psalms in the New Testament Church, by Clyde Symonnette

Beyond the Pitch Pipe, by Ryan Christian

And so, In Conclusion, by Jay Guin

I think you’ll agree with me that Danny’s work is extraordinary. I can’t wait to see whether there are any thoughtful counter-arguments. I think his work devastates the historical argument.

Please make a point of helping to spread the word about this series — among all factions of the Churches of Christ. These articles won’t do much good unless they’re widely read. Post notes in appropriate forums and on your own blogs and otherwise help be sure these articles are noticed. As the next few posts will show, this won’t be just a rehash of the old canned arguments.

Profile photo of Jay Guin

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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One Response to New Wineskins: Another Article Posted: “The Early Church on Christian Music,” by Danny Corbitt

  1. abasnar says:

    OK, Jay, since you cannot wait for a counter argument (I have posted it directly there, but I might as well repeat it here). I am referring to a statement that surprized me at first:

    Conversely, our Web sites will make no mention of a Christian telling how he praised God with his lyre, possibly written a generation before even Martyr.(4)

    OK, I found more details in the discussion, because he did not quote this valuable source, not even in the footnote. So I took my cope of the Odes of Salomo and looked it up, and I read all three (!) references on musical instruments in these 42 Odes (not very many compared to the Psalms), And here's what I found out:

    Odes of Salomo

    I wondered which quote you were referring to (footnote 4), and flipping through the answers, I found where you gave the source. It would be good to have such information which seems to be important in the main text, and t o comment on it.

    The Odes date (as some say) between 100 and 130 AD. I have these Odes in German, there are 42 songs. What is interesting in all of them: They are set up like the Psalms, which means, they use the same kind of poetry, similar imagery and are often quite personal (1st person singular). Therefore I doubt that this reference (Ode 26:3) can be used as an argument for IM. Especially when you go to Ode 6:1-2 where the kithatara is clearly used in an allegorical sense (my translation from German to English):

    Ode 6:1-2 As the wind makes the strings of the kithara sing, so the Spirit of God in my body makes me sing through the love of the Lord.

    This is quite in line with Clement of Alexandria who wrote, that we humans are an instrument of peace.

    Or in Ode 14:8 we read: Make me sound through the kithara of your Holy Spirit, that I can praise you in al modes.

    Here the intrument is the Holy Spirit!

    To my knowledge (I just went through all 42 odes quickly) these are the only verses mentioning an intrument. Two of them clearly in a figurative sense, but also Ode 26:3 seems to be figurative: Because it is HIS kithara; which according to Ode 14:8 is the Holy Spirit.

    We can also compare the Odes to the Psalms by counting the occurence of instruments:

    In all 42 Odes the kithara is mentioned 3x. If there were 150 Odes (such as 150 Psalms) kithara would be mentioned 10x … and this is the only instrument mentioned.
    In my German Bible kithara is found 13x; harp 8x; tamburine 3x, trumpet 1x and maybe a few others = 25 intruments compared to 10. And whlie all the instruments in the Psalms are used in a literal sense, all the kitharas in the Odes are used is a figurative sense!

    So, we can rather build a case for a-capella on the Odes than for instrumental music.

    So in the end, it is all wishful thinking. But I had a good time with the Odes, because they really are a pleasure to read …


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