Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 20 Number 1 January 2018
Page 16

Questions and Answers

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Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Louis Rushmore, Editor

Presently, I will also like to know what are Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs as provided in Colossians 3:16.  How can we identify a psalm, a hymn and a spiritual song in a typical Hymn book.

Louis RushmoreThe basic definitions for the Greek words translated as “psalms,” “hymns” and “spiritual songs” are as follows. “Psalm” means a religious ode set to music, particularly the Book of Psalms. “Hymns” means a religious ode, such as from the Book of Psalms. “Spiritual songs” refers to religious singing. As one can see from these preliminary definitions, it is difficult to distinguish between psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. However, collectively psalms, hymns and spiritual songs represent a category of music that stands in distinction from secular (non-religious) songs as well as from base or vulgar lyrics (Colossians 3:8).

Rather than attempting to categorize songs in our songbooks based on their identity as psalms, hymns or songs, we would do better to ensure that what we sing religiously corresponds to the category represented by “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” Other venues outside of a worshipful setting are suitable for secular songs, and vulgar or base songs ought never be sung by or listened to as a choice of entertainment by faithful Christians.

Rebecca RushmoreHow Old Was Jesus When
His Father Joseph Died?

Rebecca Rushmore

There is nothing in the New Testament that indicates the age of Joseph at any point in the life of Jesus. As far as his death, the New Testament does not supply any details on that account either. Based on Luke 2:41-51, Joseph was still alive when Jesus was 12. Based on the words of Jesus on the cross, giving the care of Mary to the apostle John, a fair implication is that Joseph was not alive at the end of Jesus’ ministry (John 19:25-27). Any ages presented by scholars are based on culture of the time or historical literature, but are ultimately pure speculation.

Why Did God Create Man?

“Why did God create man?” someone asked. King David posed a similar question in the long ago. “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:3-4 NKJV).

Genesis 1:26 notes the collaboration by members of the Godhead to create mankind, and it was so. A reason why God created mankind does not appear there.

Elsewhere in the Bible, we see that we were created to glorify God. “Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:7). In any case, righteous or wicked, man was created for God. “The Lord has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom” (Proverbs 16:4).

One might also observe that the creation of man represents the outpouring of God’s inexhaustible love (Jeremiah 31:3; 1 John 4:8). For those who comply with God’s Word, they will bask in the love of God eternally in His presence. Though God does not need anything from mankind (Acts 17:24-25), He is willing to share His eternal home with the faithful. Those individuals, our Lord Jesus will return to retrieve someday (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).

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