A Ralph Johnson Psallo and Psalmos justifies Instrumental Music in Worship

A Ralph Johnson posts lots of data proving that the ANTI-instrumental Churches of Christ are bad.


1.      Eph 5:19; Col. 3:16. Christians were told to speak to each other in “psalms.”

It makes no sense that we are to speak to each other the psalms that teach us to praise God with the harp if it is sinful to do so.

When psalms were used to teach and admonish in the Old Testament they were commonly accompanied. Without some clear scriptural teaching restricting such use, one would not reasonably be expected to consider it sinful.

After the fall from grace doing musical idolatry at Mount Sinai the Jacob-cursed and God-abandoned Levites volunteered to execute 3,000 of the brethren involved in idolatry on the rest day.  God turned the tribe of Levi over to worship the starry host (Acts 7 etc.).  There was no command for instrumental noise in the now-changed Tabernacle but the Levites were commanded to stand in ranks with swords drawn and execute any godly person who came near or into any "holy" Place. Even a Levite when not on rare duty who can near any holy thing was to be executed.

After the elders fired God and demanded a King set over us, God warned that the kings would take their property--more than a tithe--and confiscate the young men to make musical instruments and run before the chariots to try to spook the enemy.

After David was granted an old Jebusite High place already set up for the worship of the starry host, he was allowed a tent on Mount Zion. However, Solomon built God a house on Mount Moriah as Capital of the Civil-Military-Clergy complex. Christ in the prophets calls them robbers and parasites. Indeed all instrumental noise makers in sacrificial systems were called PARASITES.  A heretic was the priest who lifted up the lambs to cut their throats while the Levites "made the lambs dumb before the slaughter.

The congregation around the temple--never in--was king, priests, Levites and city officials.  2 Chronicles 29 used as the PROOF TEXTS was burning GOATS instead of the INFANTS in the chapters before and after Hezekiah proposed a plague-stopping exorcism as had David long ago.

The godly people were quarantined to their isolated towns on the seventh day which was when all of the Worship of the Starry host took place from Egypt to Babylon.  The Qahal, synagogue, ekklesia or Church of Christ (the Rock) excluded vocal or instrumental rejoicing incuding self-preaching or rhetoric: Jesus marked these as hypocrites.

There is no command, example or remote inference that anyone engaged in congregational singing wiith organ (onl( accompaniment until long after Calvin. The one exception was the musical idolatry at Mount Sinai which was a sin without redemption. God sentenced the to beyond Babylon which meant no return. The kings were granted in God's Anger to carry out the captivity and death sentence.

From the time of the Septuagint until long after the New Testament, “psalmos” was used of a song with instrumental accompaniment,hymnos,” a song of praise to God, and “odē,” a song in general, with or without an accompaniment.

That's False: The translators of the Septuagint used the PSAO based words because they were evil.  The Psalms were warrior chants and they were sung to intimidate the enemy to turn them into cowards.  The "praise word" means to "make self vile" and the THREAT was that the enemy would be robbed, raped and then raptured. Sodomy was the way to show superiority over the enemy. That was rooted in Egyptian theology.

A psalm can be read, recited, sung or sung with an instrument. Psalms are not metrical so singing was called cantillation which is SPEAK rather than sing in a tuneful sense which would hbae been impossible.

There is no example of Psalmos being "Sing accompanied with a musical instrument." That would take three words.
Isaiah 23:15 And it shall come to pass in that day,
        that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king:
        after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot.
Isaiah 23:16 Take an [1] harp, go about the city,
         thou harlot that hast been forgotten;
        make sweet
[2] melody, [3] sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.
Isaiah 23:17 And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre,
        and she shall turn to her hire,
        and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth.

Amos 5:23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy [1] songs; for I will not hear the [2] melody of thy [3] viols.
It is maintained that in Eph 5:19, “psalmos” just means the composition rather than a musical performance with instruments. Nothing in the sentence requires this. On the contrary, the force of the infinitive in the verb form, “psalein” (“making melody”), suggests performance.
Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves
        in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,

[1] singing and making [2] melody IN your [3] heart to the Lord;
Paul would be ignorant if he gave anyone a hint that "in your heart" means "with a harp."

The fact that “psalms” may refer to the book of Psalms does not remove the difficulty.  Psalms were designed to be sung to accompaniment, and doing so is perfectly consistent with the meaning of the word.  When sung with instrumental accompaniment, they are still “psalms.”  Without a clear prohibition, one could not know it is wrong

Psalms were POEMS: they were a poetic history of the nation.  However, they were never SUNG accompanied with a HARP.  When you sing TO a harp you pluck a string and try to imitate it.  This would involve a David plucking his harp and singing to sheep. David never played and sang: He was warrior king and used the harps to help shed all of that blood.

This is much like our use of the word, “song.” A “song” may be either the piece of music or a musical performance. Unless it is otherwise clearly indicated, nothing restricts one from doing either. It is just as unreasonable to conclude that if we are told to speak to each other in Psalms, the action of making melody by plucking strings is prohibited unless specified.
Hebrew singing or rhymic prose had no fixed meter: "Since in all languages a sentence changes its meaning by mere intonations without adding or removing nounds, verbs or particles, the Syrian scholars who laid the fundament of correct language discovered a way by devising accents... and since these accents are a form of musical modulation, there is no possibliity of learning them except by hearing and through tradition from the master's tongue or the pupils hear. It follows from Bar Hebraeus' statement that the main concern was to secure an unadulterated and unadulterable version of the text This required (a) correct vocalization and (b) correct intonation. (p.87) " Nor is there a constant number of feet in a verse. Hebrew poetry is poetic p;rose. "Hebrew prosedy differes fundamentlly from classical prosody. No poem is written according to a repeating meter scheme.

Classical verse is mechanical; Hebrew verse is dynamic (p 89
Music in Ancient Western Orient Curt Sachs

Cantillation Jewish Encyclopedia

"These conventionalities of pitch result in an elementary form of song, and thus became early known as "singing to speech" ( accentus). But when a larger audience is addressed the assistance of a sing-song utterance in marking this accent or prosody, and rendering the precise interdependence of the successive words unmistakable, has been recognized by all who have ever had to speak in the open air or in a large building, and has been from the earliest ages adopted for the public recitation of sacred texts.

Some authorities feel this is not restricted to the 150 Psalms. The fact that it is included with other music not found in the scriptures and use of the verbal forms, may well indicate this is speaking of music that has the character of psalms. A distinguishing character of the psalms was clearly instrumental.

2.      Standard entomological dictionaries, Bible dictionaries, Commentaries, translations and Lexicons.

The Greek word, “psalmos,” and its verb form, “psallō” expressed the idea of plucking with the fingers. This was extended to simply indicate music or a melody and finally a psalm fitted for that purpose or singing with or without an instrument. While it may have been sometimes used of music in general, at no time did the word mean “sing a-cappella.”

-The American Heritage Dictionary, 1980, College edition.

Psalm...from Greek psalmos, song sung to the harp, psalm (translation of Hebrew mizmor, song, psalm), from psallein, to pluck, play the harp.”

A psalm is a song it can be sung to a harp:  However, there is no example of psallo translated as to play a harp: you nee two words or you need a compound word naming each instrument.  Psallein means SINGING unless a harp is named. Since the psllo words mean PLUCK something with your finers and NEVER with a plectrum you are specificially FORBIDDEN to use a guitar pick, a flute, trumpet, drums, organ, piano.  Making psallo LIE for imposing other instruments is not scholarly or ethical.

. Heredotus records Cyrus being told how to NEUTER captives.
Grant, then, forgiveness to the Lydians, and to make sure of their never rebelling against thee, or alarming thee more,
send and
forbid them to keep any weapons of war, command them to wear tunics under their cloaks, and to put buskins upon their legs,
..........and make them bring up their sons to cithern-playing (Kitharizein), singing (psallein),
..........and shop-keeping (Hucksterism). 
So wilt thou soon see them become women instead of men,
and there will be no more fear of their revolting from thee."

-[4] Ludoisi de sungnômên echôn tade autoisi epitaxon, hôs mête aposteôsi mête deinoi toi eôsi: apeipe men sphi pempsas hopla arêia mê ektêsthai, keleue de spheas kithônas -[khiton  David's garment] te hupodunein toisi heimasi kai kothornous hupodeesthai, proeipe d' autoisi -kitharizein te kai psallein kai

kapêleuein [prostitutes, petty trade, playing tricks, corrupting] paideuein tous paidas. kai tacheôs spheas ô basileu gunaikas ant' andrôn opseai gegonotas, hôste ouden deinoi toi esontai mê aposteôsi."

The word kitharizo means to PLAY THE CITHARA and does not include singing.

-Kitharizô 1 [kitharis] to play the cithara, phormingi [Apollo] kitharize Il., Hes.; lurêi eraton kitharizôn Hhymn. (so that there can have been no great difference between the kithara, lura, and phorminx ); kitharizein ouk epistatai, of an uneducated person,

-Kithar-isis , eôs, hê, playing on the cithara, Pl.Prt.325e; k. psilê, i.e. without the voice, Id.Lg.669e, cf. Pae.Delph.15; aulêsis kai k. Phld.Mus.p.23 K.

-Arassô ,of any violent impact, with collat. notion of rattling, clanging, as of horses, hoplais, pound in a mortar, strike with a shower of stones.
a). kitharēn strike the lyre, Orph.A.382; humnon, melos, etc., Nonn.D.1.15,440, etc.
2. c. dat. modi, arassein tina oneidesi, kakois, assail with reproaches or threats,
II. Pass., to be dashed against, dash one against the other
Pound in a mortar, “holmō a.Nic. Th.508

Therefore, it could not be redundant. The word psallo means to PLUCK or to make a noise by a harp string or bow string. It later came to mean JUST SING. Without the word KITHARIZEIN Heredodus would have had to used PSALLO and then define WHAT is to be plucked.

-Ovid Elegy 2.6: On the Death of His Mistress's Parrot. By Creech.

Alas! poor Poll, my Indian talker, dies!
Go, birds, and celebrate his obsequies;
Go, birds, and beat your breasts, your faces tear,
And pluck your gaudy plumes instead of hair;
doleful tunes the frighted forest wound,
And your sad notes supply the trumpet's sound.
Why, Philomel, dost mourn the
Thracian rage?

Orpheus is the Thracian who invented musical "worship" called threskia.

Psittacus, Eois imitatrix ales ab Indis,
Occidit -- exequias ite frequenter, aves!
Ite, piae volucres, et plangite pectora pinnis
Et rigido teneras ungue notate genas;

Horrida pro maestis lanietur pluma capillis,
Pro longa resonent carmina vestra tuba!
Quod scelus Ismarii quereris, Philomela, tyranni,

-In Plato's Ion 881 we see both the singing and playing

O you, who cause a voice to sing from your seven-stringed lyre, a voice that lets lovely-sounding hymns peal forth in the rustic lifeless horn,


ô tas heptaphthongou melpôn
kitharas enopan, hat' agraulois
kerasin en apsuchois achei
mousan humnous euachêtous,

-Hepta-phthongos , on,
A. seven-toned, kithara E.Ion881 (lyr.); sumphônia Nicom.Exc.6 .

-Melpô, Verb, celebrate with song and dance, 2. intr., sing, aulôi play on, to dance a war-dance in honour of Ares, by a bold metaph. for to fight on foot

-Enopê A. crying, shouting, as of birds, especially war-cry, battle-shout,,
Agraulois: field
. crying, shouting, as of birds, “Trōes men klaggē t' enopē t' isan, ornithes hōsIl.3.2; esp. war-cry, battle-shout,makhē enopē te12.35, 16.246, et
3. of things, sound,aulōn suriggōn t' enopēnIl.10.13; iakhēn t' enopēn te, of thunder, Hes.Th.708; “kitharas e.E.Ion882 (anap.); “sarkōn e. ēd' osteōncrushing, Pi.Fr.168.—Ep. and Lyr. word, used by E. in lyr.

-Keras I. the horn of an animal, in Hom. mostly of oxen. III. anything made of horn,
2. of musical instruments, horn for blowing, “sēmēnai keratiX.An.2.2.4, cf. Arist.Aud.802a17; also, the Phrygian flute, because it was tipped with horn (cf. Poll.4.74), “aulein k.Luc.DDeor.12.1; “kai kerati men aulein Turrēnoi nomizousiPoll.4.76, cf. Ath.4.184a.

Apsuchois achei lifeless sound

Mousan Muses under Apollo, Abaddon or Apollyo
Humnos in praise of gods or heros

[885] son of Leto, I will blame you before this light. You came to me, your hair glittering with gold, when I was plucking into the folds of my robe yellow flowers [890] to bloom with golden light; grasping my white hand in yours, you led me to the bed in the cave, hearing me call on my mother, god and consort, [895] shamelessly paying homage to Aphrodite. I, the unhappy one, bore you a son, whom in fear of my mother I placed in that bed of yours, [900] where you joined with me, the miserable, the unfortunate one, in unhappy union. Alas! and now my son and yours, oh cruel one, is gone, torn apart, a feast for birds;

[905] but you are singing to the lyre, chanting hymns.


Modern scholars agree that the basic facts of Aspasia's life as recorded by Diodoros the Athenian (FGrHist 372 F 40 ), Plutarch (Plut. Per. 24.3 ) and the lexicographers are correct. She was born in the city of Miletus between 460-455 B.C., the daughter of Axiochus. Miletus, part of the Athenian empire, was one of the leading cities in Ionia, an area of Greek settlement located along the coast of Asia Minor.

It was probably in Ionia, before she left for Athens, that Aspasia was educated. Women in that part of the Greek world were generally given more of an education than women in Athens.

As a hetaira she would have been trained in the art of conversation and of musical entertainment including singing, dancing and playing instruments.

Oh! son of Leto, I invoke you, who send forth your holy voice from your golden seat,

su de kitharai klazeis
paianas melpôn.

Melpon celebrate with song and dance

ton Latous audô ,
host' omphan klêrois
pros chruseous thakous


-Strong’s Concordance Lexicon,


5567, psallō; probably strengthened from psaō (to rub or touch the surface; compare 5597; to twitch or twang, i.e. to play on a stringed instrument (celebrate the divine worship with music and accompanying odes):--[translated] make melody, sing (psalms).”

This is not a singular definition but ways in which psallo can be applied
G5567 psallō psal'-lo
Probably strengthened from ψάω psaō (to rub or touch the surface; compare G5597 );
to twitch or twang, that is,
to play on a stringed instrument (celebrate the divine worship with music and accompanying odes):—
make melody,
sing (psalms).
Psaō [a_, but always contracted],  II. crumble away, vanish, disappear, S.Tr.678 (s. v. l.). (psaō, psaiō, psauō, psairō, psēkhō, psōkhō,

5568, psalmos; from 5567; a set piece of music, i.e. a sacred ode (accompanied with the voice, harp or other instrument; a “psalm;” collection of the book of the Psalms:-- [Translated] psalm. Compare 5603.”
The tabulation of musical passages "contains a rather disproportionate number of metaphorical sentences, where music or its instruments are not to be understood literally but are used as similies or rhetorical figures. The most celebrated of these poetical passages is Paul's glorification of love in I Cor. 13." (Interpreter's Dict of the Bible, Music, p. 466).

Psalmos also appears in the LXX as equivalent to the Hebrew word neginah. This Hebrew term is used to describe a wide variety of songs. Neginah is translated by psalmos in Lam 3:14 (song), in Lam 5:14 (music) and in Ps 69:12 (song). It is striking to observe that in the LXX translation of Lam 3:14 and Ps 69:12, psalmos, or its verbal form, is used for songs that are not only uninspired but are in fact the product of the wicked, even drunkards, who mocked God and His word. The Hebrew term neginah is used elsewhere in the Hebrew Scriptures of: the songs of the wicked, Job 30:9 (song); the inspired praise of God, Psalm 61 title (Neginah-a song performed on a stringed instrument); and the uninspired praise of the Lord composed by King Hezekiah, Is 38:20 (my songs).

G5568 psalmos psal-mos' From G5567 ; a set piece of music, that is, a sacred ode (accompanied with the voice, harp or other instrument; a “psalm”); collectively the book of the Psalms:—psalm. Compare G5603 .

-Young’s Concordance:


SING 14. To sing praise with a musical instrument, psallō.”


The translators recognize that “psallō” cannot be restricted to singing. Almost all translate Eph. 5:19 indicating “melody.” Even anti-instrumentalists concede as much, although they claim the instrument here is the heart.


M. C. Kurfees, the classic of anti-instrumental writers, says:


“I have conceded and do now concede that there is in Ephesians 5:19 an allusion to and a play upon the original meaning of psallo...”[2]


-Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament


James 5:13 Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise.

         [Let him sing praise] [psalletō (Grk 5567)]. Present active imperative of [psallō] (Grk 5567), originally to twang a chord as on a harp, to sing praise to God whether with instrument or without, in the New Testament only here, <1 Cor. 14:15; Rom. 15:9; Eph. 5:19>. “Let him keep on making melody.


-Vincent's Word Studies of the New Testament

James 5:13

[Let him sing psalms] [psalletō (Grk 5567)]. The word means, primarily, “to pluck or twitch.” Hence, of the sharp “twang” on a bow-string or harp-string, and so “to play upon a stringed instrument.” Our word “psalm,” derived from this, is, properly, a tune played upon a stringed instrument. The verb, however, is used in the New Testament of singing praise generally. See <1Cor. 14:15; Rom. 15:9>


            The fact that adō and psallō are placed together in conjunction makes it nonsense to translate them as “singing and singing.” Thus, they are translated, “singing and making melody.” This then shows that the Old Testament concept of making melody with an instrument had not disappeared.  So, all of the New Testament passages could have been translated with the idea of making melody as some translators suggest.


One reason for this may be that we have no exact English equivalent for the Greek word.


Lexicons say the “proper” usage is, a psalm is a song sung while plucking strings with fingers. We have no word to fully express all of this. If we translate it, “play,” we fail to express the associated idea of singing. If we translate it, “sing,” we fail to express the underlying idea of making melody by plucking strings. If we employ too many words the translation becomes cumbersome.


Accordingly, in Eph. 5:19 it is commonly translated, “making melody,” while in other passages it is translated “sing” or “sing psalms,” --recognizing that both ideas may be included.

McKinnon says of this, “...The traditional translation `making melody', incidentally, is retained here for want of a better alternative. The verb ya,llein [psallein] originally meant `to pluck a string instrument', but by New Testament times it came to mean simply 'to sing', with or without an instrument. To translate it here as `singing', however, would create an obviously undesirable repetition.[3]


Actually, there is no contextual or grammatical reason why all the passages containing psallō could not be translated as “make melody” or “make music.”

Eph. 5:19. singing and making melody [psallō] in your heart to the Lord

1Cor. 14:15. I will make melody [psallō] with the spirit, and I will make melody [psallō] with the understanding also.

James 5:13. Is any merry? let him make melody [psallō].

Romans 15:9 Therefore will I give praise unto thee among the Gentiles, And make melody [psallō] unto thy name.


A second factor that probably influenced the translators is its use in Byzantine and later Greek (after AD 300).


Because of traditional non-use of psallō in the Greek chapels, the primitive idea was almost entirely lost in later usage.


Anti-instrumentalists often press the point that surely the Greeks should know their own language. They do know their language, as it is now spoken, but, as anti-instrumentalists themselves argue, language usage changes—sometimes a great deal over thousands of years. The ancient Greeks knew what their language meant at that time. They used psallō to indicate instrumental music for hundreds of years before and after the New Testament. Even today in the Greek language, psallō does not mean “sing a-cappella.” Instruments are normally not used in the churches but elsewhere the word is used in reference to making music in general, whether accompanied or unaccompanied.


A third influence is Calvinistic tradition.


Just as the strong tradition of pouring for baptism restrained most translators from rendering “baptizō” in its original sense of “immerse,” so Calvinistic tradition influenced translators to render psallō as “sing.”  When a translator or lexicographer suggests the original meaning, those whose traditions are disturbed turn on a lot of pressure.


A prime example is the clamor made for removal of the qualifying phrase “(to the accompaniment of a harp)” added by Arndt and Gingrich for clarification in their revision of Bauer. Anti-instrumentalists attacked with a vengeance, making it sound like this was a distortion of Bauer, whereas the editors were doing what Lexicographers commonly do -- insert additional clarifying information. There is a lot of money wrapped up in publication and such pressures are keenly felt. The result was that after Professor Arndt died, Gingrich and Danker made a second revision which attempts to straddle the issue, although still conceding that the original meaning of psallō was ‘pluck’ which continued at least to the time of Lucian (AD 160).


For those who may choose to rely heavily on this, the third edition of Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich and Danker also changed the definition of baptizō to mean “to use water…” -- thus including pouring and sprinkling.[4] 

In spite of economic pressure, a number of translators have broken with tradition and specifically indicated instrumental accompaniment. To this, anti-instrumentalists respond by declaiming them as “committee translations.” However, while the larger committees do tend to follow tradition (How many “committee translations” use “immerse” for baptizō?), that does not mean that they have accepted the anti-instrumental case. A number of them have written in books or letters that in their judgment psalmos and psallō indicates accompaniment, and some deny they ever intended their translation to indicate it meant a-cappella.

Joseph Henry Thayer, D. D., Chairman of the American Standard New Testament Revision Committee, in editing Grimm’s Lexicon, under “psalmos,” cited Bishop Lightfoot on Col. 3:16. At the end of the article he inserts another note for us, “Synonym, see Humnos, at the end.” On p. 637 of his lexicon he states that psalms took their character from the Old Testament Psalms and then cites Lightfoot on Col. 3:16.

[SYN. humnos, psalmos, ode: ode is the generic term; psalm and humn are specific, the former designating a song which took its general character from the O.T. ‘Psalms’ (although not restricted to them, see 1Cor. 14:15, 26), the latter a song of praise. “While the leading idea of psalm, is a musical accompaniment, and that of humn, praise to God, ode is the general word for a song, whether accompanied or unaccompanied, whether of praise or on any other subject. Thus it was quite possible for the same song to be at once psalmos, humnos and ode” (Bishop Lightfoot on Col. 3:16). The words occur together in Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:19. See Trench, Syn. §78.]


-Psalmos , A. twitching or twanging with the fingers, “psalmoi toxōnE.Ion173 (lyr.); “toxērei psalmō toxeusasId.HF1064 (lyr.)
II. mostly of musical strings, “pēktidōn psalmois krekon humnonTelest.5, cf. Diog.Trag.1.9, Aret.CA1.1.
2. the sound of the cithara or harp, Pi.Fr.125, cf. Phryn.Trag.11; “psalmos d' alalazeiA.Fr.57.7 (anap.); there were contests in to psallein,
3. later, song sung to the harp, psalm, LXX 2 Ki.23.1,
al., Ep.Eph.5.19; “biblos psalmōnEv.Luc.20.42.

Sing TO A harp is never Psallo: Psal-tos , ē, on, A. sung to the harp,
Sing TO A harp is never Psallo: Psal-tos , ē, on, A. sung to the harp,

Ala^l-azō  : (formed from the cry alalai): —raise the war-cry, Enualiō ēlalaxan
2. [select] generally, cry, shout aloud, Pi.l.c., E.El.855; esp. in orgiastic rites, A.Fr.57; of Bacchus and Bacchae, E.Ba.593 (in Med.), 1133, etc.; “ōloluxan hai gunaikes, ēlalaxan de hoi andres” 

II. rarely also of other sounds than the voice, sound loudly, “psalmos d' alalazeiA.Fr.57; “kumbalon alalazon1 Ep.Cor.13.1.—Poet. word, used by X. and in late Prose.

Psaō [a_, but always contracted],  II. crumble away, vanish, disappear, S.Tr.678 (s. v. l.). (psaō, psaiō, psauō, psairō, psēkhō, psōkhō,
Psaiō , A. = psaō (q. v.), rub away, grind down
Psal-ma , atos, to, A. tune played on a stringed instrument, 
Psal-mizō , A. sing psalms, and psal-mistēs , ou, ho, psalmist
Paul said to SPEAK psalms
Psalmokha^rēs , es, A. delighting in harp-playing, of Apollo,
Psalmōd-ia , A. singing to the harp,
Psalmōd-os , ho, A. psalmist, LXX Si.47.9 cod.Sin., 50.18.
Psal-tērion , to, A. stringed instrument, psaltery, harp,trigōna ps.Arist.Pr.919b12, cf. Hippias(?) in PHib.1.13.31, Apollod. ap. Ath.14.636f, Thphr.HP5.7.6, LXX Ge.4.21, al.
Psal-tēs , ou, ho,A. harper, Men.495, Hippias (?) in PHib.1.13.7, 25, Macho ap.Ath.8.348f, LXX 1 Es.5.42, Plu.2.67f, 223f, cf. “kitharistēs ē ps.SIG578.15 (Teos, ii B. C.); epith. of Apollo, AP9.525.24. [Oxyt. in Att., parox. in Hellenistic Gr., Choerob. in Theod.1.187H.]
Psal-tikos , ē, on, A. of or for harp playing, ps. organon a stringed instrument, Ath.14.634f (of the magadis; andra psaltikēn agathon a good harpist, Ael. ap. Ar.Byz.Epit.84.8.
Psal-tos , ē, on, A. sung to the harp, sung of, LXX Ps.118(119).54.
Psal-tria , , A. female harper, Pl.Prt. 347d, Ion Trag.22, Arist.Ath.50.2, Men.319.4, Plu.Caes.10, al.
Psaltōd-eō , A. sing to the harp, LXX 2 Ch.5.13.
Psaltōd-os , on, A. = psalmōdos, ib.1 Ch.9.33, 2 Ch.5.12, al., v.l. ib.Si.47.9.

Anti-instrumentalists go to considerable lengths to get around the force of this.  Sometimes they try to represent the above as not representing Thayer.  However, on p.18 of his introduction he says, "Square brackets have been used to mark additions by the American Editor."  Thayer was the American Editor and he added this to clarify the distinction between these synonyms.  Note that he uses the present tense, “...the leading idea of psalm, IS a musical accompaniment...”
They point out that Thayer let Grimm’s statement, “in the N.T. to sing a hymn, to celebrate the praises of God in song,” stand without correction. However, on p.VII, he says, “On points of etymology the statements of Professor Grimm have been allowed to stand, although, in form at least, they often fail to accord with modern philological methods.” Furthermore, under the noun form, Thayer specifically cited Lightfoot on Colossians and referred the reader to Synonyms at the end of humnos for further information. The claim that he said nothing is incorrect.



They further attempt a defense by citing Thayer’s Preface, p.VIII, where, concerning his additions (in brackets “[ ],” see p.VI) he cautions,

“Accordingly, a caveat must be entered against the hasty inference that the mention of a different interpretation from that given by Professor Grimm always and of necessity implies dissent from him. It may be intended merely to inform the student that the meaning of the passage is still in debate...”

This statement hardly puts Thayer into the anti-instrumental camp. It merely indicates that his citation of a different interpretation should not provoke “hasty conclusions that “always and of necessity” he was differing with Professor Grimm. If anything, this suggests that at times he did differ. As we have shown above, Thayer saw Grimm’s definitions at times were lacking “in form at least” and gave his own reason why he may or may not have changed it.

On p.VIII he says that his supplementary references and remarks have been governed at different times by different considerations. On p.VI he indicates two of his “leading objects,” (which appear in this case), were “to introduce brief discussions of New Testament synonyms” and to givethe best English and American Commentaries (Lightfoot...)”

Thayer clearly added his judgment that a psalm, “took its general character from the O.T. ‘Psalms’, (although not restricted to them. See 1Co. 14:26)...” To illustrate what he meant, at this point he cited Lightfoot, who indicated the character is instrumental. The nature of the statement indicates this serves to express his view. This is no, “hasty conclusion.”


The fact that three words are employed, “psalmos,” “hymnos” and “odē,” clearly suggests they are speaking of three types of music.  It makes little sense to claim this means, “speaking to one another in songs, songs and spiritual songs.”

We are indeed lucky that Paul commanded us to SPEAK Psalms. Hymns and Spiritual Songs.  SPEAK connected to the LOGOS is the opposite of rhetoric, singing, poetry or music. We are also lucky that NONE of the Bible is metrical and you CANNOT singe it tunefully if your life depended on it. That is why there was no tuneful singing until John Calvin permitted some Psalms (only) to be radically rewritten and set to a simple meter to be sung in unison (only)

Eph. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Pale (g3823) pal'-ay; from pallo, (to vibrate; another form for 906); wrestling: - / wrestle 

Pallo like PSALLO and several other words from which people make SPEAKING into MAKING MUSIC are all primarily words of MAKING WAR or polluting people in one way or another. THAT'S why Paul put the word IN THE HEART or spirit and NOT literally SHOOTING one another in the musical contests.

Pallô, poise, sway a missile before it is thrown, sway, brandish, she drove it furiously, tripped on the shield-rim, quiver, leap, esp. in fearII. Pass., swing, dash oneself, Pi.N.5.21; vibrate, of strings, Pl.Phd.94c (psalloito ap. Stob.);  leap, bound, quiver, quake, phrena deimati pallôn S.OT153 (lyr.); dash along, of horses, E.El.477 (lyr.).  
Pindar, Nemean 5[19] But if it is resolved to praise wealth, or the strength of hands, or iron war, [20] let someone mark off a long jump for me from this point. I have a light spring in my knees, and eagles swoop over the sea. The most beautiful chorus of Muses sang gladly for the Aeacids on Mt. Pelion, and among them Apollo, [Abaddon, Apollyon] sweeping the seven-tongued lyre with a golden plectrum, [25] led all types of strains. And the Muses  [sorcerers Rev 18]  began with a prelude to Zeus, then sang first of divine Thetis and of Peleus; how Hippolyte, the opulent daughter of Cretheus, wanted to trap him with deceit. With elaborate planning she persuaded her husband, the watcher of the Magnesians, to be a partner in her plot, and she forged a false story; [30] that Peleus had made an attempt on her [31] in Acastus' own bed. But the opposite was true; for she often begged him and coaxed him with all her heart, but her reckless words provoked his temper.

Plat. Phaedo [94c] in countless other ways?”
“Did we not agree in our previous discussion that it could never, if it be a harmony, give forth a sound at variance with the tensions and relaxations and vibrations and other conditions of the elements which compose it, but that it would follow them and never lead them?”
“Yes,” he replied, “we did, of course.”
“Well then, do we not now find that the soul acts in exactly the opposite way, leading those elements of which it is said to consist and opposing them

Euripides, Bacchae: Already like fire does this insolence of the Bacchae blaze up, a great reproach for the Hellenes. [780]  But we must not hesitate. Go to the Electran gates, bid all the shield-bearers and riders of swift-footed horses to assemble, as well as all who brandish the light shield and pluck bowstrings with their hands, so that we can make an assault against [785]  the Bacchae. For it is indeed too much if we suffer what we are suffering at the hands of women.

Pi.N.5.21   Pindar, Nemean 5.

[15] how indeed they left the glorious island, and what divine power drove the brave men from Oenone. I will stop: it is not always beneficial for the precise truth to show her face, 
  •     and silence is often the wisest thing for a man to heed. [19]
  •     But if it is resolved to praise wealth, or the strength of hands, or iron war,
[20] let someone mark off a long jump for me from this point. I have a light spring in my knees, and eagles swoop over the sea. The most beautiful chorus of Muses sang gladly for the Aeacids on Mt. Pelion, and among them Apollo, sweeping the seven-tongued lyre with a golden plectrum,  [25] led all types of strains. And the Muses began with a prelude to Zeus

There joyful bands welcome the god with the cry of reed-pipes, and contend with the bold strength of their limbs.[40] The fortune that is born along with a man decides in every deed.  And you, Euthymenes from Aegina, have twice fallen into the arms of Victory and attained embroidered hymns.

Pallas , ados, h(, Pallas, epith. of Athena,

A. Pallas AthēnaiēIl. 1.200, etc.; later used alone, = Athēnē, B.5.92, Hdt.5.77, IG12.573, etc.
2. coin bearing the head of Pallas, Eub.6 (pl.).
II. maiden-priestess , Str.17.1.46, Eust.1742.37.
III. Pythag. name for five, Theol.Ar. 32. (Commonly deriv. from pallō, either as Brandisher of the spear, or para to anapepalthai ek tēs kephalēs tou Dios, etc., Pl.Cra.407a, EM 649.52, cf. Eust.84.43, but prob. orig. virgin, maiden, cf. sq. and v. pallakē fin., pallax.)

Strab. 17.1.46 Next to the city of Apollo is Thebes, now called Diospolis, “‘with her hundred gates, through each of which issue two hundred men, with horses and chariots,’1” according to Homer, who mentions also its wealth; “‘not all the wealth the palaces of Egyptian Thebes contain.’2

The priests there are said to be, for the most part, astronomers and philosophers. The former compute the days, not by the moon, but by the sun, introducing into the twelve months of thirty days each five days every year. But in order to complete the whole year, because there is (annually) an excess of a part of a day, they form a period from out of whole days and whole years, the supernumerary portions of which in that period, when collected together, amount to a day.4 They ascribe to Mercury all knowledge of this kind. To Jupiter, whom they worship above all other deities, a virgin of the greatest beauty and of the most illustrious family (such persons the Greeks call pallades) is dedicated. She prostitutes herself with whom she pleases, until the time occurs for the natural purification of the body; she is afterwards married; but before her marriage, and after the period of prostitution, they mourn for her as for one dead.

Pallak-euō ,
A. to be a concubine, esp. for ritual purposes, Str.17.1.46, BCH7.276 (Tralles): generally, “ MithridatēStr.13.4.3:—more freq. in Med. and Pass.,
1. keep as a concubine, Hdt.4.155.
2. Pass., to be a concubine, Plu.Them.26; tini to one, Id.Fab.21, Art.26.

Thebes The Temple of Ptah—identified with the Greek Hephaistos, and Hathor, identified with Aphrodite—has gateways which were added during the Ptolemaic period. The fine granite gateway which lies in front of the temple of the war god Mont was built by Ptolemy Philadelphos. The small chapel to the W of the temple is also a work of the Ptolemies. The gateway of the Temple of Mut was erected by Ptolemy I Soter. Here the king is represented shaking the sistrum, the queen plays the harp, and a princess beats a tamborine before Mut and Sekhmet.

Eph. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
        but against principalities, against powers,
        against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
        against spiritual wickedness in high places.

A. lord of the world, epith. of ouranos, Orph.H.4.3; “Zeus Mitras Hēlios k.Not.Scav.1912.323 (Rome).
2. of the Emperors, IG14.926, Sammelb.4275, cf. Ptol.Tetr.175, Heph.Astr.1.1.
3. Astrol., ruler of the kosmos, i.e. planet, Id.in Cat.Cod.Astr.6.68, Vett.Val.171.6; “hoi hepta k.Dam.Pr.131; hoi k. tou skotous toutou the cosmic rulers of this sinful world, Ep.Eph.6.12; “hoi k. hoi ta hupo selēnēn stoikheia dioikountesIamb.Myst.2.3
Mitra , ēs, h(, the Persian Aphrodite, Hdt.1.131 (by confusion with Mithras).
Kosmos  II. ornament, decoration, esp. of women,
metaph., of ornaments of speech, such as epithets, Id.9.9 (pl.), Arist.Rh.1408a14, Po.1457b2, 1458a33; hadumelē k. keladein to sing sweet songs of praise, Pi.O.11 (10).13 (s.v.l.).
kelad-eō, 2. of persons, shout aloud, atar keladēsan Akhaioi, in applause, Il.23.869; “eme dei k.Pratin. Lyr. 1.3, cf. B.l.c.; “keladeonti amphi Kinuran phamaiPi.P.2.15: c. acc. cogn., “k. humnousTerp.5, cf. Pi.N.4.16 codd.; “nomonId.Pae.2.101; “hadumelē kosmon k.Id.O.11(10).14; [boas, paianas, E.Ion93, HF l.c
3. of various cries, e.g. of a new-born babe, A.Ch.609; of the swallow, Ar. Pax801, Ra.684; of the grasshopper, Theopomp. Com.l.c.; of the cock, ex eunas k. crows from his perch, Theoc.18.57; of bells, ring, tinkle, E.Rh.384; of the flute, “k. phthoggon kallistonId.El.716; of the sea, Ar.Th.44.
II. trans., sing of, celebrate loudly, tina Pi.O.1.9, 2.2,6.88, E.IT1093, Ar.Ra.1527; “temenosB. 13.21, cf. E. Tr.121; “tina amph' aretaPi.P.2.63
Pind. O. 11 For the present rest assured, Hagesidamus son of Archestratus: for the sake of your boxing victory, I shall loudly sing a sweet song, an adornment for your garland of golden olive, [15] while I honor the race of the Western Locrians. There, Muses, join in the victory-song; I shall pledge my word to you that we will find there a race that does not repel the stranger, or is inexperienced in fine deeds, but one that is wise and warlike too. For [20] neither the fiery fox nor loud-roaring lions change their nature.
IV.3. in later Gr., = oikoumenē, the known or inhabited world, OGI458.40 (9 B.C.), Ep.Rom.1.8, etc.; ho tou pantos k. kurios, of Nero, SIG814.31, cf. IGRom.4.982 (Samos); “ean ton k. holon kerdēsēEv.Matt.16.26.
4. men in general, “phanerōson seauton k.Ev.Jo.7.4, cf. 12.19; esp. of the world as estranged from God by sin, ib.16.20, 17.9, al., 1 Ep.Cor. 1.21, etc.
5. houtos ho k. this present world, i.e. earth, opp. heaven, Ev.Jo.13.1; regarded as the kingdom of evil, ho arkhōn tou k. toutou ib.12.31.
Matt. 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Matt. 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Bishop Lightfoot, quoted above on Col. 3:16, who Thayer says is one of the “best” commentaries (see Introduction, p.6)

The Ency. Americana (1940) Vol. 3, p. 637, says that Lightfoot's " 'commentaries' and 'apostolic Fathers' formed the apex of British Biblical scholarship."

The New Standard Encyclopedia says, "Bishop Lightfoot was a Biblical and classical scholar of the first rank; was especial­ly accomplished in Greek but he was also well versed in English literature, history and philosophy. He was an important member of the body of scholars who revised the authorized version of the N.E.”

Bishop Lightfoot said: “The three words psalmos, humnos, ode, are distinguished, so far as they are distinguishable, in Trench N.T. Syn. par. 78, page 279. They are correctly defined by Gregory Nyssen in Psalm 100:3 (I. p. 295)”

Gregory Of Nyssa On the Making of Man

Now the
music of the human instrument is a sort of compound of flute and lyre born c. 335, , Caesarea, in Cappadocia, Asia Minor [now Kayseri, Turkey] died c. 394 , ; feast day March 9

IX. That the Form of Man Was Framed to Serve as an Instrument for the Use of Reason 34 .
And as some skilled musician, who may have been deprived by some affection of his own voice, and yet wish to make his skill known,

might make melody with voices of others,
and publish his art
by the aid of flutes or of the lyre,

so also the human mind being a discoverer of all sorts of conceptions, seeing that it is unable, by the mere soul, to reveal to those who hear by bodily senses the motions of its understanding, touches, like some skilful composer,

these animated instruments, and makes known its hidden thoughts by means of the sound produced upon them.

3. Now the music of the human instrument is a sort of compound of flute and lyre, sounding together in combination as in a concerted piece of music.

For the breath, as it is forced up from the air-receiving vessels through the windpipe, when the speaker's impulse to utterance attunes the harmony to sound, and as it strikes against the internal protuberances which divide this flute-like passage in a circular arrangement, imitates in a way the sound uttered through a flute, being driven round and round by the membranous projections.

But the palate receives the sound from below in its own concavity, and dividing the sound by the two passages that extend to the nostrils, and by the cartilages about the perforated bone, as it were by some scaly protuberance, makes its resonance louder; while the cheek, the tongue, the mechanism of the pharynx by which the chin is relaxed when drawn in,

and tightened when extended to a point-all these in many different ways answer to the motion of the plectrum upon the strings, varying very quickly, as occasion requires, the arrangement of the tones; and the opening and closing of the lips has the same effect as players produce when they check the breath of the flute with their fingers according to the measure of the tune.

9. Again, as a musician, when he touches with the plectrum the slackened strings of a lyre, brings out no orderly melody (for that which is not stretched will not sound), but his hand frequently moves skilfully, bringing the plectrum to the position of the notes so far as place is concerned, yet there is no sound, except that he produces by the vibration of the strings a sort of uncertain and indistinct hum;

so in sleep the mechanism of the senses being relaxed, the artist is either quite inactive, if the instrument is completely relaxed by satiety or heaviness; or will act slackly and faintly, if the instrument of the senses does not fully admit of the exercise of its art.

X. That the Mind Works by Means of the Senses.

1. As the mind then produces the music of reason by means of our instrumental construction, we are born rational,

while, as I think,we should not have had the gift of reason if we had had to employ our lips to supply the need of the body-the heavy and toilsome part of the task of providing food.

As things are, however, our hands appropriate this ministration to themselves, and leave the mouth available for the service of reason.

2 35 . The operation of the instrument 36 , however, is twofold; one for the production of sound, the other for the reception of concepts from without;

and the one faculty does not blend with the other, but abides in the operation for which it was appointed by nature, not interfering with its neighbour either by the sense of hearing undertaking to speak, or by the speech undertaking to hear;

for the latter is always uttering something, while the ear, as Solomon somewhere says, is not filled with continual hearing 37 .

"The noun psalmos 'psalm' (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16, 1 Cor 14:16) <b>which is etymologically kin to this verb psallo, </b> is used in the New Testament of a religious song in general, having the character of an Old Testament Psalm. Some think that the verb has its original sense in the Septuagint, and both Basil and Gregory of Nyssa define Alexandria,

while forbidding the use of the FLUTE in the <b>Agapae, </b>
permitted the HARP [in the Agapae]</b> (Vincent, vol. 3, p. 269)

As late as the fourth century, Gregory, bishop of Nyssa, gave this definition of psalm: "There is a distinction between psalm, ode, praise, hymn, and prayer.

 A psalm is the MELODY of a musical instrument;  

You will notice if you READ CAREFULLY that a PSALM was METRICAL and could fit the NOTES of a harp or lyre or human RECITING. In a Psalm or SONG the "first instrument of choice is the human voice." 

He DID NOT say that a PSALM is a PSALM sung to an INSTRUMENT.  By definition, poems are poetic and are METRICAL as is much of the Old Testament. That means that you can READ the psalms as in CANTILLATION in order to teach. This MELODY was the "normal range of human speech."



Both Thayer and Lightfoot cite Trench’s Synonyms. Going to his comments on “psalmos, humnos and ode,” we read:

Psalmos, from psaō, properly a touching, and then a touching of the harp or other stringed instruments with the finger or with the plectrum (psalmoi toxōn, Euripides, Ion, 174; cf Bacch. 740,... was next the instrument itself, and last of all the song sung with this musical accompaniment. It is in this latest stage of its meaning that we find the word adopted in the Septuagint; and to this agree the ecclesiastical definitions of it...”

Psallo has the same root meaning as the SOP which Jesus fed Judas to cause Satan to enter into him. Psalm 41 denies that Judas will be able to triumph over Jesus. However, the Levitess would musically mock Jesus all of the way to the cross.  Psalm 22 calls them DOGS or Catamites.

Euripides Ion:
But see, the early birds have left their nests,
And this way from Parnassus wing their flight.
Come not, I charge you, near the battlements,
Nor near the golden dome.
Herald of Jove,
Strong though thy
beak beyond the feather'd kind,
bow shall reach thee. Towards the altar, see,
A swan comes sailing: elsewhere wilt thou move
Thy scarlet-tinctured foot? or from my bow
[160] The lyre of Phoebus to thy notes attuned [sunoidos]
Will not protect thee; farther stretch thy wings;
Go, wanton, skim along the Delian lake,
Or wilt thou steep thy melody in blood.

Look, what strange bird comes onwards; wouldst thou fix
Beneath the battlements thy straw-built nest?
singing bow shall drive thee hence; begone,
Or to the banks of Alpheus, gulfy stream,
Or to the Isthmian grove; there hatch thy young;

P. Vergilius Maro, Aeneid

She said, and from her quiver chose with speed
The winged shaft, predestin'd for the deed;
Then to the stubborn yew her strength applied,
Till the
far distant horns approach'd on either side.
bowstring touch'd her breast, so strong she drew;
Whizzing in air the fatal arrow flew.

At once the twanging bow and sounding dart
The traitor heard, and felt the point within his heart.
beating with his heels in pangs of death,
flying friends to foreign fields bequeath.

The conqu'ring damsel, with expanded wings,
The welcome message to her mistress brings.

Euripides Bacchae

[677] I was just driving the herds of kine to a ridge of the hill as I fed them, as the sun shot forth his rays and made the earth grow warm; when lo!

I see three revel-bands of women;

Autonoe was chief of one,
thy mother
Agave of the second,
Ino's was the third.

There they lay asleep, all tired out; some were resting on branches of the pine, others had laid their heads in careless ease on oak-leaves piled upon the ground,

observing all modesty; not, as thou sayest,
seeking to
gratify their lusts alone amid the woods,
wine and soft flute-music maddened.

Anon in their midst thy mother uprose and cried aloud to wake them from their sleep, when she heard the lowing of my horned kine. And up they started to their feet, brushing from their eyes sleep's quickening dew, a wondrous sight of grace and modesty, young and old and maidens yet unwed.

First o'er their shoulders they let stream their hair; then all did gird their fawn-skins up, who hitherto had left the fastenings loose, girdling the dappled hides with snakes that licked their cheeks.

Others fondled in their arms gazelles or savage whelps of wolves, and suckled them-young mothers these with babes at home, whose breasts were still full of milk; crowns they wore of ivy or of oak or blossoming convolvulus. And one took her thyrsus and struck it into the earth,

and forth there gushed a limpid spring; and another plunged her wand into the lap of earth
and there the god sent up a
fount of wine; and all who wished for draughts of milk had but to scratch the soil with their finger-tips and there they had it in abundance, while from every ivy-wreathed staff sweet rills of honey trickled.

Hadst thou been there and seen this, thou wouldst have turned to pray to the god, whom now thou dost disparage. Anon we herdsmen and shepherds met to discuss their strange and wondrous doings;

then one, who wandereth oft to town and hath a trick of speech, made harangue in the midst,

"O ye who dwell upon the hallowed mountain-terraces! shall we chase Agave, mother of Pentheus, from her Bacchic rites, and thereby do our prince a service?"

We liked his speech, and placed ourselves in hidden ambush among the leafy thickets; they at the appointed time began to wave the thyrsus for their Bacchic rites, calling on Iacchus (Iacchus or Bacchus, honored by all, deviser of our festal song and dance the Bromian god, the son of Zeus, in united chorus, and the whole mount and the wild creatures re-echoed their cry; all nature stirred as they rushed on.

[728] Now Agave chanced to come springing near me, so up I leapt from out my ambush where I lay concealed, meaning to seize her.

But she cried out, "What ho! my nimble hounds (homosexual priests), here are men upon our track; but follow me, ay, follow, with the thyrsus in your hand for weapon."

Jesus IDENTIFIED them as the Crooked Generation and as NIMBLE HOUNDS

And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? Lu.7:24

But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft (clothes of a Catamite=male prostitute) raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately (effeminate), are in kings courts. Luke 7:25

Malakos , d. = pathêtikos e. of music, soft, effeminate, m. harmoniai Pl.R.398e , 411a, cf. Arist.Pol.1290a28; tuned to a low pitch, opp. suntonos, chrôma m. Cleonid.Harm.7 , etc.
And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? Luke 7:31

They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. Luke 7:32

Latin: [17] dicunt cecinimus vobis et non saltastis lamentavimus et non planxistis

CANO , to produce melodious sounds, whether of men or animals, of the crowing of a cock, (the crowing of a hen being considered as an auspicium malum),

[IN ROMANS 14] In the lang. of the Pythagoreans, of the heavenly bodies (considered as living beings), the music of the spheres,C. Since the responses of oracles were given in verse, to prophesy, foretell, predict. In poetry: Sibylla,

Canto III. In the lang. of religion, as v. n. or a., to use enchantments, charms, incantations, to enchant, to charm,

Arnobius speaking of the Parasites: Was it for this He sent souls, that in men they should become IMPURE,

in women harlots, players on the triangle and psaltery; that they should prostitute their bodies for hire, should abandon themselves to the lust of all ready in the brothels, to be met with in the stews, ready to submit to anything, prepared to do violence to their mouth even?

Psaltes , ae, m., = psaltês, a player on the cithara, a musician, minstrel, Quint. 1, 10, 18; Mart. Cap. 9, § 924; Sid. Ep. 8, 9; Inscr. Grut. 331, 2; Vulg. 2 Reg. 23, 1.

Thrêneô sing a dirge, wail, Mousai

Thriambeuo (g2358) three-am-byoo'-o; from a prol. comp. of the base of 2360 and a der. of 680 (mean. a noisy iambus, sung in honor of Bacchus); to make an acclamatory procession, i.e. (fig.) to conquer or (by Hebr.) to give victory: - (cause) to triumph (over). 

For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. Luke 7:33
The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners Luke 7:34

But wisdom is justified of all her children. Luke 7:35

Thereat we fled, to escape being torn in pieces by the Bacchantes; but they, with hands that bore no weapon of steel, attacked our cattle as they browsed. Then wouldst thou have seen Agave mastering some sleek lowing calf, while others rent the heifers limb from limb. Before thy eyes there would have been hurling of ribs and hoofs this way and that; and strips of flesh, all blood-bedabbled, dripped as they hung from the pine-branches.

Wild bulls, that glared but now with rage along their horns, found themselves tripped up, dragged down to earth by countless maidens' hands.

The flesh upon their limbs was stripped therefrom quicker than thou couldst have closed thy royal eye-lids.

Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. Psalm 22:12
gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. Psalm 22:13
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. Psalm 22:14

See Gilgamesh and The Bull of Heaven

Then off they sped, like birds that skim the air, to the plains beneath the hills, which bear a fruitful harvest for Thebes beside the waters of Asopus; to Hysiae and Erythrae, hamlets 'neath Cithaeron's peak, with fell intent, swooping on everything and scattering all pellmell; and they would snatch children from their homes; but all that they placed upon their shoulders, abode there firmly without being tied, and fell not to the dusky earth, not even brass or iron; and on their hair they carried fire and it burnt them not; but the country-folk rushed to arms, furious at being pillaged by Bacchanals;

Of course, when they cannot in some way make it appear that the authority favors their cause they then seek to destroy their credibility. This may be done by citing his theological background or statements made on some other subject, such as baptism. Of course, when these people seem to favor their position on instruments their other errors are of no import. However, they seem to forget that the sword cuts both ways!

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