The Early Church on Instrumental Music


5.02.11 See Danny Dodd and Royce Ogle on Legalism

John T. Willis 2. "Sing" is vocal; "make melody" is instrumental. Psalms 33:2-3; 144:9; 149:1, 3 make this crystal clear. Amos 5:23 further verifies this reality.  People forget that God turned Israel over to worship the starry host because of musical idolatry at Mount Sinai. The Levites were under the KING and the COMMANDERS of the army: they made war and not worship. We will examine these passages in context.


Jay Guin is a good lawyer: he has come up with a new foundational authority for instrumental music.  However, his premise that God commanded the king, kingdom, temple, animal sacrifices and the associated instrumental noise is wrong: there is no historic scholarship among the church fathers that God commanded that which was the result of "firing" God and demanding a human king.

by Danny Corbitt

September - December, 2010
It’s fun to look at an Old World map of the Earth. Like gazing at a modern map of the Earth through a fun-house mirror, we see the resemblance … and smile at what might only be Earth’s cousin. True, the land masses are mostly there, but the detail is considerably skewed. Explorers once sailed with those maps because they were the best available, but no one charts a course by them today.

Lucky for us: God through Christ made the EARTH and all that is in it.  The national monarchies were the bad and ugly but Christ in the prophets was The Good. God the Father made Jesus of Nazareth to be both Lord and Christ and He has supplied us with all that pertains to life and Godliness.  By analogy, Homer wrote all that we know that Homer revealed: a School of Homer is a disciple of what he wrote once and for all. There is nothing that the big WE can do in our superior time to add to or subtract from Homer. But Orpheus (that Thracian defining impure Threskia) and the Lesbian women put Homer's writings to a tune with instruments to "enhance" the learing of Homer. It is much more outrageous to think that WE can improve on God's Breath (Spirit) communicating through the Son or Word so that not even the Son is so abandoned that He would speak anything He did not hear from God the Father.  If you want to be a Christian you will "teach what Christ commanded to be taught." There is nothing that WE can add to improve on Jesus Who died to get His right to shut down the laded burdens (songs) and the burden laders.  Nor, will a true believer think that he has the power to "hear beyond the sacred page."

Like the 16th Century map makers, 16th Century theologians had their own limitations. Cartographers’ missing and remolded land masses are matched by abbreviated, re-sequenced and misinterpreted claims about church history. The chief difference between the two is that where cartographers were limited by knowledge, the Reformers “were compelled by their allegiances to construct revised versions of the past,” history that was “selective and interpretive.”1 Reformers such as Calvin and Zwingli called for sweeping changes based on their perspective of early church history, but we have the advantage of access to the whole story. There’s great danger to us if we chart our course today based on 16th Century representations of early church history.

That's what we call Chronological Snobery: the olden people who knew original languages and taught the same Bible that we have, were just TOO IGNORANT to understand that God's outlawing everything that does not edify or educate was just something they hallucinated because they were LESS world. All of the Church Fathers knew the Bible and no modern preacher needs to know more than entertaining the Goats (Cappellas).

For example, Puritans praised God without musical instruments in part because they thought musical instruments had been opposed by a Christian named Justin Martyr in the middle of the Second Century.2

The Puritans were Calvinists and the Bay Psalm book constituted the only singing. No one "sang congregationally" with or without instruments until after John Calvin.  John Calvin rejected instruments being in the confiscated Cathedrals because the music made the people too unruly to hold church there. Nor had the Catholics ever engaged in congregational singing with organ accompaniment.  They rejected instruments because they obeyed the direct command for RESOURCES and none of the Bible can be sung or played.

This quote is not identified but it was found WITH JUSTIN MARTYR'S PAPERS: it would not be unreasonable that people gave Justin Martyr credit for the statement.
Thus the unknown author of a treatise among Justin Martyr's works:

Quest. If songs were invented by unbelievers with a design of deceiving, and were appointed for those under the law, because of the childishness of their minds, why do they who have received the perfect instructions of grace, which are most contrary to the aforesaid customs, nevertheless sing in the churches just as they did who were children under the law?

Ans. Plain singing is not childish, but only the singing with lifeless organs, with dancing and cymbals, etc. Whence the use of such instruments and other things fit for children is laid aside, and plain singing only retained.
This is a common expression: Jesus identified the MEN of that generation as CHILDREN piping in the marketplace trying to get others to sing and dance to their tune.

Modern historians have long known that the quote the Puritans credited to Martyr actually came hundreds of years later.3 Even today, though, if you look at our Church of Christ Web sites, you will typically see us lead with this statement, mistakenly attributed to Justin Martyr and misplaced centuries out of time.
        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 One wonders why our maps of history
        still echo 16th Century models. Why aren’t we catching up? Did we stop doing serious research a century ago?

Who was it that Danny read to get the idea that proves that Justin Martyr DID NOT write this material: it is TRUE.

THEODORET " Theodoret of Cyrus or Cyrrhus  c. 393 – c. 457) 107 . Question: If songs were invented by unbelievers to seduce men, but were allowed to those under the law on account of their childish state, why do those who have received the perfect teaching of grace in their churches still use songs, just like the children under the law?

Answer: It is not simple singing that belongs to the childish state, but singing with lifeless instruments, with dancing, and with clappers. Hence the use of such instruments and the others that belong to the childish state is excluded from the singing in the churches, and simple singing is left." (Theodoret, a bishop of Cyrhus in Syria, Questions and Answers for the Orthodox)
Plat. Laws 659e  for this reason we have what we call “chants,” which evidently are in reality incantations1 seriously designed to produce in souls that conformity and harmony of which we speak.
        But inasmuch as the souls of the young are unable to endure serious study,
        we term these “plays” and “chants,'' and use them as such,—
just as, when people suffer from bodily ailments and infirmities, those whose office it is try to administer to them nutriment that is wholesome in meats

1 i.e. charms or magic formulae, canted over sick persons (or over snakes, Euthyd. 290A): cp. 664 B. 

John Calvin Psalm 92: In the fourth verse, he more immediately addresses the Levites, who were appointed to the office of singers, and calls upon them to employ their instruments of music -- not as if this were in itself necessary, only it was useful as an elementary aid to the people of God in these ancient times. We are not to conceive that God enjoined the harp as feeling a delight like ourselves in mere melody of sounds; but the Jews, who were yet under age, were astricted to the use of such childish elements. The intention of them was to stimulate the worshippers, and stir them up more actively to the celebration of the praise of God with the heart. We are to remember that the worship of God was never understood to consist in such outward services, which were only necessary to help forward a people, as yet weak and rude in knowledge, in the spiritual worship of God. A difference is to be observed in this respect between his people under the Old and under the New Testament; for now that Christ has appeared, and the Church has reached full age, it were only to bury the light of the Gospel, should we introduce the shadows of a departed dispensation. From this, it appears that the Papists, as I shall have occasion to show elsewhere, in employing instrumental music, cannot be said so much to imitate the practice of God's ancient people, as to ape it in a senseless and absurd manner, exhibiting a silly delight in that worship of the Old
But Calvin knew the character of the book better than the doctors of the Sorbonne, and having, by his influence, obtained its introduction into the worship of the Protestant Church of France, it contributed so much, in consequence of its extraordinary popularity, to the advancement of the Reformed cause in that country, that it was interdicted under the most severe penalties; and, in the language of the Romish Church, psalm-singing and heresy became synonymous terms. -- Warton's History of English Poetry, volume 3, pages 164, 165.
4 McKinnon on page 24 has some other things to say.

Ode of Solomon 26

ODE 26,

Remarkable praise.

1 I poured out praise to the Lord, for I am His:
2 And I will speak His holy song for my heart is with Him.
3 For His harp is in my hands, and the Odes of His rest shall not be silent.
4 I will cry unto him from my whole heart: I will praise and exalt Him with all my members.
5 For from the east and even to the west is His praise:
6 And from the south and even to the north is the confession of Him:
7 And from the top of the hills to their utmost bound is His perfection.
8 Who can write the Psalms of the Lord, or who read them?
9 Or who can train his soul for life that his soul may be saved,

10 Or who can rest on the Most High, so that with His mouth he may speak?
11 Who is able to interpret the wonders of the Lord?
12 For he who could interpret would be dissolved and would become that which is interpreted.
13 For it suffices to know and to rest: for in rest the singers stand,
14 Like a river which has an abundant fountain, and flows to the help of them that seek it. Hallelujah.

ODE 37.

1 I stretched out my hands to my Lord: and to the Most High I raised my voice:
2 And I spake with the lips of my heart; and He heard me when my voice reached Him:

However, this Solomon has something more to say:

Ode 6

1 As the hand moves over the harp, and the strings speak,
2 So speaks in my members the Spirit of the Lord, and I speak by His love.
3 For it destroys what is foreign and everything that is bitter:
4 For thus it was from the beginning and will be to the end,
        hat nothing should be His adversary,
        and nothing should stand up against Him.

5 The Lord has multiplied the knowledge of Himself,
        and is zealous that these things should be known,
        which by His grace have been given to us.

6 And the praise of His name He gave us:
spirits praise His holy Spirit.
7 For there went forth a stream and became a river great and broad
8 For it flooded and broke up everything and it brought (water) to the Temple;
9 And the restrainers of the children of men were not able to restrain it,
        nor the arts of those whose business it is to
restrain waters;
Ode 7
18 And the Most High shall be known in His Saints,
        to announce to
those that have songs of the coming of the Lord:
19 That they may go forth to meet Him,
        and may sing to Him with joy and with
the harp of many tones: (the lips and heart: below)
20 The seers shall come before Him and they shall be seen before Him,

Ode 14

7 Teach me the Psalms of thy truth, that I may bring forth fruit in thee:
8 And open to me the
harp of thy Holy Spirit, that with all its notes I may praise thee, O Lord.

Ode 16

5 For I am made strong in His praise, and I have faith in Him.
6 I will open my mouth and His spirit will utter in me the glory of the Lord and His beauty; the work of His hands and the operation of His fingers:(as a harp)
ln fact the document was in the collection of papers left by Justin Martyr and since it is not signed no one knows who wrote it: if I say that Justin Martyr wrote it then I have perfect authority.
Anyone having a "Pro Instrumental" Agenda will be welcomed at workshops and most once-Christian colleges. The fact that the book writers and sermonizers do not have access to the information they twist is not registered by those at the highest level of incompetency in Bible and Greek. For instance, if they can cut down Justin Martyr they can delay the opposition to c400 and use or probably misuse Dr. Everett Ferguson who, also, is liable to miss some of the data. If there was little opposition it was because there was no one so Bible-less they were ever introduced into organs for another millenium. Again, George Giradeau:  
"2. With reference to the time when organs were first introduced into use in the Roman Catholic Church, let us hear Bingham: [14] "It is now generally agreed among learned men that the use of organs came into the church since the time of Thomas Aquinas, Anno 1250; for he,  
in his Summs, has these words: 'Our church does not use musical instruments, as harps and psalteries, to praise God withal, that she may not seem to Judaize.' From which our learned Mr. Gregory, in a peculiar dissertation that he has upon the subject, concludes that there was no ecclesiastical use of organs in his time. And the same inference is made by Cajetan and Navarre among the Romish writers. Mr. Wharton also has observed that Marinus Sanutus, who lived about the year 1290, was the first who brought the use of wind-organs into churches, whence he was surnamed Torcellus, which is the name for an organ in the Italian tongue. And about this time Durantus, in his Rationale, takes notice of them as received in the church; and he is the first author, as Mr. Gregory thinks, that so takes notice of them.  
The Catholic church added the "Precenter" (Incenter, Ignis song- or fire-starter" which McClintock/Strong says was the "first heresy widely pervading the church." The ogan did not accompany him and the congregation was silent.  
Earler writers warned about the evil effects of music for the reason that most terms and instruments point to "enchanting" and John's SORCERY in Revelation 18 which seems to mark the exit of the group from the church along with the "lambs." Revelation 19 is peacefully lacking the instrumentalists and clergy singers
Danny Corbitt: Readers may not be aware of the numerous books that have been written even in our own generation on the subject of early Christian music. An amazing, widespread agreement regarding early church music has been built among scholars of early church history.

Utterly false: the church fathers are used by instrumentalists to prove that THEY were not opposed. Danny's switch is just the opposite.  They all repudiated music by quoting from the Bible and showing the UNIVERSAL perverting influence of music and musicians.  WE have always had the Bible and ALL historians and church fathers insist that a church must be APOSTOLIC. That means that if something is not Commanded or shown permissible by Christ and the Apostles it MUST be rejected.  Jesus commanded that the apostle taught what HE COMMANDED TO BE TAUGHT. That, says Peter, consists of the prophets by Christ and the prophecies made more perfect by Jesus Christ who died to FILL FULL the prophecies.

We have a much clearer picture of the early church, and so we’re no longer slaves to a 16th Century caricature. Comparing the Old World map of church history to a modern map reveals that our Old World map has been wrong about (1) the influence of the synagogue, (2) the influence of Greek and Jewish philosophy, (3) the influence of the Christian asceticism, and (4) the origin of scriptural arguments.

Danny Corbitt: The Synagogue. Maps of early church history once argued that Christian worship adopted its practice of singing from the a cappella, First Century synagogues. In contrast, J. A. Smith summarizes the consensus among modern scholars: not only is there absolutely no evidence of singing (or chanting) in the First Century synagogue, but also the church did not adopt its worship from the synagogue anyway.5 Moreover, in the earliest centuries, it was common meals (the love feast or agapē) rather than the Lord’s Supper assemblies where Christian songs of praise were fostered.6

First, There was no singing in the Church of Christ as ekklesia or synagogue.
Second, we have a very clear pattern of what they did and what they did not do.
Third, we have Jesus endorsing the Synagogue
Fourth, the Jerusalem Conference defined the synagogue which is defended by New Testament writers.
Fifth, history records that singing as a ACT was imposed in the year 373.
From Ephraim the Syrian and Aphrahat the Persian Sage

To Ephraim pertains the high and unique distinction of having originated-or at least given its living impulse to-
a new departure
in sacred literature; and that, not for his own country merely, but for Christendom.

From him came, if not the first idea, at all events the first successful example,
of making song an essential constituent of public worship,
and an exponent of theological teaching;
and from him it spread and prevailed through
the Eastern Churches
, and affected even those of the West.

George Girardeau
It has already been shown that it was not employed, under the Jewish dispensation, in the tabernacle until it was about to give way to the temple, or in the stated worship of the synagogue,

and that, having been by divine direction limited to the ritual of the temple, it was, along with the other distinctive elements of that temporary institute, abolished at the inauguration of the Christian economy.

It has also been evinced that the Christian church, by an easy transition, carried over into the new dispensation the simple worship as well as the polity of the synagogue, modified by the conditions peculiar to that dispensation;
that the employment of instrumental music in Christian worship was not one of those modifications; for such a modification would have had the effect of conforming the gospel church to the temple, with its symbolical and typical rites--

a conformity from which even the synagogue was free; and that the apostles, as the divinely commissioned and inspired organizers of the New Testament church, so far from authorizing the use of instrumental music in its worship, excluded it. The Christian church, it is clear, was started without it. What has been the subsequent history of the case? In answering this question, reference will be made to the practice of the church and to the testimony of some of her leading theologians during the successive periods of her development.

There is no evidence, but the contrary, to show that instrumental music was commonly introduced into the church until the thirteenth century.

Danny Corbitt: Greek and Jewish Philosophy. We have claimed that the early church preference for voice over instruments was unique and could therefore only have come from God.

Why do I doubt that? If you don't know that a Christian is a DISCIPLE then you cannot be one. If you do not know that Disciples of Christ attend a School of Christ then you cannot be a Church of Christ. If you think that singing, clapping, playing and body gyrating is appropriate in a School of Jesus when HE promises to be our ONLY Teacher when we teach that which is written you are not fit for the kingdom of God.

We have said that Christian opposition to the degeneration of music in the Roman culture also singled them out. Instead, modern “maps” show that Jewish philosophers and the Greeks philosophers before them were the ones who first favored the voice over instruments7 and who spoke out against the degeneration of music in the Roman culture.8

SYNAGOGUE, literally " assemblage," is the term employed to denote either a congregation of Jews, i.e. a local circle accustomed to meet together for worship and religious instruction, or the building in which the congregation met. In the first sense the word is a translation of noa, keneseth (assemblage), in the second of raan iva, beth hakkeneseth (house of assemblage). Further the term is often used to denote the system of Judaism, as when the " Synagogue " is contrasted to the " Church." The germ of the synagogue, that is, of religious assemblages dissociated from the ancient ritual of the altar, may be found in the circle of the prophets and their disciples (see especially Isa. viii. 16 seq.) ;

Isaiah 8:16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Danny Corbitt: Perhaps the strongest philosophical influence upon the early church, however, was a new method of interpreting scripture. It came by way of a contemporary of Jesus, the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria. Building on Greek philosophy, Philo taught that correctly understanding scripture requires one to go beyond the literal meaning to derive an allegorical one.9 Although Philo was not a Christian, his works were adopted and exclusively preserved by Christians. Beginning with Clement of Alexandria (died 215) (note that both are from Alexandria), Philo’s allegorical method became a standard for early Christian interpretation of scripture.10

If you can prove that Philo influenced the Church ordained by Jesus Christ let us hear it. Philo and others understood that "singing and making melody IN the heart" was a place. This is so absolutely certain that many people sang their Psalms internal "speak to yourself."  However, Philo and others knew that reciting the Psalms was an educational process and external "chanting" should be allowed. Philo also understood that music was a CAUSE and MARK of perverted religions: Jesus and Paul called them the CROOKED race of skolion singers:


Vii (58) Each description, indeed, has its own pleasures, but the recorded by Xenophon is the one the delights of which are most in accordance with human nature, for female harp-players, and dancers, and conjurors, and jugglers, and men who do ridiculous things,

who pride themselves much on their powers of jesting and of amusing others, and many other species of more cheerful relaxation, are brought forward at it. (59)

But the entertainment recorded by Plato is almost entirely connected with love; not that of men madly desirous or fond of women, or of women furiously in love with men, for these desires are accomplished in accordance with a law of nature,

but with that love which is felt by men for one another,

differing only in respect of age; for if there is anything in the account of that banquet elegantly said in praise of genuine love and heavenly Venus,

it is introduced merely for the sake of making a neat speech;

(60) for the greater part of the book is occupied by common, vulgar, promiscuous love, which takes away from the soul courage,

that which is the most serviceable of all virtues both in war and in peace, and which engenders in it instead the female disease, and renders men men-women, though they ought rather to be carefully trained in all the practices likely to give men valour.

(61) And having corrupted the age of boys, and having metamorphosed them and removed them into the classification and character of women,

it has injured their lovers also in the most important particulars, their bodies, their souls, and their properties; for it follows of necessity that the mind of a lover of boys must be kept on the stretch towards the objects of his affection, and must have no acuteness of vision for any other object, but must be blinded by its desire as to all other objects private or common, and must so be wasted away, more especially if it fails in its objects.


VII. (42) therefore, whenever he saw him sleeping at any entertainment he would go round and awaken him, having, at the same time, a regard for what was becoming and also for his safety, for a man who is asleep is a good object for treachery;
        and whenever he beheld him looking with an excited eye at any dancers,
        or even sometimes dancing with them, or not smiling with dignity
        upon actors of farcical and laughable spectacles,
                but rather grinning like a boy, or wholly carried away by the tunes of some harp-player or chorus,
                so as on some occasions even to join in their song, he would, if he was sitting or going near him,
                give him a nudge, and endeavour to check him.
(43) And very often, when he was reclining near him, he would whisper in his ear, and admonish him gently and quietly, so that no one else might hear what was said, saying, "You ought not only not to be like any one else here, but like no one else whatever, neither at any spectacle, or at anything that is to be heard, or in anything else that ever affects the outward senses, but you ought rather to surpass all other men in every action of your life, as much as you surpass them in your good fortune,
        (44) for it is unreasonable for the ruler of all the earth and of all the sea
        to be subdued by a song or by an exhibition of dancing,
        or by any ridiculous jest or piece of acting, or by anything else of that kind;
and not on every occasion, and in every place, to remember his position as emperor, like a shepherd and protector of the flock, availing himself of everything that can tend to any kind of amelioration, from every word, and from every action, of every description whatever."

(78) For he began at first to liken himself to those beings who are called demigods, such as Bacchus, and Hercules, and the twins of Lacedaemon; turning into utter ridicule Trophonius, and Amphiaraus, and Amphilochus, and others of the same kind, with all their oracles and secret ceremonies, in comparison of his own power.

(79) In the next place, like an actor in a theatre, he was continually wearing different dresses at different times, taking at one time a lion's skin and a club, both gilded over; being then dressed in the character of Hercules; at another time he would wear a felt hat upon his head, when he was disguised in imitation of the Spartan twins, Castor and Pollux; sometimes he also adorned himself with ivy, and a thyrsus, and skins of fawns, so as to appear in the guise of Bacchus.
Danny Corbitt: Their thought seems to be that if the story of Hagar and Sarah could teach an allegorical lesson about covenants (Gal 4:21-31), then imagine what hidden meanings we could find by interpreting nearly everything allegorically! One of my favorite musical allegories comes from Niceta of Remesiana (died after 414), speaking of David:
While still a lad, singing sweetly yet strongly to the cithara [harp], he subdues the evil spirit which worked in Saul — not because such was the power of his cithara, but because a figure of the cross of Christ was mystically projected by the wood and the stretching of the strings, so that it was the Passion itself that was sung and that subdued the spirit of the demon.11

From a Site Retired Dissertation Moray Allan on Niceta

There is nothing to hear before it starts or after it is finished; it does not persist in the same form, but must be experienced anew in a different recreation.

Whereas the people listened to a reading from the other Scriptures, the whole congregation could join in singing a psalm, and share publicly with one another their commitment to its message. Niceta had to ask for more attention to the readings --

'Of course, you may pray privately whenever and as often as you choose. But do not, under the pretext of prayer, miss the lesson.

You can always pray whenever you will, but you cannot always have a lesson at hand.'15 --

whereas the Psalms drew people's attention and entered their memories: 'Through David his servant, the Lord prepared a medicine, powerful enough to cure the wounds of sin, yet sweet to the taste by reason of the melody.

For, when a psalm is sung, it is sweet to the ear. It enters the soul because it is pleasant. It is easily retained if it is often enough repeated.'

The Christian ideal of musical performance emphasised unity and order. Niceta separates Christian singing from the pagan music of entertainment. Its sound is to be suitable for its religious nature: 'It must not be melodramatic, but a revelation of the true Christianity within.

It must have nothing theatrical about it, but should move us to sorrow for our sins.'

34 Christians should sing in harmony with one another: 'One of you should not linger unreasonably on the notes, while his neighbour is going too fast; nor should one of you sing too low while another is raising his voice.

Each one should be asked to contribute his part in humility to the volume of the choir as a whole.'

35 Christian singing, Niceta goes on, is in the presence of God, not for human pleasure. There is an interesting ambiguity over whether the musical success of the singing is to be seen as important. Psalm-singing, according to Jerome, is 'a task where real emotion is a greater requisite than a sweet voice';

36 for John Chrysostom, it is 'a sober spirit, an alert mind, a contrite heart, sound reason, and clear conscience' that are important; it is not blameworthy if a singer 'be feeble from old age or too young, or have a harsh voice, or be totally lacking in the knowledge of rhythm'.

37 This is what Niceta has to say: 'Therefore, let us sing all together, as with one voice, and let all of us modulate our voices in the same way.

If one cannot sing in tune with the others, it is better to sing in a low voice rather than drown out the others. In this way he will take his part in the service without interfering with the community singing.'

38 There is the implication here that something would in fact be damaged if a bad singer spoils the sound of the music

Full Niceta Remesian

(9) I must not bore you, beloved, with more details of the history of the psalms. It is time to turn to the New Testament to confirm what is said in the Old,

and, particularly, to point out that the office of psalmody is not to be considered abolished merely because many other observances of the Old Law have fallen into desuetude. 

Only the corporal institutions have been rejected, like circumcision, the sabbath, sacrifices, discrimination in foods. So, too, the trumpets, harps, cymbals and timbrels.

For the sound of these we now have a better substitute in the music from the mouths of men. The daily ablutions, the new-moon observances, the careful inspection of leprosy are completely
Danny Corbitt: Setting aside the misquote of Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria moves to the top of our list of Church Fathers who opposed instruments in praise, although his opposition is outside of an assembly, where we accept instruments. He writes of Jesus “scorning the lyre and cithara as lifeless instruments.” Because Clement can cite no supporting scripture, one might wonder how he got there. Clement explains that Jesus “sings to God on his many-voiced instrument and he sings to man, himself an instrument.”12

Click for our review of Danny Corbitt missing the Justin Martyr facts.

A similar quote comes from Theodoret after singing as an ACT (that legalism word) was imposed in the year 373.  However, it was in Justin Martyr's papers according to George Girardeu

Thus the unknown author of a treatise among Justin Martyr's works:

Quest. If songs were invented by unbelievers with a design of deceiving, and were appointed for those under the law, because of the childishness of their minds, why do they who have received the perfect instructions of grace, which are most contrary to the aforesaid customs, nevertheless sing in the churches just as they did who were children under the law?

Ans. Plain singing is not childish, but only the singing with lifeless organs, with dancing and cymbals, etc. Whence the use of such instruments and other things fit for children is laid aside, and plain singing only retained.'

Being CHILDISH does not diminish people who are Jews.  Children are not capable of being a disciple of Christ but they can sing and clap while still on the lap.
Perhaps you’ve heard the allegory that man is God’s musical instrument for so long that you no longer recognize it as scripturally homeless, born instead of the Third Century allegorical search for God’s “hidden meanings.”

See Danny Corbitt quoting Mckinnon quoting the Odes of Solomon above stating a very common belief.

Allegorizing Psalm 149 is important or literally you have David lusting to get God in his bed: not unusual for a king abandoned to worship the starry host and all of the musical performances were "in the style of Women."

Psalm 150 is a Halal meaning "to make self vile" in the form of warriors: David was king and led the military out. Except the Shofar the other instruments were resourced from male and female prostitutes.
Apis the golden calf or calves represented Osiris, Isis and Horus: the pagan trinity of father, mother and son.
Horus was the posthumous son and heir of the god Osiris, the primordial king and giver of life. He was invited by his uncle, Seth, to spend a day. Seth’s real motive was not to show him hospitality but to disqualify him from inheriting his father’s royal power. To this end, while Horus slept Seth committed an act of sodomy upon him. Since sodomy was inflicted as a punishment on a defeated enemy and was a symbol of domination, Seth could then claim that he had conquered Horus and demand the kingship in his place.

Historically, the rape of males was more widely recognized in ancient times. Several of the legends in Greek mythology involved abductions and sexual assaults of males by other males or gods. The rape of a defeated male enemy was considered the special right of the victorious soldier in some societies and was a signal of the totality of the defeat. There was a widespread belief that a male who was sexually penetrated, even if it was by forced sexual assault, thus "lost his manhood," and could no longer be a warrior or ruler. Gang rape of a male was considered an ultimate form of punishment and, as such, was known to the Romans as punishment for adultery and the Persians and Iranians as punishment for violation of the sanctity of the harem (Donaldson, 1990). Donaldson, Donald. (1990). "Rape of Males," in Dynes, Wayne, ed. Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. New York: Garland Publications.
Danny Corbitt: Nevertheless, allegory had not yet completely overcome literal understanding. In the specific context of Col 3:16, Clement elsewhere approves of praising God on this same lyre and cithara.13 Still, you’ll only see his allegorical quotes on our Web sites.

Consistent with what Paul warned about in the marketplace in Romans 14, taking meals together was a very common thing. This would be the case where people normally gathered where food and housing was available; no cars back then.

Clement Chapter IV.-How to Conduct Ourselves at Feasts.

Let revelry keep away from our rational entertainments, and foolish vigils, too, that revel in intemperance. For revelry is an inebriating pipe, the chain  of an amatory bridge, that is, of sorrow. And let love, and intoxication, and senseless passions, be removed from our choir. Burlesque singing is the boon companion of drunkenness. A night spent over drink invites drunkenness, rouses lust, and is audacious in deeds of shame.

For if people occupy their time with pipes, and psalteries, and choirs, and dances, and Egyptian clapping of hands, and such disorderly frivolities,

they become quite immodest and intractable, beat on cymbals and drums, and make a noise on instruments of delusion ; for plainly such a banquet, as seems to me,

is a theatre of drunkenness. For the apostle decrees that, "putting off the works of darkness, we should put on the armour of light, walking honestly as in the day, not spending our time in rioting and drunkenness, in chambering and wantonness." 

Let the pipe be resigned to the shepherds, and the flute to the superstitious who are engrossed in idolatry. For, in truth, such instruments are to be banished from the temperate banquet, being more suitable to beasts than men, and the more irrational portion of mankind.

And even if you wish to sing and play to the harp or lyre, there is no blame.

Thou shalt imitate the righteous Hebrew king in his thanksgiving to God. "Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; praise is comely to the upright," says the prophecy.

Our “maps” do not note how Third Century Christians of the School of Alexandria began reinterpreting the instruments of the Bible in an allegorical sense,14 following the influence of Greek and Jewish philosophy. Western Church Fathers, on the other hand, were not so quickly influenced by the musical allegory of the School of Alexandria, although they agreed in opposing the immoral influences of music in their culture.15 For example, Novatian (died 258) said that when musical instruments were used for immoral purposes, then “sacred things have been transferred into illicit ones.”16 The persecution that cost him his life, however, was about to change everything.

If you read Exodus 32 and then Romans 1 you discover that music arouses the lust of the flesh, eyes and ears. That is why you don't do that when you go to school where Jesus Christ is the only Teacher.  Music INDUCES endorphins producing the effects of fight, flight or sexual feelings: it's NOT worship its a DRUG HIGH: Paul called it madness.
Ecclesiastical Chant and Music

Out of plainchant with its simple accompaniment, polyphonic singing gradually evolved. By the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries it had reached its highest stage of development. Many decrees of the Church have been directed against the degeneration of polyphonic singing, though in itself it is expressly permitted and even recommended. Two composers have especially promoted the ideal of ecclesiastical polyphony in all its classical purity: Palestrina (d. 1594 in Rome) composed more than ninety Masses, while Orlandus Lassus (d. 1594 in Munich) was the composer of about twelve hundred motets, fifty Masses, the Penitential Psalms, the Lamentations, the Magnificat and several hymns. The secularization of polyphonic singing manifested itself in the compositions of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and K. M. von Weber, and especially in Italian concert music.

According to the example of the Old Testament, the chant of the ancient Christian Church was originally executed in one voice. At least the responses of the people, the psalms and the trisagion intended to imitate the cry of the cherubim and seraphim in Heaven, were chanted in the synagogues this way. The early Christians also called upon one another to chant the Sanctus in one voice (una voce dicentes).

4. Musical Accompaniment. In the beginning the Church opposed the use of musical instruments at divine service, though they were extensively employed in the old dispensation (cf. Num. 10, 8-10, Chron. 2, 24-28).

Rom. 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Rom. 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
Rom. 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Instrumental music was intimately associated with pagan worship and was regarded, during Christian antiquity, as being at variance with the spirit of piety. Novatian complains that the holy instruments came to be prohibited “through the trickery of the devil” (De. spect. 3, Migne, PL, 4, 811). They were used as a magical means of warding off demons and appeasing the gods. Especially were the playing of flutes and the accompaniment of drums and zithers regarded as an expression of pagan worship; the former took place at all sacrifices in the temples of the Greeks and Romans, while the latter was used in the ancient mystery cults to inspire religious ecstasy. Clement of Alexandria was opposed to the use of the flute, because it recalls the cult of Dionysius and Cybele and results in an ecstatic condition, with which wild outbursts of passion were associated. St. Athanasius directs his attention against that instrumental music which is used at dances; St. Augustine, against instruments which recall the music of theatres. St. Jerome did not like to have Christian virgins even know the purpose of the lyre and the flute, for those instruments were used at that time by roving Syrian women as an accompaniment to their songs, which were in great part of an obscene character. Many Greek philosophers were also opposed to the noisy music of sacrifices, on the ground that it was unsuitable to an internal worship of God (as Philo, De special, leg. II, 193).

The pagans used instruments because they were PAGANS: to refuse to CONFORM to the pagans just because they were pagans is nonsense.  We don't do sex in the Temple (re Amos) because it is wrong: not because the pagans did it.

Asceticism. Hermits. Recluses. The Decian persecution of 247-248 AD was the worst that Christianity had ever known. Many were martyred. Others fled the cities to escape, assuming the humblest of circumstances, leading to the monastic system.17 In time, we read of how these ascetics prayed at set hours throughout the day and often through the night.18
To maintain prayers for extended periods of time, they recited the Psalms. Of course, the Psalms were not written in 3/4 time; they don’t rhyme; they defy singing in the Western way. But they could be chanted.

By direct command ALL faithful people RECITED the Psalms: Paul said to SPEAK to one another with PSALMS. Isn't that a direct command. True, NONE of the Bible is set to a tuneful meter it was WRITTEN FOR OUR LEARNING. Adult "gods" do not need singing: WE need to listen to Him be the sole Teacher.
The sons of the Decian persecution came to oppose instruments in all praise. (A public worship versus private worship distinction was unimaginable). In a wave of writing from roughly 350 to 425 AD, they promoted the ascetic lifestyle as the ideal for all Christians. To read our Web site lists of Christians who opposed instruments is to read a virtual roll call of Christian ascetics.19

Christianity in assembly is an SCHOOL OF THE BIBLE: there is no call to be other than sit down and shut up.

Danny Corbitt: The 4-year ascetic experience of John Chrysostom (died 407) permanently damaged his health,20 and he was “twice deposed and sent into exile because of his asceticism which he wanted to impose on others.”21 Jerome (died 420) taught that a virgin shouldn’t even know what a musical instrument is22 and that no man should ever hear a woman sing.23 Augustine (died 430) thought that singing itself was a concession to weak brothers.24

No one would have been trying to impose instruments for him to resist.

Following their ascetic map, it is no wonder that the Swiss reformer Zwingli banished even vocal singing from the churches.25 We speak of how these ascetics chanted, but we don’t chant.

That's false: there was no congregational singing during the time of Zwingli: being Bible literate he knew that none of the TEACHING the Word of Christ had any external musical content. After Zwingli was dead Calvin allowed some of the Psalms to be rewritten to make singing remotely possible. That violated the direct command not to "private interpret" of further expound. He responded to the masses used to attending secular performances in the great cathedrals.

John Chrysostom Momily XII Colossians
I dare say you consider me offensive. For this too is a property of extreme
pervertedness, that even one that rebuketh you incurs your ridicule as one that is austere. Hear ye not Paul, saying, "Whatsoever ye do, whether ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God"? (1 Cor. x. 31)

See Clement Pedagogue 3

But ye do all to ill report and dishonor. Hear ye not the Prophet, saying, "Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice unto Him with trembling?" (Ps. ii. 11) But ye are wholly without restraint. Is it not possible both to enjoy pleasure, and to do so with safety?

Art thou desirous of hearing beautiful songs? Best of all indeed, thou oughtest not; nevertheless,

I condescend if thou wilt have it so: do not hear those Satanic ones, but the spiritual.

Art thou desirous of seeing choirs of dancers? Behold the choir of Angels. And how is it possible, saith one, to see them?

If thou drive away all these things, even Christ will come to such a marriage, and Christ being present, the choir of Angels is present also. If thou wilt, He will even now work miracles as He did then; He will make even now the water, wine (John ii.); and what is much more wonderful, He will convert this unstable and dissolving pleasure, this cold desire, and change it into the spiritual. This is to make of water, wine.

Where pipers are, by no means there is Christ; but even if He should have entered,

He first casts these forth, and then He works His wonders. What can be more disagreeable than this Satanic pomp?

where everything is inarticulate, everything without significancy; and if there be anything articulate, again all is shameful, all is noisome.

Danny Corbitt: Scriptural arguments. These ascetics offered their scriptural arguments for opposing musical instruments in praise. Most followed the pattern set by of the School of Alexandria, using allegory to reinterpret the instrumental language of the Bible.26 We don’t accept those arguments today. Indeed, it wasn’t many years ago that Church periodicals were filled with denunciation of the allegorical interpretation of scripture.27

I am not aware that any modern disciple uses allegory in any of the NOT musical passages. The literal message is to SPEAK.  Instrumentalist allegorize "make melody in the heart" to really mean "make melody WITH a harp."

Ro.15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

Aedificatio, III. Figurative, building up, instructing, edification. Absolute: loquitur ad Aedificationem Ecclesiae, Vulg. 1 Cor. 14, 12 ; ib. Eph. 4, 12.

The phrase loquitur ad Aedificationem Ecclesiae defines THE meaning of the ekklesia or church and the same METHOD excludes music of any kind.  Singing would be the ODE which defines "Hebrew cantillation" which means SPEAK as in the word SPEAK.

Loquor a. [Sanscr. lap-, to talk, whisper; Gr. lak-, elakon, laskô], to speak, talk, say (in the language of common life, in the tone of conversation;

B. Act. 1. To speak out, to say, tell, talk about, mention, utter, name, declare, show, indicate or express clearly

Ecclesia ekklêsia, an assembly of the (Greek) people

This is how you SPEAK for EDUCATION in the ECCLESIAE.

Greek: lŏquor , cātus (quūtus), lŏqui (
I. inf. loquier, Naev. ap. Gell. 1, 24, 2), v. dep. n. and a. [Sanscr. lap-, to talk, whisper; Gr. lak-, elakon, laskô], to speak, talk, say (in the lang. of common life, in the tone of conversation; cf. Quint. 9, 4, 10; 11, 3, 45).
B. Act.
    1. To speak out, to say, tell, talk about, mention, utter, name
    A. To speak, declare, show, indicate or express clearly

logik-os , ê, on, ( [logos] )

A. of or for speaking or speech, merê l. the organs of speech, Plu.Cor.38: logikê, hê, speech, OPPOSITE to mousikê, D.H. Comp. 11; l. phantasia expressed in speech, Stoic.2.61 .

Mousikos II. of persons, skilled in music, musical, III. of things, elegant, delicate, brômata Diox.1 ; professional musicians,  mousikos kai melôn poêtês, hêdion ouden, oude -ôteron Philem.23 ; harmonious [in tune], fitting, trophê

For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written,    
        The reproaches [making Him naked] of them that reproached thee fell on me. Romans 15:3

        The word PSALLO was used ONLY by older males PLUCKING the harp to
        seduce a "youth minister" to make him naked. This is true of all of the proof texts people lie about to CARRY
        AWAY a whole congregation meaning "for his OWN uses."

Now the God of patience and consolation
        grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: Romans 15:5

If you Walk in the steps of Christ Jesus you will CAST OUT the musical minstrels meaning "Like Dung" and consign the pipers, singers and dancers to the same Agora where they made music and one another.

That ye may with ONE MIND and one MOUTH glorify (tell of His works) God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:6

Danny Corbitt: The rival School of Antioch took exception to this model, preferring arguments from a more literal understanding of scripture. They contend that the Israelites had grown accustomed to playing instruments and making animal sacrifices to idols while in Egypt, and so God allowed these practices to continue as a “concession” to their weakness.28 This was God’s effort to “entice the Jews away from the worship of idols.”29 We don’t share that conclusion, either. We say that instruments were a shadow, but that is nothing like a concession, except that neither assertion is given in scripture.

The fact is that God's righteousness would have left Israel in Egypt to self-destruct. He saved them by Grace, baptized them in the Red Sea and Gave Christ the Spirit to guide them.  Because God knew that the Levites were an old musical, baby burning sect in Egypt, He outlawed the use of performances on the rest day.
Remembering that God had already virtually abandoned the People when they refused to listen to The Book of the Covenant.  ACU missed Exodus that Moses is being given instructions NOT given before the rejection. One of the commands was. Read Exodus 32 and find out WHY music causes a fall from grace because it despises resting and learning the Words of GOD: Sure, they had rather listen to their own words.
Exod 31:12 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
Exod 31:13 Speak thou also unto the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL,
        saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep:
        for it is a sign between me and you
        throughout your generations; [your revolution of time]
        that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.

That doesn't sound like A DAY OF WORSHIP to me! The word KEEP is:

Exod 31:14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you:
        every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death:
        for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

8104. shamar, shaw-mar´; a primitive root; properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; .

Keep in Latin: Custodio II. With the access. idea of hindering free motion, A. In gen., to hold something back, to preserve, keep: To prevent PLAY or Ludo A. To sport, play with any thing, to practise as a pastime, amuse one's self with any thing, B. To sport, dally, wanton Esp., to play on an instrument of music, to make or compose music or song:  Soft, weak oration
Verg. G. 2.386
For no offence but this to Bacchus bleeds
The goat [caper, auriga, capella ]
at every altar,
and old plays [ludi]
Upon the stage find entrance; therefore too
The sons of Theseus through the country-side—
Hamlet and crossway—set the prize of wit,

And on the smooth sward over oiled skins
Dance in their tipsy frolic. Furthermore
The Ausonian swains, a race from Troy derived,
Make merry with rough rhymes and boisterous mirth,
Grim masks of hollowed bark assume, invoke
Thee with glad hymns, O Bacchus, and to thee
Hang puppet-faces on tall pines to swing.
Hence every vineyard teems with mellowing fruit,
Till hollow vale o'erflows, and gorge profound,
Where'er the god hath turned his comely head.
Therefore to Bacchus duly will we sing
Meet honour with ancestral hymns, and cates
And dishes bear him; and the doomed goat
Led by the horn shall at the altar stand,
Whose entrails rich on hazel-spits we'll roast.
2.  To sport or fool away a thing, i. e. to destroy or waste in sport; in mal. part., to violate, abuse


to produce melodious sounds, whether of men or animals; later, with a designation of the subject-matter of the melody, as v. a., to make something the subject of one's singing or playing, to sing of, to celebrate, or make known in song, etc.
I. Neutr., to utter melodious notes, to sing, sound, play.
C. Transf., of the instruments by which, or (poet.) of the places in which, the sounds are produced, to sound, resound: “canentes tibiae,
HERE IS THE WAY YOU CAN DEFILE THE SABBATH h2490 like David's "praise word" and as "Lucifer was cast as profane out of heaven."

When the rose up to PLAY in musical idolatry, they profaned the Sabbath.  The word is used by older Jews to identify the days of Enoch when people began to CALL THEMSELVE JEHOVAH.

Ex. 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
After the fall from Grace and God had abandoned them to worship the starry host

While Moses was up on the Mountain they rose up in musical idolatry: God turned them over to worship the starry host and sentenced them to captivity and death "beyond Babylon."
John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses,
but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

The Law of Moses is defined ONLY in the Torah.
There is no command, example or inference of Moses commanding instrumental music: in fact in Numbers 10 he outlawed it when the assembly (synagogue) came together for instruction in the word of God only.

The Law of Moses was given because of musical idolatry but it was good in that it regulated people to protect the weak from the strong. The Law of Moses regulated the physical lives but was never intended to make the conscience clean.

Deut. 4:1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments,
which I teach you, for to do them,
1. that ye may live,
2. and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.
Deut. 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you,
        neither shall ye diminish ought from it,
        that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

ONLY the prophets by the Spirit of Christ regulated the spiritual lives: Moses regulated their secular lives.

Luke 16:31 And he said unto him,
        If they hear not Moses and the prophets,
        neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead

The records of the NOT-commanded Monarchy, temple and sacrificial system is not the Law of Moses: it is the Law imposed by Kings because they had been abandoned to Babylonianism.

Danny Corbitt: Instead, Christian arguments painting the Jews as weak or sinful (and Gentiles as inclined toward faithfulness) were common evidence of the animosity between the two religions. Missionary rivalry had even seen Jews play an active role in the prosecution of Gentile Christians, such as Polycarp.30 Saying that commands of God were concessions to the distinctive weakness of the Jews played upon this unbiblical bias against Jews.

The Bible does not say  that instruments were a CONCESSION: He said that they were MUSICAL IDOLATRY and that was a sin beyond redemption just after God had saved them by pure grace. God did not CONCEDE anything. God spoke through The Book of the Covenant of Grace and after the musical idolatry spoke through The Law of Moses.  Moses didn't say anything about music but denounced it. When God completely abandoned the nation to a KING they did not follow the Law of Moses but the Law of Canaan, Egypt, Babylon etal.  The entire Bible says that God spoke through the PROPHETS by the Spirit of Christ beginning with Samuel. It would be a good exercise to read 1 Samuel 8 and see how God spat them out of His mouth.

Click for First Samuel Eight

The Monarchy, Monarch, Temple, Sacrificial system and the EXORCISM music were MARKS of the national (Goyim including Babylon) religion.

Coffman's Commentary Speaks for the total Bible view that Israel's rejection of God as King, Judge and Priest set the stage for their later repudiation of Jesus Christ in order to keep the evil Temple-System like all other nations. Remember that the clergy was still seeking a king "like the nations" and had not a hint of looking for a Spiritual King, Prince and Mediator:

The great Cambridge scholar, Henry McKeating, has the following comment on this passage from Hosea:

"Hosea is not only antagonistic to the northern kings but to the monarchy as such. The monarchy is powerless to save the nation. Israel was wrong to ask for a king. Her punishment was that she got what she asked." 7: Henry McKeating, Amos, Hosea, and Micah (Cambridge: University Press, 1971), p. 148.

Coffman: "We are aware that it is popular among many able commentators today to make apologies for Israel's monarchy and to apply what the Scriptures plainly say about it to some specific monarch, Saul, for example, as did Dummelow, or to the kings of Northern Israel as did Hailey;

but it is the conviction of this writer that
Israel was
totally and completely wrong in asking a king and that this rejection of God (that is what the text calls it) contained embryonically all of the later sorrows of the Chosen People.

Throughout the whole history of Israel, there were very few monarchs who even tried to serve the Lord. Solomon was to be blamed for the division of the kingdom under his son, because the people simply rejected the excesses of Solomon; and yet, even after God took the monarchy away from them, the nation wanted nothing in heaven or on earth as much as they wanted the restoration of that scandalous Solomonic empire.

It was this, more than anything else, that motivated their rejection of God Himself,

finally and irrevocably,
in their rejection of God's Son, Jesus Christ the Holy One.

Danny Corbitt: Modern arguments (e.g., that instruments are disallowed because God never named specific instruments in the commands to praise, that the meanings of the words for “sing” implied vocal singing only, or that all of these rules apply to public but not private worship, etc.) never occurred to the early church.

God never commanded any kind of PRAISE service or ritual: praise is telling God's story using God's Words. Our thoughts are NOT his thoughts.  Howver, when the people living under abandonment to worship the starry host used an instrument the Scribes were smart enough to define it.  There is no word in the Bible meaning to "play an instrument." Psallo means to pluck with your FINGERS and never with a PLECTRUM.  In the Bible psallo is always translated SING.  Where it is used of making a harp string sing, the instrument is named. Paul named the HUMAN SPIRIT into which the musicians cannot go.

Our modern arguments, as far removed from scripture as theirs, came along centuries later in an attempt to find scriptural reasons for opposing instruments better than the ones we inherited from the ascetics of either school of thought.

False: no one ever tried to find authority for the ORGAN (only) until the Disciples sowed discord among their own churches and need to prove too the Churches of Christ that they should USE instruments even though not in recorded history did groups called The Church of Christ ever used instruments. Being faithful to direct commands they SPOKE "that which is written for our learning."  Melody as tunefulness belongs to the 19th century and harmony after about 1200. NONE of the Christ-supplied resource can be sung tunefully. That was intentional: when the Spirit caused Jesus to SPEAK the very Words of God it was WITHOUT METER.

Danny Corbitt: Conclusion. I grieve that in centuries gone by my brothers suffered the Decian persecution (even as others still suffer horribly today). Still, I want to praise God with all my strength and a heart full of joy, unshackled by the asceticism that their heirs wished for me. The modern map of early church history is free of misunderstanding about the role of the First Century synagogue and free of the Third and Fourth Century detours of allegory, asceticism, and claims about concessions to the weak. It’s time our maps told the whole story.

Jesus conceded to the weak: Paul defines the Orphics, Dionysiacs and Phythagoreans in Romans 14 as the WEAK ones. He outlawed doubtful disputations which went beyond diet but included all of them singing and playing instruments to bring on a frenzy which made education possible.

Then the command in Romans 15 is to teach that which is written for our learning with one mind and one mouth. If THEY are weak and the outrageous musical performers Jesus consigned to the marketplace are the STRONG then you know why all of the marketplace believers insist on their own music.
1 James McKinnon, The Temple, the Church Fathers and Early Western Chant (Ashgate, 1998), p. VII, 241.
2 John Price, Old Light on New Worship (Avinger, TX: Simpson Publishing Company, 2007), p.108
4 James McKinnon, Music in Early Christian Literature (Cambridge University Press, 1987), p 24
5 J.A. Smith, The Ancient Synagogue, the Early Church and Singing¸ published in Music & Letters, January 1984.
6 McKinnon, Music…, p. 9.
7 “Philo [First Century Jewish philosopher] reflects the Greek contempt for instrumental music.”
Louis H. Feldman, Studies in Hellenistic Judaism (Brill, 1996), p. 525.
8 “The overall picture of music in the Roman Empire is a picture of decadence; in fact, as early as Cicero (first century BCE) there were complaints about decline.”
Calvin Stapert, A New Song for an Old World, (Eerdmans, 2007) p. 137.
9 Herbert M. Schueller, The Idea of Music (Medieval Institure, 1988), p. 130-131.
10 McKinnon, Music…, pp. 6-7.
11 McKinnon, Music…, p. 135.
12 McKinnon, Music…, p. 30.
13 McKinnon, The Temple…, p. IV: 71.
14 Ibid.
15 McKinnon, Music…, p. 42.
16 “The Spectacles,” chapter 3, cited in McKinnon, Music…, p. 48.
17 McKinnon, Music…, p. 51.
18 Christopher Page, The Christian West and its Singers: The First Thousand Years, p. 134.
19 “…including Athanasius (died 373), Basil (died 379), Gregory of Nyssa (died 395), Ambrose (died 397), John Chrysostom (died 407), Jerome (died 420) and Augustine (died 430).”
Page, p. 136
20 McKinnon, Music…, p. 78.
21 Schueller, p. 227.
22 McKinnon, Music…, p. 142.
23 McKinnon, Music…, p. 145.
24 Ibid., p. 155.
25 Price, p.91.
26 McKinnon, The Temple…, p. IV: 76
27 For a contemporary example, see “Why Do People Misinterpret the Bible?”
28 McKinnon, Music…, pp. 83 & 107 cite examples from John Chrysostom and Theodoret.
29 McKinnon, Music…, p. 7.
30 Oskar Skarsaune, In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity (InterVarsity Press 2002), pp. 259 ff.

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