- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and answers about the Church
- Published on Wednesday, 18 November 2009 18:24
The basis of this question is the derivation of the word, "psallo," used 5 times in the New Testament and translated "sing," "sing psalms," or "making melody." The noun translated "psalm" (psalmos) comes from this verb. W. E. Vine gives the meaning as "primarily ‘to twitch, twang,’ then, ‘to play a stringed instrument with the fingers,"’ and adds that it means "in the New Testament, ‘to sing a hymn, sing praise."’ Similarly, Vincent states, "The verb, however, is used in the New Testament of singing praise generally."
The derivation of a word adds color to the meaning but does not define the word. Ephesians 5:19 uses both forms of the word in a way that clearly removes them from the thought of an accompanying instrument. The noun, "psalms," is linked with speech and not music, "speaking to yourselves in psalms. The verb, "sing," cannot involve instrumental music when Paul says, "making melody in your heart."