Literary Devices | Literary Terms
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Good songs they may be, I have no idea why a person would want to hear a live version of "Grantchester Meadows" or "Green is the Colour" or "The Narrow Way Part 3" (I could imagine it if they included 1 and 2, though), especially when the last two have some of the worst Gilmour singing I've ever heard.I guess there are some bits of interesting "new" material, like the cool ambience of "Behold the Temple of Light" (the best "static" passage by far here), or the passages of "Labyrinth of Auximenes" that would later be adapted into the stage version of "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," but aside from those, I'm just confused like crazy as to why this concert has gotten so much acclaim over the years.
Kleinig connects the two stages of Levitical ministry: "The temporary responsibility of the Levites for the transportation of the ark was part of a larger and more permanent duty to minister to the Lord who sat enthroned above it and met with his people there. This ministry, which was performed 'in' or 'with the Lord's name' (Deut. 18:5, 7), was carried out by the Levites as they proclaimed that name to the people in songs of praise. I Chronicles 15 suggests that the performance of sacred song was in some way ritually similar, if not equivalent, to the transportation of the ark. The Levites then were chosen as musicians, because their performance of music was to be a 'ministry' akin to their care of the ark."(221) On the ministry of the Levites before the ark, cf. Num. 1:50-51; 3:6-9; 8:13-26; 16:8-9; Deut. 10:8; I Sam. 3:1-4; I Chron. 6:31-32; 15:2; 16:4-5, 37, 41-42; II Chron. 8:14; 23:4-7; 31:2.
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The first problem with this line of argument is that the New Testament itself nowhere tells us, either explicitly or by any necessary inference, that the so-called Lucan canticles and alleged hymnic fragments were songs, much less that they were so used in the church's worship. Though the majority report appeals to poetic or rhythmical passages in the New Testament, and surmises that they were used for song in the apostolic church, never does Scripture make any such identification of their function.
John Murray pointed out the major fallacy at this point in the majority's argument. A claim for the necessity of songs with a characteristically New Testament content does not entail the suggested consequence that inspiration may be set aside as a criterion of song, though this is incautiously assumed by the report. The presumption in the majority's argument is that in order to obtain songs with distinctively New Testament content, we should be free to draw upon uninspired materials. This is obviously not a necessary consequence. The majority plead that there are hymnic texts in the New Testament, but they are not satisfied to use these inspired texts. The majority declare that their argument is for New Testament content, but the conclusion they draw goes further, claiming that the supposed necessity to go outside the Old Testament allows us to go outside the canon.(145) However, the biblical testimony is that the text of worship song is given through revelatory prophecy; it is gratuitous to discover a warrant for laying aside this Scripture norm by appealing to the progression-of-revelation principle.(146)
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It is therefore not surprising to find that the Levitical temple singers were not confined to prophesying by music, for Jahaziel, one of the sons of Asaph, delivered an oracle by the Spirit, in answer to the prayer of King Jehoshaphat (II Chron. 20:14-19), just as other prophets gave answers to the same king in I Kings 22 and II Kings 3. There is a remarkable sequel to this prophecy by a temple singer. Upon hearing Jahaziel's words, the Levites stood up to praise the Lord, and the king encouraged Judah to believe God and his prophets. The oracle was actually fulfilled when the king appointed singers unto the Lord, going out before the army, and saying, "Praise the Lord, for his mercy endureth for ever," whereupon the Lord set ambushments against the enemy, who destroyed one another (20:20-28). Thus in the Chronicler's account of Josiah's reform of the temple worship, narrative material is taken from II Kings, but "the priests and the Levites" is used at II Chron. 34:30 as a substitute for "the priests and the prophets" in II Kings 23:2.(113) In a major study of the biblical canon, Anglican evangelical Roger Beckwith comments that whatever authority was accorded to the prophetic order, more than to those "rulers, courtiers, Temple officials and wise men" who wrote Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Ezra, and Nehemiah, yet "as the divine inspiration of psalmists and wise men came to be recognized (II Sam. 23:1-3; I Chron. 25:1, 5; II Chron. 29:30; Ecc. 12:11-12), the distinction would have ceased to have very much significance."(114)
Though the Psalm titles designate David himself as the author of seventy-three of the Psalms, we have seen that the Levitical families assigned to musical service in the temple are associated with many of the other songs. The sons of Korah (I Chron. 6:31-38, II Chron. 20:19) are responsible for Psalms 42, 44-49, 84, 87 and 88. Over forty references are made to the temple musicians in the Books of Chronicles. Impressed with this institutional status of the temple singers in the Books of Chronicles, Old Testament scholars from a number of theological traditions have come to speak of "prophetic guilds" attached to the temple and responsible for the production of inspired psalmody.(115) Roland de Vaux concludes, with respect to the Levitical singers, that "the Chronicler considered them as 'inspired' and he may have done so merely because the writing and singing of psalms required a kind of inspiration,"(116) and William Schniedewind, in a recent study of prophecy in Chronicles, concurs: "This opinion is substantiated by I Chron. 25:1-6. The production of psalms was apparently considered an inspired act."(117) Schniedewind observes that "The prophetic title hozeh given to Asaph in II Chron. 29:30 relates to his position making music in the temple. All the contexts which employ the title hozeh for the levitical singers are intimately tied with the making of music."(118) Sara Japhet writes: "The singers are called 'seers' first of all because they are regarded as composers of the Temple psalmody, probably already seen as the product of divine inspiration. Thus in II Chron. 29:30: 'to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer'."(119) And Beckwith notes that "The inspiration of David, Asaph and Heman the Psalmists is taught in II Sam. 23:1f. (cp. ch. 22); I Chron. 25:1f., 5; II Chron. 29:30. The Psalms were, of course, used in a somewhat different way from the other Scriptures, but it is certainly as Scripture that they were used."(120)
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The majority report offers a third reason for not restricting worship song to inspired texts. A primary thesis of the report is that there are texts in the New Testament which were used for song in the apostolic church, and that the presence of these songs indicates "that our song should embrace the whole extent of God's revelation in Scripture," including the progression of revelation in the New Testament. On these grounds, it is urged that "the distinction between 'inspired' and 'uninspired' song may fail to take into consideration all the Biblical evidence."(142) In other words, the Bible leads us to conclude that songs are needed which reflect distinctively New Testament revelation, and this necessity allows us to lay aside inspiration as a requirement. The report argues that the song texts of the Bible may appropriately be supplemented from outside the canon, in order that worship song can reflect progression of revelation.
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Marsden's argument indicates that he had not fully taken into account the proscriptive character of the regulative principle. Marsden says that it would "be impossible to prove that uninspired songs are authorized in the Scripture," but instead of recognizing that this means that uninspired hymns cannot be justified under the regulative principle, he dismisses the central question of whether inspiration is a criterion, and looks for suggestions which might yet favor the cause of an uninspired hymnody.(141)
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It should be granted that the biblical text includes the report of such things as the lying statements of the devil, and the conversations of men who spoke without the gift of prophecy. In these cases, the Holy Spirit inspires the accurate recording and the appropriate interpretation of what was said. However, Marsden's objection is misguided because it fails to consider the biblical testimony that it was through prophesying that worship song first came into being. Rather than only the later report of these songs being inspired, the Scriptures declare that the text of worship song possessed an inspiration from the outset, when these songs were first delivered to the church by the seers and prophets. Thus, while the minority report noted that the only worship song known to the Bible is that produced by divine inspiration,(140) Marsden discounted this, insisting that the pattern of inspired song in Scripture could not be taken as normative for us.
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