Are Mechanical Musical Instruments Authorized in the NT?


In this paper, I will be dealing with 4 different arguments that have been made in support of the use of mechanical musical instruments in worship to God. A man named Scott Emerson made the arguments and I will use his name from time to time in this paper.


1. Arguments from silence are logical fallacies. Church of Christ states that musical instruments are prohibited because the NT does not speak of them. However, the NT doesn’t speak of such things as hymnbooks, songs sung in English, or music leaders, Does this mean to include them as well is unbiblical?


I thank you Scott for your questions and now I will answer them to the best of my ability based off the word of God. You have basically stated with you argument above, that just because musical instruments are not specifically mentioned in the NT as being part of Christian’s worship that it does not mean they can’t be used. First of all you admit that they are not mentioned or found in the NT being used in Christian worship. Then in your latter arguments you try and show that they are mentioned.  Then you compare hymnbooks, songs sung in English, or music leaders to that of using musical instruments. 


First, lets deal with your silence of scripture argument. I don’t think you put much thought into this my friend. You have just put yourself in one hairy predicament. This is what you are stating with your argument. IF THE BIBLE IS SILENT ON A SPECIFIC ISSUE THAN ITS OK TO DO IT. I really don’t think you are willing to stand on what you have stated. I want to know where would you draw the line and why?


. Which of the following practices, if any, would you oppose if offered by Christians as worship to God?


    (a) Burning incense


    (b) Using rosary beads


    (c) Religious dancing


    (d) Handling snakes as a token of worship


    (e) Using meat and potatoes on the Lord's Table


   . If you would oppose any of the foregoing items, please state on what Scriptural basis you would do so.


If the silences of the scriptures are fallacy according to your view, then anything and everything that is not specifically mentioned in the bible can be done. I believe with all my heart that the bible teaches that only that which is authorized by the Bible can be pleasing to God. Please clarify your position to me and the others reading this by answering the following questions.


  1. Please indicate whether each of the following statements is true or false:


    (a) Worship must be offered to God as authorized by Divine truth.  True or false?


    (b) Worship may be rendered to God according to that which one devises and prescribes for himself. True or false?


    (c) It is possible for there to exist in our day such a thing as vain worship.  True or false?


    2. Are there any restrictions on what a New Testament Christian may offer as worship to God?  If so, please state what they are and how they may be determined.


I have a great respect for the silence of scripture and here is why. In Gen 6:14-22 God instructs Noah to make the boat out of Gopher wood. When God told him what to make it out of he excluded any other kind of wood. He did not have to say, “you can’t use pine, oak….etc” because God told him to use Gopher Wood. Another example is found in Lev 10:1-2 when Nadab and Abihu offer a STRANGE/UNAUTHORIZED FIRE. Obviously they did not follow what God said in Lev 16:12. He did not specifically condemn using some other kind of fire, because he doesn’t have to. When the word of God says something and you do something other than what it says, you will be doing something that is not authorized. So just because something is not specifically said does not authorize you to do it.


  "And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (Col. 3:17).  This verse says that regardless of our teaching or practice, it must come under the shelter of "doing all in the name of the Lord Jesus."  "In the name of," means "by the authority of" and this is easily proven by Acts 4:7-10. The bible makes it crystal clear that we are not to go beyond that which is written 1Cor 4:6. Of course Scott would have us to believe that we can go beyond that which is written. We as Christians today should abide in the doctrine of Christ (2John 1:9) and not doctrines of men (Mat 15:9) Again, in 2 John 1:9 it is said, "Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God."  Doctrine is not to be treated frivolously.  Paul said to Timothy, "Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine; continue in them, for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee" (1 Tim. 4:16).  He instructed Titus, "But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine" (Titus 2:1).


Now, here is another powerful point I want you notice in 2 Cor. 5:7, Paul says, "For we walk by faith, not by sight."  Again, in Heb. 11:6, "Without faith it is impossible to please him."  Christianity is a system of faith, and our worship to God must be offered in faith in order to please Him.  Where there is no Word, there can be no faith, for "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17).  If it is not by faith than it is sin. “for whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Rom 14:23) Watch it, now -- no Word, no faith; no faith, no walking by faith; no walking by faith, no pleasing God! Now, that is simple, but it is Biblical and shows that we are to respect the silence of the scriptures.


Now with all this in mind, I want to introduce 2 verses that tells us how it is we are to sing in our worship to God.


Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God.

Ephesians 5:19 speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;


Now consider the following chart

The Bible Commands

The Voice

The Instrument

Speak in song Eph 5:19



Teach Col 3:16



Admonish Col 3:16



Make melody in the heart Eph 5:19





Both of these verses are telling us the same thing. In both verses one another is the same Greek word, which obviously means everyone. Everyone is to speak, teach, and admonish one another in song. This is the only authority we have for singing. Everyone in the assembly must participate in the singing or they are in violation of these two passages. Then I want you to notice that both these passages teach that the type of singing is to be Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. I would also like to add the following information on these 2 verses.


 In Eph. 5:19-21 there are five plural participles which have imperative force in agreement with the verb:  speaking ([@lalountes]), singing ([@adontes]), making melody ([@psallontes]), giving thanks ([@eucharistountes]), submitting yourself ([@hupotassomenoi]).  These are plural, and the idea, therefore, is all of you speaking, all of you singing, all of you making melody, all of you giving thanks, all of you submitting yourselves." Notice further that the speaking is [@heautois], which is plural, meaning "to yourselves, to one another."  Thayer defined it, "reciprocally, mutually, one another."


In Col. 3:16 we read, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you ...  (The expression "in you" there is [@en] [@humin]. That is plural.) richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another ...  (The word there is [@heautous].) ... in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." Observe to whom the Colossian epistle is addressed:  "To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colossae" (Col. 1:2).  Notice the language:  "let dwell" (present imperative), "in you" (plural, that is in all of you), "one another" (a reciprocal pronoun denoting an interchange of action, according to Dana and Mantey's grammar, page 131). Please note that this construction is used when an “interchange of action” is suggested by the verb. This is accomplished when the church is engaged in congregational singing. When one group (such as a choir) sings for another group (the listeners), no such interchange of action is involved. There is no authority for me to sing to you while you sit and listen in silence. Therefore solos and choirs are excluded from the worship God describes in the NT. Generally, people will admit that hymns, and spiritual songs mean sing. But some have tried to say that Psalms mean instruments because the Old Testament Psalm included instrumental music. It should be noticed though, that the instrument and the Psalm are not the same. Notice the words of Psalm 81:2 “Take a psalm, and bring hither the Timbrel, the pleasant harp with the Psaltery.


The psalmist makes it very clear that the psalm was the words and the instrument was to be brought to the words. It might be said, “Take a psalm, and bring to that psalm the timbrel, the harp, and the psaltery” If someone writes the lyrics to a song it is still a song before he adds the instrumental music to it. In the same way a psalm is a psalm without the instrument.


Some believe that “make melody” means instrumental music. They will boldly say that the only place melody can be made is on the guitar, piano, or some other instrument. Paul flatly denies this. He says “make melody IN YOUR HEART” The only place the Christian is to make melody, is in the heart. The heart is the only instrument, which pleases God. As we strum the chords of our inner being it brings glory and honor to his name. No other instrument, if you will, can do this. To use anything else would be adding to the word of God and cause your worship to be in vain Mat 15:9. One last thing, if these verses teach that we are to play musical instruments then EVERYONE would need to play an instrument and sing.


We are to worship God is spirit and in truth John 4:24. The father wants us all to be true worshipers John 4:23. This implies that it’s possible to be a false worshiper. For true worship there is the proper object, which is God. Second there is an attitude. God must be worshiped in spirit, which suggest a disposition of deep sincerity. Josh 24:14, 1Cor 14:15.  Third the manner of worship is to be regulated by truth, which is the word of God John 17:17.  Worship must be consistent with the authority of Christ Col 3:17. If any of these elements are missing than the worship is in vain. It amazes me that people think they are free to improvise their own worship system. This reminds of Jeroboam in 1Kings 12:25-33 and how he made up his own way for the children of God to worship. In fact Paul deals with this very topic of Will-Worship in Col 2:23. Paul was writing to the Colossian Christians about a heresy that was a threat to their faith. This included Judaism, Gnosticism, Pagan system, and worshiping of angels…etc. One thing that was strongly condemned was will-worship.

J.H. Thayer notes that will-worship is “worship which one devises and prescribes for himself, contrary to the contents and nature of the faith which ought to be directed by Christ” (Greek Lexicon, p 168). Or as W.E. Vine observes, will-worship is “voluntarily adopted worship, whether unbidden or forbidden”(Expository Dictionary, IV , p 236) The NT clearly teaches that the worship is regulated and opposed to the modern view that its unregulated.

Now let me deal with last part of your argument. What about hymnbooks, singing in English, and song leaders? I would like to add one, how about the lights or the building we meet at. First of all, our worship is to be done decently and in order 1Cor 14:40. Where we choose to assemble is left up to us, whether it’s a field or a building. The place we meet at is not the church, because we are the church. It needs to be a place big enough to do things in order. Having electrical lights is an aid that helps us do things in order, because it would be very difficult to do things in the dark. None of these aids alter the worship done there. Same thing with a hymnbook, it just contains the words that we sing and is an aid to us in that it keeps our singing in order. Nothing more than singing is done when using the songbook. Again, a song leader is used to select the songs to keep the worship assembly in order, but nothing more than singing is done. However this does not hold true to using a musical instrument. When one plays a piano more than singing is occurring. The noise made from the instrument might stir up the emotions in someone, but it does not teach, admonish, or speak. It is not an aid because it is used to worship with. Besides all that, when God tells us that we are to sing and does not mention using musical instruments, I think I will do what God said and not what man says. I want to clarify the difference between an “aid” and an “addition”. An addition occurs when a particular action has been altered, or the fundamental composition or substance of a thing has been changed. An aid alters nothing; it merely facilitates the implementation of the action or substance, without changing anything.

Perhaps several examples will help us focus on this.

  1. A cane may aid one in taking a walk, but with or without this device, one is just walking. But if one walks for a while, and then rides a bicycle, he is no longer just walking; something has been added to his mode of travel. Now, he’s both walking and riding.
  2. A mother sends her son to the market to buy a loaf of bread. He brings the bread home in a bag. The bag is merely an aid. Should he purchase a candy bar as well, he has disregarded the instruction of his mother by an addition.
  3. A man takes his automobile to the service center for an oil change. The attendant may use a wrench and funnel to aid in his replacement of the oil. There is no problem with that. But we all understand that if he changes the sparks plugs as well, he has augmented the original instructions.
  4. Jesus taught that the communion supper is to consist of bread and fruit of the vine. A table, plates, and cups facilitate (aid) the implementation of those commands. But to garnish the bread with peanut butter, and “punch up” the fruit of the vine with ginger ale, is to be guilty of addition.
  5. Christians are obligated to preach the gospel everywhere to the extent of their ability. In order to accomplish this, it is acceptable to use aids (e.g., tracts, television, the world wide web, or a building). But if one combines something with that gospel (as the Judaizers did in the first century when they taught that circumcision, an element of the Mosaic law, is also necessary to receive salvation - Acts 15:1), that is an offense.
  6. When the church commences the musical portion of its service, the saints may “sing,” for such is enjoined by God (Eph. 5:18-19; Col. 3:16). Christians may employ songbooks, a projection screen, or a tuning fork (to determine the appropriate “pitch”). Still, though, in the final analysis, they would be singing only.

On the other hand, if the church sings to the accompaniment of an organ, those thus participating have added something to what the Lord prescribed. There now are two types of music - vocal and instrumental. The nature of the original command has been supplemented.

Additions are wrong.

And so, the serious Bible student must conclude that the use of a mere aid only accommodates obedience to God’s will. Such expediencies may fluctuate from time-to-time and from place-to-place.

On the other hand, those who respect the authority of the sacred Scriptures will not tamper with the divine prescriptions for worship by the clutterment of additions. They will not add to sacred instruction, for to do so is to invite the wrath of God ultimately.

One needs to remember what happened to those who put God’s Ark of the Covenant on a “new” cart (2 Sam. 6:3), instead of transporting the sacred chest as the law had required (Ex. 25:12-14). David later admitted that this addition was “not according to the [divine] ordinance” (1 Chron. 15:16). It pays to know the difference between an “aid” and an “addition.” To many, such matters perhaps seem rather trivial. This is because they have never fathomed the concept of the necessity of absolute obedience to the sovereign Creator.

Musical Instruments were commanded by God and used to worship him in the Old Testament (2 Ch. 29:25, Psalms 43:4, 150:3). However, he did not command them to be used under the new covenant. So, we can clearly see that musical instruments under the old covenant were used for worship and not as an aid. We of course are no longer under the old covenant but under the new covenant. When something is used for worship it cannot be an aid. Why? Because if it is worship, then we must do it (or not do it if it is vain worship.) If it is an aid then we have the option of doing it (such as the case of the song book or song leader. We do not find an instrument being an aid anywhere in scripture. Since it is not an aid, it is a form of worship. Since it is a form of worship not authorized in the NT, it is vain worship.






Note the following.















I have much more to say, but I will save it for the rest of your arguments. Your 1st argument has been answered. I find it quite interesting that it is I or those of the Church of Christ that are suppose to defend not using musical instruments when no authority for it is found in the new covenant. Instead, it should be the burden of those using them to show where they are authorized in worship in the NT.


2.Rom 15:9 says to “sing hymns” and uses the word psallo. This word psallo literally means, “make music”. It does not forbid any kind of music a person can make nor does it forbid instruments. Paul encourages the church to sing hymns by quoting Psalm 18:49!


I am really surprised you’re trying to use this argument Scott. This is an old argument that used to be used in public debates, but it has been destroyed in the past and should have been buried. At the time that Paul wrote Eph 5:19, Rom 15:9, Col 3:16 and 1Cor 14:15 “psallo” simply meant, “to sing” or “make melody” in koine Greek (the language which Paul wrote) This verb was translated this way by the 47 translators of the KJV. It was translated this way by the 101 of America’s greatest scholars in the ASV. “Psallo” is also translated “to sing” or “make melody” in the Living Oracles, RSV, TSV, NIV and the NKJ. If the use of instrumental music is inherent in “psallo”, why did they all fail to reflect this in their translations and paraphrases?


When an instrument is intended, the instrument is named. Paul was inspired to name the heart in Eph 5:19. Our singing is to be accompanied by melody made with the heart. But a mechanical instrument is not implied by “psallo”. If “psallo” included the instrument, then all would need to both sing and play an instrument in order to obey Eph 5:19. This being the case it would be wrong to sing spiritual songs without an instrument then Paul and Silias were out of line to sing in prison without mechanical instruments.


The Greek word Psallo is applied among the Greeks of modern times exclusively to sacred music, which in the Eastern Church has never been any other than vocal, instrumental music being unknown in that church, as it was in the primitive church. Some through the years have attempted to alter the argument that Psallo includes the instrument by saying that it does not preclude the instrument.  This only serves to confuse people. The proper question is whether or not authority for the instrument can be found in the command to sing. The obvious answer is no. To sing is one thing, to play an instrument is another. Neither word includes or precludes the other. If one understands that he must have a ticket to enter the theater, he will recognize that he will be unable to get it by showing a button and asking if anything in “button” precludes “ticket.” We must have divine authority for all that we do in worship. Jn 4:24. Singing does not preclude playing. Neither does giving, or praying. But neither do any of them include it. Playing an instrument cannot ride into the worship on the back of “psallo”.


We do not have 1 single example of instruments being used in NT worship. In all of the verses Mat 26:30, Acts 16:25, Rom 15:9, Eph 5:19, Col 3:16 Heb 2:2, Js 5:13 a mechanical instrument is not named. God excluded everything outside of vocal singing when he tells us to sing and make melody in our hearts. Again, he does not have to specifically say that you can’t do this or that, all he has to do is tell us what he authorizes and we are to abide by that.


Historically speaking it is agreed that that the general introduction of instrumental music cannot be assigned a date earlier than the 5th or 6th century.  I have never read or heard of musical instruments used in the early church. In fact when you study the early church history you find that they forbid it to be used in worship. Even the Catholic Church didn’t use them until Pope Vitalian sanctioned it in 670 AD. There was a time when prominent Protestant leaders spoke out vehemently against its usage. Martin Luther did. He "called the organ an ensign of Baal."

John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, and Adam Clarke, most renowned of all Methodist commentators, both opposed its usage. Wesley, according to Clarke, said, "I have no objection to instruments of music in our chapels, provided they are neither heard nor seen.” Adam Clark also said: “Music as a science, I esteem and admire: but instruments of music in the house of God I abhor. This is the abuse of music; and here I register my protest against all such corruptions in the worship of the Author of Christianity”

John Calvin, founder of the Presbyterian Church, said that the usage of mechanical instruments in worship was "no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting up of lamps, and the restoration of other shadows of the law."

Charles H. Spurgeon, a Baptist minister who preached for 20 years to thousands of people weekly in the Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle located in London, England, did not have musical instruments in the worship (Kurfees 196). As musical instruments started getting introduced more in 1700s and latter it was always met with opposition. It wasn’t until after 1851 that men and women really started embracing the idea.


Not only does the word of God go against your use of musical instruments today so does the history of it. You do not see 1 command or example of musical instruments being used in worship in the bible. Let us draw our attention back to the word Psallo. The word Psallo has many different meaning depending on the time period it was used in. This same thing can be seen with other words. In one time period a word will mean one thing and in another time period it will mean another. This must be considered when looking at the definitions of words in Lexicons. Out of the following 17 Lexicons we can narrow the meaning of Psallo over time with 5 different definitions. Liddel and Scott, Robinson, Pickering, Groves, Donnegan, Parkhurst, Dunbar, Bagster, M Wright, W.Green Field, Yonge, Contopoulos, Edward Maltbys Greek Gradus, Hamilton, Thayer, Sophocles, Thomas Sheldon Green.


1. To pluck the hair

2. To twang the bowstring

3. To Twitch a carpenters line

4. To touch the chords of a musical instrument, that is, to make instrumental music

5. To touch the chords of the human heart, that is, to sing, to celebrate with hymns of praise.


Here we have 5 distinct meaning of the word psallo from the different Lexicons. So what do we do? Do we just grab which meaning we want and apply it to the NT time? We can see that psallo at one time meant to pluck the hair. So does that mean that when we assemble together that we could do like Nehemiah Nem 13:25 and pluck off each other’s hair as a part of our worship? If not, why not? Again if we take 2 and 3 does this mean we can twang the bowstring and twitch the carpenters line in worship today? This is why it is very important to find out what a word meant during a certain time period. We need to look at what the word psallo meant during the NT time. Please note the following time line of different periods of language used as described by Sophocles in his lexicon.


1. The Mythical Period, the time prior to Homer

2. The ionic Period, from Homer to BC 500.

3. The attic Period, form BC 500 to BC 283

4.The Alexandrain Period, from BC 283 to BC 146

5. The Roman Peroid, fro BC 146 to AD 330

6 The Byzantine Period, form AD. 330 to 1453.


Other Scholars vary slightly from Sophocles both as to number and exact time periods but they all come to the same conclusions. The meanings of word differ in these different time periods. The question becomes what did the word Psallo mean during the NT time?


The Greek lexicon of Sophocles, himself a native Greek and for thirty-eight years Professor of the Greek Language in Harvard University, covers all of the Roman period and the Byzantine period down to the end of the 11 century, in all more than 1200 years history of the language from BC 146 to AD 1100. As the basis of his monumental work, this profound and tireless scholar examined 146 secular and 77 ecclesiastical authors of the Roman period, and 109 secular and 262 ecclesiastical, modern Greek, and scholastic authors of the Byzantine period, a grand total of 594 authors and covering a period of more than 1200 years and he declares that there is not a single example of psallo throughout this long period of time involving or implying the use of an instrument, but says that it meant always and everywhere "to chant, sing, religious hymns. Thayer expresses this same idea when it came to the NT time. He says in the New Testament to sing a hymn, to celebrate the praises of God in song.


Even though there many meaning to the word psallo, we can see that from these 2 scholars, especially from Sophocles who was devoted exclusively to the Roman and Byzantine periods, that the word psallo did not have the meaning of using a musical instrument.


To Sum it up, in its primary sense psallo had no reference to music at all, but meant merely to touch or twitch or pull, then it was used to denote the drawing of a bowstring in shooting arrows, afterwards it was restricted to making music on a harp by touching its strings, then it was applied to singing with the accompaniment of harp music, finally it was used to denote singing psalms without any instrument save the organs of speech. In this last use it is used exclusively in the NT.


There simply is not any evidence that the musical instruments were used in the early church and the following sources below agree with this statement.


Dr Frederic Louis Ritter.


He states that the 1st century Christians were purely vocal. He also says as late as the 4th century, St Hieronymus says, speaking of the degraded state of roman spectacles, "A Christian maid should not know what a lyre or flute is, nor what their use is.


Edward Dickinson Professor of the History of Music says.


Many of the fathers speaking of religious song, make no mention of instruments, others like Clement of Alexandria and St Chrysostom, refer to them only to denounce them. Clement says "Only one instrument do we use, the word of peace where with we honor God no longer the old psaltery, trumpet, drum, and flute. Chrysostom exclaims: "David formerly sang in psalms, also we sing today with him, he had the lyre with lifeless strings, the church has a lyre with living strings. Our tongues are the strings of the lyre, with a different tone, indeed, but with a more accordant piety."


Frank Landon Humphreys author of the evolution of church music says: All the music employed in their early services was vocal, and the rhythmic element and all gesticulation were forbidden.


The American Cyclopedia, Schaff- Herzog Encyclopedia, and the New International Encyclopedia all claim that musical instruments were first introduced under Pope Vitalian about 670AD. They say that in the Greek Church the organ never came into use. But after the 8th century it became more common in the Latin Church but with opposition form the side of the monks.


McClintock and Strongs Cyclopedia:


The Eastern Church has never been any other than vocal, instrumental music being unknown in that church, as it was in the primitive church.


Chambers Encyclopedia, A concise Cyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Johnson’s Universal Cyclopedia and Fessendens Encyclopedia.


All of these echo the same thing that musical instruments were not introduced until the 6th century and that the early primitive church sang they did not play.


I could list at least 25 more sources that say the same thing, but I think this is enough to show that the early church did not use musical instruments but sang with their voice. This goes right along with what the bible says and shows us by way of example. Now your second argument has been answered.


3.While the Law was fulfilled, we do not see that the Psalms were fulfilled. The psalms are filled with references of using music, the most known is probably Psalm 150. Jesus fulfilled the 600+ laws of the Pentateuch, but we do not see that he negated the use of instruments.


This is the classic argument that the Psalms are not part of the law. If I wanted to I could completely destroy your argument with 1 verse but I won’t. Instead I want to take this opportunity to show that the Mosaic law has passed away and that we are under a new covenant and we can not use the Mosaic law to authorize use of musical instruments under the new law. Then I will easily show you that Psalms are part of the law and not separate from it.


The old Law was written for our learning Rom 15:4 and we are to learn from its examples 1Cor 10:11. You must understand that we are not under the old law today and it is not binding on us. We are to get our authorization from what is spoken of in the new law under Christ. We cannot just pick and choose things from the OT and bring them over into the NT to serve our view. If you can take 1 thing from the OT and make it binding under the NT then all of it needs to brought over. For instance, we would still need to do animal sacrifices today if the OT is still binding today. Now this may sound strange to you but we are not under the 10 commandments nor any of the Laws set forth by Moses. They do not apply to us today. Now does this mean we can murder, steal, etc today? No. Under the new law, we were giving the words that we are to live by under the new system and it so happens that 9 out of the 10 commandments have been implemented under the new law. The only one that was left out was the Sabbath day. Now watch I show from scripture how the Old law is gone and the new one is in effect.


Hebrews 9:15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.

Hebrews 10:9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second.


Here we clearly see that Jesus is Mediator of a new covenant by means of death. We can all understand this when we relate this to a will. If I write a will for my family, the will does not come into effect until I die. The same was true with the new covenant. It did not come into effect until Jesus died on the cross. When this happened the binding of the OT became null and void and we were put under a new law.


Gal 3: 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.


Again, we see that the law was our schoolmaster but after faith came we were no longer under the schoolmaster. We are not under the old law today.


Col 2: 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:


Here we see that when Christ died, the law died, it was nailed to the cross. That is why in verse 16 it tells them not to let man judge by those things that were under the law. You will notice that Sabbath days were included here which shows that the 10 commandments were also nailed to the cross. See also 2Cort 3:7. We can also see this very clearly in Rom 7:1-7 but let’s look at the following verses.

 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

 7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.


Verse 6 makes it clear we are not under the law and verse 7 makes it clear that the 10 commandments are part of that law. Notice that he mentions, “thou shalt not covet”. This clearly shows that the 10 commandments are included since this is one of the 10 commandments.


I have clearly shown from scripture that the new law under Christ did not come into effect until he died, which means anyone who died before his death was under the old law. Christ was the only one to live this law without sin. When Christ died he made the old covenant obsolete Heb 8:13. I have clearly shown that the 10 commandments are included in the law that was nailed to the cross.


Now I will reveal to you the one verse that destroys your argument about the Psalms not being fulfilled by Christ.

Luke 24:44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me."


I could rest on this one verse, but I wont stop with this one that shows that Jesus fulfilled not only the things of the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms but I will offer the following that shows that the Psalms are a part of the law.


The book of Psalms is a part of the Law.

  1. John 10:34 / Ps 82:6
  2. Jn 12:34 / Ps 110:4
  3. Jn 15:25 / Ps 35:19
  4. Rom 3:10-12,14,19 / Ps 14:1-2, 53:1-2


The book of Psalms is without a doubt a part of the law. Now your third argument is answered, but I want you to consider even more evidence from the article below written by Wayne Jackson.


A favorite argument of those desiring to use musical instruments in worship is to refer to Psalms. Since the Jews referred to the Old Testament in three areas – law, prophets (including history books), and psalms (including the Song of Solomon, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job) – how can we know that Psalms, and the other books of wisdom literature, were annulled along with the law and the prophets?

While it is true that the Jews sometimes divided the Old Testament into three parts (e.g. - the law, the prophets, and the psalms - Lk. 24:44), it is also the case that at times the Old Testament was depicted by different, more abbreviated expressions. For example, it is called the “law and the prophets” (Mt. 5:17), or “Moses and the prophets” (Lk. 16:31) – in which case the poetic books were covered under one of these phrases.

More to the point, however, is the fact that the Psalms were sometimes referred to as “law.” In a discussion with the Jews, in which he contended for his own divine nature, Jesus said:

“Is it not written in your law, ‘I said you are gods’?” (Jn. 10:35).

The Lord is quoting from Psalms 82:6, yet he simply calls it “law.” Thus, the term “law” could embrace the entire Old Testament.

Finally, if the Psalms are binding as law today, then animal sacrifices are still an obligation, because the Psalms contain references to offering sacrifices (see Psa. 66:13-15). That conclusion would nullify the complete and permanent sacrifice of Jesus Christ on behalf of human sin.

One must not resurrect any Old Testament practice in an attempt to justify worship conduct under the New Covenant regime. If the use of instrumental music in Christian worship is to be sanctioned, there must be New Testament authority for such. And the reality is, there is none – a fact which some advocates of instrumental music now concede. A current ploy is that “authority” is an irrelevant issue. This is a disastrous conclusion of last resort.

4. Revelations 14:2-3 suggests that worship in the heavens will be accompanied by music – not just singing! So there we go Music is commanded by God! NT worship can and should include music!

Now you’re really grasping for straws. It is interesting to note that the singing with harp accompaniment in Revelation  5:8, 14:2 and 15:3 does not use “psallo” in any form. Revelation is a book of symbols and its important to remember that a symbol cannot represent itself. It’s also important to remember that these verses in Rev are talking about those things in heaven and not on the earth. Please note what the Denton Commentaries have to say about this argument.

   "And when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" (Rev. 5:8).

    This is very obviously figurative language, and even the people who use instrumental music readily agree that at least a part of the passage is figurative, for none of them contend that the elders were carrying prayers about in literal bowls!  If the bowls are not literal, then neither are the harps.  Even if it could be proved (which it cannot) that there will be literal instruments of music in heaven, it would prove absolutely nothing for the use of instruments in the church.  Question: Are the advocates of instrumental music in the worship of the church (for example, Christian Church preachers) willing to accept the conclusion from their premise that anything in heaven is Scriptural in the church?  There will be babies in heaven.  Are the Christian Church preachers (and others) ready to contend that infant membership in the church is scriptural?  Denominational preachers who advocate and practice infant membership are absolutely wrong in their contention and practice.  However, most Christian Church preachers deny that infant membership is scriptural, so this poses a real problem for them.  There will be none married to each other in heaven (Matt. 22:29-30). Are the apologists for instrumental music in the worship of the church prepared to contend that, therefore, marriage upon the earth is now sinful (See Matt. 19:3-9; Rom. 7:4; Heb. 13:4)?  False teachers should remember that what proves too much proves nothing!

    "And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and the voice which I heard was as the voice of harpers harping with their harps" (Rev. 14:2).

    This passage also contains figurative language, and the advocates of instrumental music in the church freely admit that most of it (in fact all of it except the harps) is figurative.  None of them, for example, believe that John heard the voice of many waters but that he heard a voice "as of many waters."  They do not believe that he heard a great thunder but that he heard a voice from heaven "as a voice of a great thunder."  Friends, neither did he hear harpers harping on literal harps, but rather he heard a voice that was "as the voice of harpers harping on their harps"!  The voice that John heard was comparable to the sound of "many waters," "a voice of a great thunder, "and "the voice of harpers harping on their harps."

    "And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire; and them that come off victorious from the beast, and from his image, and from the number of his name, standing by the sea of glass, having harps of God" (Rev. 15:2).

    As shown in the above discussion of Rev. 14:2, John said that what he heard was "as the voice of many waters," and "as the voice of a great thunder," and "as the voice of harpers harping with their harps."  As stated in the discussion of Rev. 14:2, the entire thing is a comparison and, therefore, not literal.

Now your 4th argument is answered. I put a great deal of time and effort to answer your arguments honestly and scriptural and I hope that you will consider what I have written. I just hope and pray that you will listen to reason and serious think about these things.

God bless all of you,

Cougan Collins

End Notes

Many different sources were used in this paper. Please note that parts of this paper are direct quotes from the sources below.

Notes for the Margin of my bible Wayne Jackson.
Boswell-Hardeman Discussion on Instrumental Music in the worship.
Worship in Song by Jimmy Jividen
In spirit & in truth by Tim Nichols
Singing and New Testament Worship by Dave Miller, Ph.D.
Instrumental Music Faith or Opinion Freed-Hardeman University
Instrumental Music in the Worship by M.C Kurfees.
Study & Grow by Paul Sain
Various Commentaries from the Denton Lectureships
KJV,ASV, NKV, NASV,RSV,NRSV, Greek Bible, Vines, Thayer, Robertson Word Picture, Strong Hebrew and Greek dictionary, Jamieson-Fausset-Brown, International Bible Encyclopedia by Wayne Jackson
New Testament Commentaries by differing authors.
Why we sing and do not Play by Mark Swindall
The Wallace Hunt Debate on Mechanical Instruments by Bryan Hodge.
The kind of Music God wants
Are Mechanical Instruments of music authorized by God in worship to him? by Jerry J Gentry
Is the use of Solos & Choirs In the Church Assemble Authorized in the NT  by Wayne Jackson.
Should We use instrumental Music in Worship to God?