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A Cappella Music in the Public Worship of the Church
     

A Cappella Music in the Public Worship of the Church

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by Everett Ferguson
 

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This book employs a methodology that I have found helpful in dealing with other topics. This procedure is to assemble the New Testament texts on the topic and interpret them, then check this interpretation against usage in early Christian literature outside the New Testament, and finally to examine the doctrinal considerations to determine if the interpretation rests

Overview

This book employs a methodology that I have found helpful in dealing with other topics. This procedure is to assemble the New Testament texts on the topic and interpret them, then check this interpretation against usage in early Christian literature outside the New Testament, and finally to examine the doctrinal considerations to determine if the interpretation rests on solid biblical theology.
Rather than gathering quotations from secondary literature, my approach is to read the source documents in the original and present the texts in their context. At the time of first edition of the book, mine was the fullest collection of historical statements on early church music readily available. Other studies since that time are largely supportive of the historical facts presented in my work, even if the authors do not consider the evidence normative for today.
My conclusion is that the practice of unaccompanied congregational singing rests on good biblical, historical and doctrinal grounds.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781939838032
Publisher:
Desert Willow Publishing
Publication date:
06/12/2013
Edition description:
Indexed, edited
Pages:
142
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.33(d)

Meet the Author

EVERETT FERGUSON received his B.A. (Summa cum laude-1953) and M.A. (1954) from Abilene Christian University and his S.T.B. (cum laude–1956) and Ph.D. (“with distinction”– 1960) from Harvard University. At Harvard he was an Honorary John Harvard Fellow, a graduate assistant in History of Religions, and gave the Greek oration at the Divinity School commencement in 1956.

Dr. Ferguson taught from 1962 until his retirement in 1998 at Abilene Christian University, where he is now Distinguished Scholar in Residence. His memberships include the North American Patristics Society (president, 1990–92), American Society of Church History (member of the council, 1983–85), Association internationale d’études patristiques (member of the council, 1995–2003), Society of Biblical Literature, Conference on Faith and History, Institute for Biblical Research (Fellow), and Ecclesiastical History Society. Honors include receiving a Festschrift entitled The Early Church in Its Context: Essays in Honor of Everett Ferguson (1998), being named the John G. Gammie Senior Lecturer by the Southwest Commission for Religious Studies (1996–1997), and being presented plaques for Christian service by the Institute for Christian Studies, Pepperdine University, Harding University, Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies, and the North American Patristics Society.


Ferguson’s books include Early Christians Speak, Gregory of Nyssa Life of Moses (co-authored), Backgrounds of Early Christianity (now 3rd edition–translated into Korean and Chinese), Demonology of the Early Christian World, The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today (translated into Korean and Russian), Thinking–Living–Dying: Early Apologists Speak to the 21st Century, and Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries. He edited the Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (now 2nd edition), the nineteen-volume Living Word Commentary on the New Testament, Christian Teaching: Studies in Honor of LeMoine G. Lewis, and two reprint series—the eighteen–volume Studies in Early Christianity and six–volume Recent Studies in Early Christianity. He also served terms as editor of Restoration Quarterly, The Second Century, and co–editor of Journal of Early Christian Studies.

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A Cappella Music in the Public Worship of the Church 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With his excellent skills in ancient Greek and Latin, Dr. Ferguson demonstrated in his book "A Cappella Music in the Public Worship of the Church" that a cappella music was used exclusively in the Jewish Synagogue as part of their rational worship prior to the coming of Christ. In addition, Dr. Ferguson demonstrated that the church described in the New Testament also used a cappella music exclusively in their rational worship. This exclusive use of a cappella music by the church continued for about 1000 years. The church fathers did not simply overlook the use of musical instruments in the public worship of the church. Rather, many of these leaders actively avoided and condemned the use of musical instruments in the public worship of the church. These leaders viewed instrumental music as an inferior way to worship God. Their understanding of "singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19) excluded the use of instrumental music in the public worship of the church. Instrumental music was instituted by the Western (Roman) church in about AD 1000, but this practice was not accepted by the Orthodox Christians in the East. To this day, the vast majority in the Eastern Orthodox Churches use a cappella music exclusively. However, a minority of the Eastern Orthodox Churches in the USA have recently started using instruments. In the West, many of the protestant reformers abandoned the use of musical instruments because they viewed it as a "Catholic corruption." However, the instrument was gradually resumed in most of the protestant churches. This is only a thumbnail sketch of this excellent 140 page book.