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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The radical power of "the Spirit" over "the letter": Seeking the living Christ in Psalms


Psalm were and are of key importance in the daily life of the Christian and in Christian community worship. Both were the basic features of early Christianity, since it was delivered by the early Christians that Jesus Christ himself lived within the Psalms. The early fathers of the church, in contrast to much modern scholarship, rightly believed in the maxim that "Scripture interprets Scripture." The incident of the risen Christ asserting to the two disciples on the Emmaus way the hermeneutical principle that all the Scriptures, including the Psalms, speak of Christ set a basis for the early church thinkers to interpret the Bible as the book about Christ (Luke 24:13-49). The radical power of "the Spirit" over "the letter" introduced the centrality of Christ into apostolic exegesis of the Old Testament--especially in the Psalms--in a totally new way.

    Bruce K. Waltke, The Psalms as Christian Worship


Luke 24:44-48

44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

Isn't it impressive that right after Jesus said to the two disciples that "all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me", He "opened their understanding (KJV)" ?

O that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto us the spirit of wisdom and revelation (Eph. 1:17a) so that we, too, like early Christians, can see the living Christ in Psalms through the radical power of "the Spirit"! Amen.


  1. It is amazing that even in 21th century,believers keep making new melodies inspired by psalms.And you can find psalms sung in many languages on youtube.Many people might find truth and encouragement in psalms practically.

    Orthodox,conservative Cathoric,traditional protestant churches keep tradition of singing psalmody strongly.We can learn a lot from it,too.



    1. Dear Sanae, thank you for your comment. Yes, I also realized that "singing" the Word of God enriches our faith and devotion to Him in a deep way. We are so grateful and amazed that this devout practice has been carried on in our churches more than 2000 years!