Genevan Psalter

The singing of psalms was regarded by Jean Calvin* as an essential part of congregational worship, and it was a distinctive feature of the reformed church at Geneva in the 16th century. Unlike Luther*, Calvin was cautious about using hymns, because they were of human composition. In the words of Louis F. Benson*, ‘He would have nothing in the cultus which could not claim the express authority of Scripture’ (1915, p. 23). Psalms, however, were seen as inspired by the Holy Spirit, hallowed and prized by their provenance in the Old Testament and the authorship of king David. Calvin wrote A Commentary on the Psalms, the first work he turned to after his commentaries on the New Testament. He...

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