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A Cappella Music: In the Public Worship of the Church, 4th ed.


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In this well-researched book, prominent scholar Everett Ferguson argues that a cappella, or unaccompanied, congregational singing rests on good biblical, historical, and doctrinal grounds. Drawing from his extensive scholarly background, Ferguson combines his knowledge of Greek and Latin, ancient church history, and Christian fellowship to give meaning and context to his discussion of the power of a cappella music. Ferguson’s work is packed with insights for anyone interested in worship, music in the church, and church history.

The Logos Bible Software edition of A Cappella Music: In the Public Worship of the Church enhances your study of music in public worship. Scripture passages link directly to your preferred English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful topical searches help you find what other authors, scholars, and theologians bring to the conversation.

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  • Provides historical context for Scripture relating to music in public worship
  • Includes questions for discussion in each section
  • Contains a glossary and selected bibliography
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Chapter I: The New Testament Evidence
  • Psallo: Its History and Meanings
    • The Linguistic Problem
    • Psallo in the Greek Old Testament
    • Dead Sea Scrolls
    • Greek Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
    • Josephus and Philo
    • Psallo in the New Testament
    • Psallo in Early Church Literature
    • Questions for Study
  • Context of New Testament Times
    • Temple Worship
    • Synagogue Worship
    • Philo on Music
    • Conclusion on New Testament Evidence
    • Questions for Study
  • Chapter II: The Testimony of History
    • Singing in Christian Worship
    • The Non-Use of an Instrument
    • Allegorical Interpretations of the Psalms
    • Statements Favorable to Instruments
    • Interpretations of the Word “Psalm”
    • Condemnations of Instrumental Music
    • The Significance of Culture
    • Later History
    • Questions for Study
  • Chapter III: Doctrinal Considerations
    • Nature of Worship
    • Spiritual Worship
    • Edification
    • The Classical Form of Church Music
    • Conclusion.
    • Questions for Study
  • Ancient Authors and Works Cited
  • Glossary
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Index of Biblical Passages
  • Index of Jewish Literature
  • Index of Non-Christian Greek and Roman Literature
  • Index of Early Christian Literature
  • Index of Subjects
  • About the Author
  • Title: A Cappella Music: In the Public Worship of the Church
  • Author: Everett Ferguson
  • Edition: Fourth
  • Publisher: Desert Willow
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 142

Everett Ferguson (1933–) received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and served on the faculty of Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, beginning in 1962, where he taught church history and Greek. He is now professor emeritus in its College of Biblical Studies and distinguished scholar-in-residence. Although he retired from full-time teaching in 1990 to devote himself to research, he occasionally teaches a few classes at ACU. He is the author of many books, including Backgrounds of Early Christianity.


8 ratings

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  1. Cody Westbrook
  2. Unix



  3. Neriah LeBlanc
    Awesome read!

  4. Kenny Bayles

    Kenny Bayles


  5. Daniel Keeran

    Daniel Keeran


  6. phillip davenport
  7. James C.

    James C.


  8. Victor Vadney

    Victor Vadney


    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.

  9. Bill Shewmaker
  10. Anthony Grubb

    Anthony Grubb


    It has been aptly said that every author invites readers on a journey. Hence, Ferguson invites readers to a journey who are already in an acapella group and presumably want ammunition and buttresses for this stance. The map of this journey can be found in the first two paragraphs of the book where he states his conclusion in the first paragraph, and in the second paragraph continues making arguments to support this "conclusion" (as it is there labelled). If that is the journey one is already on, and if they desire Ferguson to guide them once again along the same paths they've already trod, they will likely enjoy this book immensely!


Digital list price: $6.99
Save $1.00 (14%)