From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

1. Ideal of praise.-‘He knows little of himself who is not much in prayer, and he knows little of God who is not much in praise.’ These words express the habitual thought and practice of the Apostolic Church. We must distinguish between praise and thanksgiving. We praise God for what He is, we thank Him for what He has done. It is possible that a strain of selfishness may creep into our thanksgivings-the Pharisee spirit is not easy to eradicate. But a sincere heart is lifted by praise to the highest level of adoration. With angels and archangels we land and magnify, saying ‘Holy, Holy, Holy.’ If we cannot trace the Sanctus of the Eucharist back to the 1st cent., we can affirm that it was based on the teaching of the Apocalypse, and may be said to perpetuate in the highest degree the doxologies so often heard on the lips of apostolic writers.

There are two points to be remembered: (1) the rich inheritance of the traditions of praise derived from the Temple services, and (2) the teaching of the Synagogue that, when one is cut off from participation in sacrifices, praise should take their place. The few scattered hints in the Acts support the paradox that least is said in the NT about that which is most familiar in thought and practice. The preparation of the apostles for Pentecost was to be continually in the Temple praising God ( Luke 24:53). Afterwards we read that the apostles ‘did take their food with gladness, … praising God’ ( Acts 2:46 f.). Peter and John going to the Temple at the hour of prayer were certainly in accord with the Psalmist: ‘Seven times a day will I praise thee’ ( Psalms 119:164); and the lame man, whom Peter healed, instinctively praised God ( Acts 3:8). When Peter reported to the apostles and brethren the gift of the Holy Ghost to the Gentile Cornelius and his friends they glorified God ( Acts 11:18).

St. Paul goes very deeply into the thought of praise as an essential part of devotion when he speaks of the degradation of the heathen world as in a great measure due to their neglect of praise. ‘Knowing God, they glorified him not as God’ ( Romans 1:21)._ His own practice may be illustrated by the fact that when he and Silas had been beaten with rods at Philippi they sang hymns to God ( Acts 16:25). And in  Romans 1:25 he turns from the loathsome subject of heathen immorality to give glory to God, as if to guard himself from contamination, just as he prepares himself for his impassioned argument on backsliding Israel by an ascription of praise to ‘God blessed for ever’ ( Romans 9:5), and passes into another doxology at the end of his argument ( Romans 11:35-36). As he pictures Abraham when he received God’s promise of a son giving glory to God ( Romans 4:21), so he desires that Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy ( Romans 15:9, quoting  Psalms 18:49;  Psalms 117:1 LXX_).

The Epistle to the Ephesians opens ( Ephesians 1:1-14) with a great ascription of praise to God for the blessing of the Church. We are chosen in Christ that we should be ‘holy to the praise of the glory of his grace.’ Again and again he repeats the cadence ‘to the praise of his glory.’

This level is worthily sustained in  Hebrews 2:12 : ‘in the midst of the congregation will I sing praise unto thee,’ when the writer quotes  Psalms 22:22. As the typical king David comes to his own despite Saul’s persecution, so does Christ the true King in the hour of His victory over pain acknowledge His people as brethren, and the citizens of His Kingdom take the song of praise from the lips of their King.

Again in  Hebrews 13:15 it is suggested that our praises are only worthily offered through our great High Priest: ‘Through him let us offer up a sacrifice of praise.’ The phrase is quoted from  Leviticus 7:12, where it is used for the highest form of peace offering. B. F. Westcott (ad loc.) adds that the word ‘sacrifice’ in  Malachi 1:11 ‘appears to have been understood in the early Church of the prayers and thanksgivings connected with the Eucharist.’ From praise for ‘the revelation of God in Christ (His Name)’ the writer goes on naturally to speak (v. 16) of kindly service and almsgiving, for ‘praise to God is service to men.’

St. Peter also has a characteristic passage on praise ( 1 Peter 2:9): ‘That ye may tell forth the excellencies of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.’ He is quoting 2  Isaiah 43:21, and his word ‘excellencies,’ standing for Hebrew ‘my praise,’ means an eminent quality in any person or thing, and the idea is blended with that of the impression which it makes on others; ‘the one sense involves the other, for all praises of God must be praises either of His excellencies or of His acts as manifestations of His excellencies’ (F. J. A. Hort, ad loc.). St. Peter does not say how the Asiatic Christians are to tell them forth, but he implies that their lives must correspond to their worship.

There is a fine saying of Rabindranath Tagore to the effect that the future Saviour of India will be known not so much by the light which streams from Him as by the light which is reflected to Him from His people. ‘This calling into God’s light … is thus fitly chosen as the characteristic act of Him whose excellencies the Christians were to tell forth, because it was on their use of the realm of vision thus opened to them that their power of exhibiting Him to men in grateful praise would depend’ (Hort, ad loc.).

The reference to ‘marvellous light’ suggests a reminiscence of the Transfiguration, and the idea is paraphrased in Clement of Rome (36): ‘Through Him [Jesus Christ] let us gaze into the heights of the heavens; through Him we behold as in a mirror His spotless and supernal countenance; through Him the eyes of our heart were opened; through Him our dull and darkened mind burgeons anew into the light’ (quoted by Hort, ib.; cf.  2 Peter 1:16).

It may be of interest to classify (after Westcott) the various doxologies found in the Epistles and the Apocalypse.

(1)  Galatians 1:5. To whom [our God and Father] be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

(2)  Romans 11:36. To him [the Lord] be the glory for ever. Amen.

(3)  Romans 16:27. To the only wise God through Jesus Christ [to whom] be the glory for ever. Amen.

(4)  Philippians 4:20. Unto our God and Father be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

(5)  Ephesians 3:21. Unto him [that is able to do exceeding abundantly] be the glory, in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen.

(6)  1 Timothy 1:17. Unto the King eternal … the only God be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

(7)  1 Timothy 6:16. To whom [the blessed and only Potentate …] be honour and power eternal. Amen.

(8)  2 Timothy 4:18. To whom [the Lord] be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

(9)  Hebrews 13:21. To whom [the God of peace or possibly Jesus Christ] be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

(10)  1 Peter 4:11. To whom [God or, possibly, Jesus Christ] is the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

(11)  1 Peter 5:11. To him [God] be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

(12)  2 Peter 3:18. To him [our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ] be the glory both now and for ever. Amen.

(13)  Judges 1:25. To the only God our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, dominion and power before all time, and now, and for evermore. Amen.

(14)  Revelation 1:8. Unto him [that loveth us and loosed us from our sins] be the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

(15)  Revelation 5:13. Unto him that sitteth on the throne and unto the Lamb be the blessing and the honour and the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. And the four living creatures said, Amen.

(16)  Revelation 7:12. Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Westcott notes that all except (12) and perhaps (16) are closed by Amen. They vary greatly in detail. We may consider first the address, which in most cases is made to the Father, in two-(3) and (13)-through Christ, and in three to Christ-(8) (12), and (14), possibly also (9) and (10). The richness and variety of the titles in St. Paul’s doxologies contrast with the simplicity of his ascription of ‘glory.’ In one instance he adds ‘honour,’ in another substitutes ‘honour and dominion.’ Enlargement of the ascription is found in Jude, and above all in the central vision of the Apocalypse when the sevenfold theme marks the highest range of praise.

It seemed best to incorporate in the foregoing the formal doxologies of this type in the Apocalypse, but others claim mention. In  Revelation 4:8 the living creatures say: ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, which was and which is and which is to come.’ In Swete’s words (ad loc.): ‘This ceaseless activity of Nature under the Hand of God is a ceaseless tribute of praise.’ The elders also lay down their crowns of victory before the Throne with their tribute of praise ( Revelation 4:11): ‘Worthy art thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honour and the power: for thou didst create all things, and because of thy will they were, and were created.’

It is interesting to note how much fuller is the doxology which the angels in  Revelation 5:12 offer to the Lamb, adding ‘riches, wisdom, strength, and blessing,’ and showing how ‘they recognize both the grandeur of the Lord’s sacrificial act, and its infinite merit’ (Swete, ad loc.).

A four-fold doxology follows from all creation (no. (15) above), ‘dominion’ taking the place of the angels’ word ‘strength,’ ‘active power being here in view rather than a reserve of secret strength’ (Swete, ad loc.).

The seven-fold doxology of the angels in  Revelation 7:12 (no. (16) above) again follows a short doxology of the Church ( Revelation 7:10): ‘Salvation unto our God which sitteth on the throne and unto the Lamb.’ But they do not include the Lamb as in  Revelation 5:11.

2. Music.-Our study of the ideal of praise in the Apostolic Church would be incomplete without some reference to the music both vocal and instrumental in which pious hearts desired to express it. The earliest Christian hymns were sung, no doubt, like the psalms, but we know very little if anything about the vocal method of the Hebrews. A. Edersheim, however, thinks that some of the music still used in the Synagogue must date back to the time when the Temple was still standing, and traces ‘in the so-called Gregorian tones … a close approximation to the ancient hymnody of the Temple’ (The Temple, p. 81). References to musical instruments are few in number. St. Paul refers to pipes, harps, trumpets, and cymbals. The pipe was a cane pierced with holes for notes, or a bit of wood bored out and played like a flageolet.

The harp (κιθάρα) was an instrument of seven strings akin to a lyre. St. Paul argues ( 1 Corinthians 14:7) that, unless pipe or harp gives a distinction in the sounds, no clear thought will be conveyed to the hearer, just as a trumpet must give no uncertain sound in a call to arms. He refers also to cymbals, half-globes generally of bronze, giving out a clanging sound which cannot be tuned to accord with other instruments. They are symbolic of a character which makes professions in words but is lacking in love, or, as Edersheim puts it, ‘he compares the gift of “tongues” to the sign or signal by which the real music of the Temple was introduced’ (op. cit. p. 78). Edersheim (ib. p. 75) also draws an ‘analogy between the time when these “harpers” are introduced’ in the heavenly services ( Revelation 5:8;  Revelation 14:2-3) ‘and the period in the Temple-service when the music began-just as the joyous drink-offering was poured out.’ And again in  Revelation 15:2 ‘the “harps of God” ’ are sounded ‘with pointed allusion … to the Sabbath services in the Temple,’ when special canticles (Deuteronomy 32, Exodus 15) were sung, to which the Song of Moses and of the Lamb corresponds when sung by the Church at rest. There was a certain prejudice against the music of flutes, but they seem to have been used at Alexandria to accompany the hymns at the Agape until Clement of Alexandria substituted harps about a.d. 190.

The references to praise in the Apostolic Fathers bring out the same underlying ideas. We find in Clem. Rom. Ep. ad Cor. i. 61: ‘O Thou, who alone art able to do these things, and things far more exceeding good than these for us, we praise Thee through the High Priest and Guardian of our souls, Jesus Christ, through whom be the glory and the majesty unto Thee both now and for all generations and for ever and ever. Amen.’

The ancient homily known as 2 Clement exhorts to give God ‘eternal praise not from our lips only but from our heart’ (ii. 9).

The Epistle of Barnabas (7) bids ‘the children of gladness understand that the good Lord manifested all things to us beforehand, that we might know to whom we ought in all things to render thanksgiving and praise.’ The author of the Odes of Solomon (Ode 6) compares a soul at praise to a harp, as both Philo (i. 374) and Plato (PhCEdo, 86A) had done: ‘As the hand moves over the harp and the strings speak, so speaks in my members the Spirit of the Lord, and I speak of His love.’

Ignatius also writes to the Philadelphians (ad Philippians 1) of their bishop as ‘attuned in harmony with the commandments, as a lyre with its strings.’

Delight in self-surrender quickens adoration. In the beautiful words of J. F. D. Maurice: ‘What we desire for ourselves and for our race, the greatest redemption we can dream of, is gathered up in the words, “Thine is the glory” ’ (The Lord’s Prayer, London, 1848, p. 130).

Literature.-In addition to the Commentaries referred to in the text, see A. J. Worlledge, Prayer, London, 1902; W. Milligan, The Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of our Lord2, do., 1894, p. 299 f.; A. Edersheim, The Temple: its Ministry and Services as they were at the Time of Jesus Christ, do., n.d.; E. Leyrer, art._ ‘Musik bei den Hebräern’ in Pre_2; J Stainer, The Music of the Bible, new ed., London, 1914.

A. E. Burn.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [2]

Praise, mostly of God, is a frequent theme in the psalms, the Hebrew title of which is "Praises." Yet praise is a theme that pervades the whole of Scripture.  Genesis 1 is indirect praise; direct praise is found in hymns scattered throughout the books of Exodus, 2Samuel, Isaiah, Daniel, Ephesians, and Revelation. Words that are often used as synonyms or in parallel with "praise, " and so help point to its meaning, are "bless, " "exalt, " "extol, " "glorify, " "magnify, " "thank, " and "confess." To praise God is to call attention to his glory.

A Vocation of Praise . Praising God is a God-appointed calling. Indeed, God has formed for himself a people "that they may proclaim my [God's] praise" ( Isaiah 43:21; cf.  Jeremiah 13:11 ). God's actions, such as Israel's restoration from the exile, are to result in God's "righteousness and praise spring [ing] up before all nations" ( Isaiah 61:11 ). God has also predestined the church "to the praise of his [God's] glorious grace" ( Ephesians 1:6; cf.  Matthew 5:16;  Ephesians 1:14;  Philippians 1:11;  1 Peter 2:9 ). The future vocation of the redeemed in glory is to sing praise to God and the Lamb ( Revelation 4:11;  5:12-14;  7:12 ). Doxologies are fitting because they capture what God intends for people ( Psalm 33:1;  147:1 ).

In the light of this calling to praise God, the oft-declared intention, "I will praise you, O God, " and the exhortations for others to praise God take on additional meaning. In giving oneself to praise the worshiper declares his or her total alignment with God's purposes. The environment of those gathering for worship, judged by such admonitions, was one of lavish praise to God. Since God is holy and fully good, God is not to be faulted, as some do, for requiring praise of himself. Praise is fitting for what is the highest good, God himself. Praise is both a duty and a delight ( Psalm 63:3-8 ).

Reasons for Praising God . In addition to being the fulfillment of a calling, praise is prompted by other considerations, chief of which is the unique nature of God ( 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 ). One genre of the psalms, the hymns, is characterized by an initial summons, such as "Praise the Lord, " which is followed by a declaration of praise, introduced by the word "for, " which lists the grounds for offering praise, often God's majesty and mercy. The shortest psalm (117), a hymn, offers a double reason for praise: God's merciful kindness (loyal love) is great, and his truth endures forever. Other hymns point out that God is good ( Ezra 3:10-11;  Psalm 100:5;  135:3 ), or that his ordinances are just ( Psalm 119:164 ), that he remembers his covenant ( Psalm 105:7-8 ), that his love is enduring ( Psalm 136 ), or that he is incomparable ( Psalm 71:19 ). A basic understanding in the hymns, if not in all the psalms, is captured in the theme "The Lord reigns." God's kingship is pronounced both in his majestic power displayed through the creation of the world ( Psalm 29,104 ) and in his royal rule, often as deliverer, over his people ( Psalm 47,68 ,  98,114 ). As king, God is judge, warrior, and shepherd. Often too, praise is to the name of God ( Psalm 138:2;  145:2;  Isaiah 25:1 ). That name, Yahweh, conveys the notion that God is present to act in salvation ( Exodus 6:1-8 ).

The biblical examples of praise to God, apart from citing his attributes and role, point to God's favors, usually those on a large scale in behalf of Israel. A hymn in the Isaiah collection exhorts, "Sing praise to the Lord for his glorious achievement" ( Isaiah 12:5; nab ). Exhortations to praise are sometimes followed by a catalogue of God's actions in Israel's behalf ( Nehemiah 9:5;  Psalm 68:4-14 ). God's most spectacular action involves the incarnation of Jesus, an event heralded in praises by angels in the heavens and shepherds returning to their fields: "Glory to God in the highest" ( Luke 2:14,20 ). Praise is the legitimate response to God's self-revelation. Personal experiences of God's deliverance and favor also elicit praise ( Psalm 34;  102:18;  107; cf.  Daniel 2:20-23;  Romans 7:25; the healed paralytic,  Luke 5:25; Zechariah,  Luke 1:68; the response at Nain,  Luke 7:16; and Jesus himself,  Matthew 11:25 ).

An intimate relationship of a person or a people with God is sufficient reason for praise. A psalmist, captivated by the reality of God's choice of Jacob, exhorts, "Sing praise" ( Psalm 135; cf.  Revelation 19:5 ).

Expressions of Praise . The believing community is both a fitting and frequently mentioned context for praise. The author of Hebrews quotes the psalter: "In the midst of the assembly I will praise you" ( Hebrews 2:12 ). The audience is enlarged beyond the worshiping community when the worshiper announces, "I will praise you [in the sense of confessing], O Lord, among the nations" ( Psalm 57:9 ), and more enlarged still, "In the presence of angels ["gods" [[Niv] I]] will sing my praise" ( Psalm 138:1; nab ). While privately spoken praise to God is fitting and right, it is virtually intrinsic to the notion of praise that it be publicly expressed. Indeed, David appointed Levites to ensure the public praise of Israel ( 1 Chronicles 16:4;  23:4,30 ).

The Scriptures offer a language of praise and so are instructive on how expressions of praise might be formulated. Nehemiah leads in praise by saying, "Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord" ( Nehemiah 9:5-6 a). The chorister Asaph followed David's cue: "Sing praise to him; tell of his wonderful Acts" ( 1 Chronicles 16:9 ). Persons intent on cultivating spirituality are often helped, at least initially, by repeating and personalizing such lyrics of praise.

Praise to God in Israel took the form of artfully composed lyrics. A significant number of psalms are identified in their headings as "A Psalm, " a technical term meaning "a song of praise." Israel's expressions of praise to God could include shouts ( Psalm 98:4 ), the plying of musical instruments ( 1 Chronicles 25:3;  2 Chronicles 7:6;  Psalm 144:9;  150:1-5 ), making melody ( Psalm 146:2 ), and dancing ( Psalm 149:3 ). A public expression at Jesus' entry into Jerusalem took the form of devotees waving palm branches ( Matthew 21:1-11 ). Praise for Israel consisted, in part, of the spoken word, "Open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise" ( Psalm 51:15 ) behind which, however, was a total person committed to praise: "I will praise you, O Lord, with my whole heart" ( Psalm 9:1 ). Such praise is not tainted with bitterness or in other ways qualified but is from someone who is thoroughly thankful.

The Bible speaks also of persons praising or commending others ( Genesis 12:15;  49:8;  Proverbs 31:28,30;  2 Corinthians 8:18 ). However, it counsels, even warns, about the giving and receiving of praise lest it be for the wrong reasons or be misconstrued ( Psalm 49:18;  Proverbs 12:8;  27:2,21;  John 5:44 ).

Unquestionably the Book of the Psalms is centerpiece for any discussion about praise. In it the believer's vocation to praise is wonderfully modeled, so that even laments (one-third of all the psalms) contain elements of praise. As a book of praises, the psalms build to a remarkable crescendo of praise ( Psalm 145-150 ), in which all creatures are summoned to incessant praise of God, as are the stars and planets in the heavens, and even the angels.

Very appropriately, then, does the Christian community repeatedly resort in its worship to the Gloria Patri, "Glory be to the Father" and in clusters large and small sing, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow."

Elmer A. Martens

See also Worship

Bibliography . W. Brueggemann, Israel's Praise: Doxology Against Idolatry  ; L. J. Coppes, TWOT, 2:217-18; J. C. Lambert and B. L. Martin, ISBE, 3:929-31; C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms  ; P. Miller, Jr., Interpreting the Psalms  ; H. Schultz and H.-H. Esser, NIDNTT , 3:816-20; G. von Rad, Old Testament Theology  ; R. S. Wallace, IBD, 3:1256-57; C. Westermann, The Praise of God in the Psalms .

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [3]

A — 1: Αἶνος (Strong'S #136 — Noun Masculine — ainos — ah'ee-nos )

primarily "a tale, narration," came to denote "praise;" in the NT only of praise to God,  Matthew 21:16;  Luke 18:43 .

A — 2: Ἔπαινος (Strong'S #1868 — — epainos — ep'-ahee-nos )

a strengthened form of No. 1 (epi, upon), denotes "approbation, commendation, praise;" it is used (a) of those on account of, and by reason of, whom as God's heritage, "praise" is to be ascibed to God, in respect of His glory (the exhibition of His character and operations),  Ephesians 1:12; in  Ephesians 1:14 , of the whole company, the church, viewed as "God's own possession" (RV); in  Ephesians 1:6 , with particular reference to the glory of His grace towards them; in  Philippians 1:11 , as the result of "the fruits of righteousness" manifested in them through the power of Christ; (b) of "praise" bestowed by God, upon the Jew spiritually (Judah == "praise"),  Romans 2:29; bestowed upon believers hereafter at the judgment seat of Christ,  1—Corinthians 4:5 (where the definite article indicates that the "praise" will be exactly in accordance with each person's actions); as the issue of present trials, "at the revelation of Jesus Christ,"   1—Peter 1:7; (c) of whatsoever is "praiseworthy,"  Philippians 4:8; (d) of the approbation by churches of those who labor faithfully in the ministry of the Gospel,  2—Corinthians 8:18; (e) of the approbation of well-doers by human rulers,  Romans 13:3;  1—Peter 2:14 .

A — 3: Αἴνεσις (Strong'S #133 — Noun Feminine — ainesis — ah'ee-nes-is )

"praise" (akin to No. 1), is found in  Hebrews 13:15 , where it is metaphorically represented as a sacrificial offering.

 1—Peter 2:9 John 9:24 Joshua 7:19 John 12:43  1—Peter 4:11

B — 1: Αἰνέω (Strong'S #134 — Verb — aineo — ahee-neh'-o )

"to speak in praise of, to praise" (akin to A, No. 1), is always used of "praise" to God, (a) by angels,  Luke 2:13; (b) by men,  Luke 2:20;  19:37;  24:53;  Acts 2:20,47;  3:8,9;  Romans 15:11 (No. 2In some texts);   Revelation 19:5 .

B — 2: Ἐπαινέω (Strong'S #1867 — Verb — epaineo — ep-ahee-neh'-o )

akin to A, No. 2, is rendered "praise,"  1—Corinthians 11:2,17,22 : see Commend , No. 1.

B — 3: Ὑμνέω (Strong'S #5214 — Verb — humneo — hoom-neh'-o )

denotes (a) transitively, "to sing, to laud, sing to the praise of" (Eng., "hymn"),  Acts 16:25 , AV, "sang praises" (RV, "singing hymns");  Hebrews 2:12 , RV, "will I sing (Thy) praise," AV, "will I sing praise (unto Thee)," lit., "I will hymn Thee;" (b) intransitively, "to sing,"  Matthew 26:30;  Mark 14:26 , in both places of the singing of the paschal hymns ( Psalm 113-118;  136 ), called by Jews the Great Hallel.

B — 4: Ψάλλω (Strong'S #5567 — Verb — psallo — psal'-lo )

primarily, "to twitch" or "twang" (as a bowstring, etc.), then, "to play" (a stringed instrument with the fingers), in the Sept., to sing psalms, denotes, in the NT, to sing a hymn, sing "praise;" in  James 5:13 , RV, "sing praise" (AV, "sing psalms"). See Melody , Sing.

B — 5: Ἐξομολογέω (Strong'S #1843 — Verb — exomologeo — ex-om-ol-og-eh'-o )

in  Romans 15:9 , RV, "will I give praise" (AV, and RV marg., "I will confess"): see Confess , A, No. 2 (c).

 Luke 1:64

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [4]

PRAISE is the recognition and acknowledgment of merit. Two parties are involved: the one possessing at least supposed merit, the other being a person who acknowledges the merit.

Men may praise men . Forms of praise may be used without genuine feelings of praise, and extravagant praise may be rendered Intentionally, because of the advantage that will be gained thereby. This is downright hypocrisy, and the whole burden of the moral teaching of the Bible, and especially of Christ, is against hypocrisy. Again, the estimate of values may be so completely false that praise may be felt and expressed genuinely in cases where it is undeserved. And Jesus’ whole influence is directed towards the proper appreciation of values so that only the good shall appear to us good.

In its common Biblical use, however, praise has God for its object . This restriction does not involve an essential difference either in the praise or in the sense of moral values. The difference lies rather in the greater praiseworthiness of God. Praise of God is of course called forth only as He reveals Himself to men, only as men recognize His activity and His power in the event or condition which appears to them adequate to call out praise. Men praise God in proportion as they are religious, and so have conscious relations with God. The praiseworthiness of a god is involved in the very definition of a god. If men postulate a god at all, it is as a being worthy to be praised. Every thought and act by which men come into relation with God is a thought and an act of praise. Petition is justifiable only if behind it is the belief that God is worthy of such approach. If the act is confession of sin, the same is true, for confession is not made to a being who does not hold a place of honour and praise. If some active service is rendered to God, this subjugation of ourselves to Him can be explained only by the conviction that God is in every way entitled to service.

Moreover, as in the case of praise of men, there is a very clear distinction to be drawn between genuine and hypocritical ascription of praise to God. The temptation to the latter is extreme, because of the immense gain presumably to be secured by praise; but the hypocrisy and the sin of it are equally great. Indeed, the seriousness of the offence is evident when one reflects that he who praises God knows full well the praiseworthiness of God, so that if he praises while the genuine feeling is lacking and the sincere act of praise is unperformed, only moral perversity can account for the hypocrisy.

In order to genuineness, praise must be spontaneous It may be commanded by another human being, and the praise commanded may be rendered, but the real impelling cause is the recognized merit of God. God may demand praise from His creatures in commands transmitted to them through prophets and Apostles, but if man praises Him from the heart, it is because of the imperative Inseparable from the very being and nature of God.

We are prepared, then, to find that in the Bible praise to God is universal on the part of all who acknowledge Him. It is the very atmosphere of both dispensations. It is futile to attempt to collate the passages that involve it, for its expression is not measured by special terms or confined to special occasions. The author of   Genesis 1:1-31 , like every reader of the chapter, finds the work of creation an occasion for praising God. The chapter is a call to praise, though the word be not mentioned. We have but to turn to the Psalms ( e.g.   Psalms 104:1-35 ) to find formal expression of the praise that the world inspires.

The legal requirements of the Law likewise depend for their authority with men upon the recognition of the merit of the Law-giver. ‘Ye shall be holy, for I Jehovah your God am holy,’ has no force except for him who acknowledges holiness in God who commands; and obedience is the creature’s tribute of praise to the holy God.

The whole history of Israel, as Israel’s historians picture it, has in it the constant element of praise to Israel’s God: we turn to the Psalms ( e.g.   Psalms 102:1-28 ) or to other songs ( e.g.   Exodus 15:1-27 ), and find the praise of the heart rising to formal expression.

In the NT, praise of Christ and of God in Christ is the universal note. It is the song of those who are healed of their sicknesses, or forgiven their sins; of Apostles who mediate on the gospel message and salvation through Christ; of those who rehearse the glories of the New Jerusalem as seen in apocalyptic vision.

We are also prepared by this universality to find that praise cannot form a topic for independent treatment. There is no technical terminology to be examined in the hope that the etymology of the terms used will throw light upon the subject, for in this case etymologies may lead us away from the current meaning of the common words employed. The history of praise in the OT and the NT is the history of worship, temple, synagogue, sacrifice, festivals. The literature of praise is the literature of religion, whether as the product of national consciousness or of personal religious experience.

It will suffice to mention one or two points of Interest which the student may well bear in mind as he studies the Bible and consults the articles on related subjects.

The Heb. word oftenest used for praise is hillçl , perhaps an onomatopoetic Semitic root meaning ‘cry aloud.’ An interesting feature is the use of the imperative in ascriptions of praise. Taken literally, these imperatives are commands to praise; but they are to be taken as real ascriptions of praise, with the added thought that praise from one person suggests praise from all. Cf. the doxology ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow,’ which consists solely of four imperative sentences.

The imperative of the Hebrew verb, followed by the Divine name, gives us Hallelujah , i.e. ‘Praise ye Jah.’ The word is used at the beginning and end of Psalms, apparently with liturgical value. Cf. also the Hallel Psalms (113 118, 136). The noun from the same root appears as the title of   Psalms 145:1-21 . See Hallel.

The form which praise took as an element of worship in Israel varied with the general character of worship. It was called forth by the acts of Jahweh upon which the Israelites were especially wont to dwell in different periods. For personal and family favours they praised Him in early times with forms of their own choosing. When the national consciousness was aroused, they praised Him for His leading of the nation, in forms suitable to this service. As worship came more and more to conform to that elaborated for, and practised in, the royal sanctuary the Temple at Jerusalem the forms of praise could not fail to share the elaboration and to become gradually more uniform. To what extent these modifications took place is to be studied in the history of OT religion.

Praise was certainly a part of the varied service rendered by the Levites in the Temple ritual of later Judaism, and an examination of that ritual will show how far praise was given over to them, and how much was retained by the congregation. The Psalms are certainly adapted to antiphonal rendering. Did the people respond to the priests, or were there two choirs  ? [This word occurs in EV [Note: English Version.] only in RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] of   Nehemiah 12:8 .] The element of praise in the synagogue worship is an interesting and disputed question. Cf. also Adoration, Hymn.

O. H. Gates.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [5]

A. Verbs.

Hâlal ( הָלַל , Strong'S #1984), “to praise, celebrate, glory, sing (praise), boast.” The meaning “to praise” is actually the meaning of the intensive form of the Hebrew verb hâlal , which in its simple active form means “to boast.” In this latter sense hâlal is found in its cognate forms in ancient Akkadian, of which Babylonian and Assyrian are dialects. The word is found in Ugaritic in the sense of “shouting,” and perhaps “jubilation.” Found more than 160 times in the Old Testament, hâlal is used for the first time in Gen. 12:15, where it is noted that because of Sarah’s great beauty, the princes of Pharaoh “praised” (KJV, “commended”) her to Pharaoh.

While hâlal is often used simply to indicate “praise” of people, including the king (2 Chron. 23:12) or the beauty of Absalom (2 Sam. 14:25), the word is usually used in reference to the “praise” of God. Indeed, not only all living things but all created things, including the sun and moon, are called upon “to praise” God (Ps. 148:2-5, 13; 150:1). Typically, such “praise” is called for and expressed in the sanctuary, especially in times of special festivals (Isa. 62:9).

The Hebrew name for the Book of Psalms is simply the equivalent for the word “praises” and is a bit more appropriate than “Psalms,” which comes from the Greek and has to do with the accompaniment of singing with a stringed instrument of some sort. It is little wonder that the Book of Psalms contains more than half the occurrences of hâlal in its various forms. Psalms 113-118 are traditionally referred to as the “Hallel Psalms,” because they have to do with praise to God for deliverance from Egyptian bondage under Moses. Because of this, they are an important part of the traditional Passover service. There is no reason to doubt that these were the hymns sung by Jesus and His disciples on Maundy Thursday when He instituted the Lord’s Supper (Matt. 26:30).

The word hâlal is the source of “Hallelujah,” a Hebrew expression of “praise” to God which has been taken over into virtually every language of mankind. The Hebrew “Hallelujah” is generally translated “Praise the Lord!” The Hebrew term is more technically translated “Let us praise Yah,” the term “Yah” being a shortened form of “Yahweh,” the unique Israelite name for God. The term “Yah” is found in the KJV rendering of Ps. 68:4, reflecting the Hebrew text; however, the Jerusalem Bible (JB) translates it with “Yahweh.” Most versions follow the traditional translation “Lord,” a practice begun in Judaism before New Testament times when the Hebrew term for “Lord” was substituted for “Yahweh,” although it probably means something like “He who causes to be.” The Greek approximation of “Hallelujah” is found 4 times in the New Testament in the form “Alleluia” (Rev. 19:1, 3-4, 6). Christian hymnody certainly would be greatly impoverished if the term “Hallelujah” were suddenly removed from our language of praise.

Yâdâh ( יָדָה , Strong'S #3034), “to give thanks, laud, praise.” A common Hebrew word in all its periods, this verb is an important word in the language of worship. Yâdâh is found nearly 120 times in the Hebrew Bible, the first time being in the story of the birth of Judah, Jacob’s son who was born to Leah: “And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, This time I will praise the Lord; therefore she called his name Judah” (Gen. 29:35, RSV).

As is to be expected, this word is found most frequently in the Book of Psalms (some 70 times). As an expression of thanks or praise, it is a natural part of ritual or public worship as well as personal praise to God (Ps. 30:9, 12; 35:18). Thanks often are directed to the name of the Lord (Ps. 106:47; 122:4).

The variation in translation may be seen in 1 Kings 8:33: “confess” thy name (Kjv, Neb, Nasb); acknowledge (RSV); praise (Jb, Nab )

B. Nouns.

Tehillâh ( תְּהִלָּה , Strong'S #8416), “glory; praise; song of praise; praiseworthy deeds.” Tehillâh occurs 57 times and in all periods of biblical Hebrew.

First, this word denotes a quality or attribute of some person or thing, “glory or praiseworthiness”: “He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen” (Deut. 10:21). Israel is God’s “glory” when she exists in a divinely exalted and blessed state: “And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Isa. 62:7; cf. Jer. 13:11).

Second, in some cases tehillâh represents the words or song by which God is publicly lauded, or by which His “glory” is publicly declared: “My praise [the Messiah is speaking here] shall be of thee in the great congregation …” (Ps. 22:25). Ps. 22:22 is even clearer: “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.”

In a third nuance tehillâh is a technical-musical term for a song ( shir ) which exalts or praises God: “David’s psalm of praise” (heading for Ps. 145; v. 1 in the Hebrew). Perhaps Neh. 11:17 refers to a choirmaster or one who conducts such singing of “praises”: “And Mattaniah … , the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer [who at the beginning was the leader of praise at prayer].…”

Finally, tehillâh may represent deeds which are worthy of “praise,” or deeds for which the doer deserves “praise and glory.” This meaning is in the word’s first biblical appearance: “Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises [in praiseworthy deeds], doing wonders [miracles]?” (Exod. 15:11).

Two other related nouns are mahalal and hillulim . Mahalal occurs once (Prov. 27:21) and denotes the degree of “praise” or its lack. Hillulim , which occurs twice, means “festal jubilation” in the fourth year at harvest time (Lev. 19:24, RSV; Judg. 9:27, NASB),

Tôdâh ( תּוֹדָה , Strong'S #8426), “thanksgiving.” This important noun form, found some 30 times in the Old Testament, is used there in the sense of “thanksgiving.” The word is preserved in modern Hebrew as the regular word for “thanks.” In the Hebrew text tôdâh is used to indicate “thanksgiving” in songs of worship (Ps. 26:7; 42:4). Sometimes the word is used to refer to the thanksgiving choir or procession (Neh. 12:31, 38). One of the peace offerings, or “sacrings,” was designated the thanksgiving offering (Lev. 7:12).

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [6]

One characteristic of the life of God’s people is that they constantly praise him. Praise is an expression of homage, adoration and thanksgiving to God either in prayer or in song, and may be accompanied by various expressions of joy ( Exodus 15:1-2;  Exodus 15:20-21;  Psalms 35:18;  Psalms 63:5;  Psalms 71:8; Psalms 150;  Isaiah 12:2-6;  Luke 2:13-14;  Acts 2:47;  Acts 3:8;  Colossians 3:16;  Revelation 5:9-14; see Dancing ; Music ; Singing ).

Believers offer praise to God because of who he is and what he has done. Their praise is part of their worship of God, and it will reach its fullest expression in the age to come ( Psalms 7:17;  Psalms 66:1-4;  Psalms 104:1;  Psalms 138:1-2;  Luke 24:53;  Revelation 19:4-5). All living things, and especially God’s people, have a duty to praise God. They offer this praise both individually and collectively ( Ezra 3:10-11;  Psalms 34:1-3;  Psalms 35:18; Psalms 117;  Psalms 135:1-2;  Psalms 150:6;  Joel 2:26;  Acts 16:25;  Hebrews 13:15;  1 Peter 2:9). (For fuller discussion on the subject see Worship .)

God’s people should want their lives and actions to bring praise to God. They should not seek praise for themselves ( Proverbs 27:2;  Matthew 6:2;  John 12:43;  2 Corinthians 9:1;  Ephesians 1:12;  Philippians 1:11;  Colossians 1:3-4;  1 Thessalonians 2:6). Yet it is true that, if they live uprightly and behave properly, others will naturally want to give them praise ( Proverbs 31:28;  Proverbs 31:31;  Acts 16:2;  1 Corinthians 11:2;  1 Corinthians 11:17;  1 Peter 2:14).

Holman Bible Dictionary [7]

 Proverbs 27:21 Proverbs 31:30 Romans 2:29 Psalm 148:1

Praise comes from a Latin word meaning “value” or “price.” Thus, to give praise to God is to proclaim His merit or worth. Many terms are used to express this in the Bible, including “glory,” “blessing,” “thanksgiving,” and “hallelujah,” the last named being a transliteration of the Hebrew for “Praise the Lord.” The Hebrew title of the book of Psalms (“Praises”) comes from the same root as “hallelujah” and   Psalm 113-118 have been specially designated the “Hallel” (“praise”) psalms.

The modes of praise are many, including the offering of sacrifices ( Leviticus 7:13 ), physical movement ( 2 Samuel 6:14 ), silence and meditation ( Psalm 77:11-12 ), testimony ( Psalm 66:16 ), prayer ( Philippians 4:6 ), and a holy life ( 1 Peter 1:3-9 ). However, praise is almost invariably linked to music, both instrumental ( Psalm 150:3-5 ) and, especially, vocal. Biblical songs of praise range from personal, more or less spontaneous outbursts of thanksgiving for some redemptive act of God ( Exodus 15:1 :  Judges 5:1;  1 Samuel 2:1;  Luke 1:46-55 ,Luke 1:46-55, 1:67-79 ) to formal psalms and hymns adapted for corporate worship in the Temple ( 2 Chronicles 29:30 ) and church ( Colossians 3:16 ).

While the Bible contains frequent injunctions for people to praise God, there are also occasional warnings about the quality of this praise. Praise is to originate in the heart and not become mere outward show ( Matthew 15:8 ). Corporate praise is to be carried on in an orderly manner ( 1 Corinthians 14:40 ). Praise is also firmly linked to an individual's everyday life ( Amos 5:21-24 ). See Music; Psalms; Worship .

David W. Music

King James Dictionary [8]

PRAISE, n. s as z. L. pretium.

1. Commendation bestowed on a person for his personal virtues or worthy actions, on meritorious actions themselves, or on any thing valuable approbation expressed in words or song. Praise may be expressed by an individual, and in this circumstance differs from fame, renown, and celebrity, which are the expression of the approbation of numbers, or public commendation. When praise is applied to the expression of public approbation, it may be synonymous with renown, or nearly so. A man may deserve the praise of an individual, or of a nation.

There are men who always confound the praise of goodness with the practice.

2. The expression of gratitude for personal favors conferred a glorifying or extolling.

He hath put a new song into my mouth, even praise to our God.  Psalms 40

3. The object, ground or reason of praise.

He is thy praise,and he is thy God.  Deuteronomy 10

Praise, L tollo, extollo pretium.

1. To commend to applaud to express approbation of personal worth or actions.

We praise not Hector, though his name we know

Is great in arms 'tis hard to praise a foe.

2. To extol in words or song to magnify to glorify on account of perfections or excellent works.

Praise him, all his angels, praise ye him, all his hosts.  Psalms 148

3. To express gratitude for personal favors.  Psalms 138 4. To do honor to to display the excellence of.

All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord.  Psalms 145

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [9]

An acknowledgment made of the excellency or perfection of any person or action, with a commendation of the same. "The desire of praise, " says an elegant writer, "is generally connected with all the finer sensibilities of human nature. It affords a ground on which exhortation, counsel, and reproof, can work a proper effect. To be entirely destitute of this passion betokens an ignoble mind, on which no moral impression is easily made; for where there is no desire of praise, there will also be no sense of reproach; but while it is admitted to be a natural and in many respects an useful principle of action, we are to observe that it is entitled to no more than our secondary regard. It has its boundary set, by transgressing which, it is at once transformed from an innocent into a most dangerous passion. When passing its natural line, it becomes the ruling spring of conduct; when the regard which we pay to the opinions of men encroaches on that reverence which we owe to the voice of conscience and the sense of duty; the love of praise, having then gone out of its proper place, instead of improving, corrupts; and instead of elevating, debases our nature." Young's Love of Fame; Blair's Sermons, ser. 6. vol. 2:; Jortin's Dis. dis. 4. passim; Wilberforce's Pract. View, ch. 4: sec. 3; Smith's Theory of Mor. Sent. vol. 1. p. 233; Fitzosborne's Letters, let. 18.

Webster's Dictionary [10]

(1): ( v.) To value; to appraise.

(2): ( v.) Commendation for worth; approval expressed; honor rendered because of excellence or worth; laudation; approbation.

(3): ( v.) Especially, the joyful tribute of gratitude or homage rendered to the Divine Being; the act of glorifying or extolling the Creator; worship, particularly worship by song, distinction from prayer and other acts of worship; as, a service of praise.

(4): ( v.) To extol in words or song; to magnify; to glorify on account of perfections or excellent works; to do honor to; to display the excellence of; - applied especially to the Divine Being.

(5): ( v.) To commend; to applaud; to express approbation of; to laud; - applied to a person or his acts.

(6): ( v.) The object, ground, or reason of praise.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [11]


International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [12]

prāz ( תּהלּה , tehillāh , "psalm," "praise," תּודה , tōdhāh , "confession" "thanksgiving," שׁבח , shābhaḥ , "to praise" "glorify," זמר , zāmar , ידה , yādhāh , "to stretch out the hand," "confess"; αἰνέω , ainéō , ἐπαινέω , epainéō , ἔπαινος , épainos ):

1. Its Meaning:

The word comes from the Latin pretium, "price," or "value," and may be defined generally as an ascription of value or worth. Praise may be bestowed upon unworthy objects or from improper motives, but true praise consists in a sincere acknowledgment of a real conviction of worth. Its type may be seen in the representation given in the Apocalypse of the adoration of God and of the Lamb, which is inspired by a sense of their worthiness to be adored ( Revelation 4:11;  Revelation 5:12 ).

2. With Man as Its Object:

Man may be the object of praise, and may receive it either from God or from his fellow-men. In the former case ( Romans 2:29;  1 Corinthians 4:5 ) the praise is inevitably just, as resting on a divine estimate of worth; in the latter case its value depends upon the grounds and motives that lie behind it. There is a praise which is itself a condemnation ( Luke 6:26 ), an honor which seals the eyes in unbelief ( John 5:44 ), a careless use of the epithet "good" which is dishonoring to God ( Luke 18:19 ). This is the "praise of men" which Jesus warned His followers to shun as being incompatible with the "praise of God" ( Matthew 6:1-4; compare  John 12:43;  Galatians 1:10;  1 Thessalonians 2:6 ). On the other hand, there is a praise that is the instinctive homage of the soul to righteousness ( Luke 23:47 ), the acknowledgment given to well-doing by just government ( Romans 13:3;  1 Peter 2:14 ), the tribute of the churches to distinguished Christian service ( 2 Corinthians 8:18 ). Such praise, so far from being incompatible with the praise of God, is a reflection of it in human consciousness; and so Paul associates praise with virtue as an aid and incentive to holy living on which the mind should dwell ( Philippians 4:8 ).

3. With God as Its Object:

In the Bible it is God who is especially brought before us as the object of praise. His whole creation praises Him, from the angels of heaven ( Psalm 103:20;  Revelation 5:11 ) to those lower existences that are unconscious or even inanimate ( Psalm 19:1-4;  Psalm 148:1-10;  Revelation 5:13 ). But it is with the praises offered to God by man, and with the human duty of praising God, that the Scriptures are principally concerned. In regard to this subject the following points may be noticed:

(1) The Grounds of Praise.

Sometimes God is praised for His inherent qualities. His majesty ( Psalm 104:1 ) or holiness ( Isaiah 6:3 ) fills the mind, and He is "glorified as God" ( Romans 1:21 ) in view of what He essentially is. More frequently He is praised for His works in creation, providence, and redemption. References may be dispensed with here, for the evidence meets us on almost every page of the sacred literature from Genesis to Revelation, and the Book of Psalms in particular, from beginning to end, is occupied with these themes. When God's operations under these aspects present themselves, not simply as general effects of His power and wisdom, but as expressions of His personal love to the individual, the nation, the church, His works become benefits, and praise passes into blessing and thanksgiving (Pss 34; 103;  Ephesians 1:3;  1 Peter 1:3 ).

(2) The Modes of Praise.

True praise of God, as distinguished from false praise ( Isaiah 29:13;  Matthew 15:8 ), is first of all an inward emotion - a gladness and rejoicing of the heart (  Psalm 4:7;  Psalm 33:21 ), a music of the soul and spirit ( Psalm 103:1;  Luke 1:46 f) which no language can adequately express (  Psalm 106:2;  2 Corinthians 9:15 ). But utterance is natural to strong emotion, and the mouth instinctively strives to express the praises of the heart (  Psalm 51:15 and passim ). Many of the most moving passages in Scripture come from the inspiration of the spirit of praise awakened by the contemplation of the divine majesty or power or wisdom or kindness, but above all by the revelation of redeeming love. Again, the spirit of praise is a social spirit calling for social utterance . The man who praises God desires to praise Him in the hearing of other men ( Psalm 40:10 ), and desires also that their praises should be joined with his own ( Psalm 34:3 ). Further, the spirit of praise is a spirit of song . It may find expression in other ways - in sacrifice ( Leviticus 7:13 ), or testimony ( Psalm 66:16 ), or prayer ( Colossians 1:3 ); but it finds its most natural and its fullest utterance in lyrical and musical forms. When God fills the heart with praise He puts a new song into the mouth ( Psalm 40:3 ). The Book of Psalms is the proof of this for the Old Testament. And when we pass to the New Testament we find that, alike for angels and men, for the church on earth and the church in heaven, the higher moods of praise express themselves in bursts of song ( Luke 2:14;  Ephesians 5:19;  Colossians 3:16;  Revelation 5:9;  Revelation 14:3;  Revelation 15:3 ). Finally, both in the Old Testament and New Testament, the spirit of song gives birth to ordered modes of public praise . In their earlier expressions the praises of Israel were joyful outbursts in which song was mingled with shouting and dancing to a rude accompaniment of timbrels and trumpets ( Exodus 15:20 ff;   2 Samuel 6:5 ,  2 Samuel 6:14 ff). In later times Israel had its sacred Psalter, its guilds of trained singers (  Ezra 2:41;  Nehemiah 7:44 ), its skilled musicians ( Psalm 42:1-11; 49, etc.); and the praise that waited for God in Zion was full of the solemn beauty of holiness ( Psalm 29:2;  Psalm 96:9 ). In the New Testament the Psalter is still a manual of social praise. The "hymn" which Jesus sang with His disciples after the Last Supper ( Matthew 26:30 ) would be a Hebrew psalm, probably from the Hallel (Pss 113 through 118) which was used at the Passover service, and various references in the Epistles point to the continued employment of the ancient psalms in Christian worship ( 1 Corinthians 14:26;  Ephesians 5:19;  Colossians 3:16;  James 5:13 ). But the Psalter of the Jewish church could not suffice to express the distinctive moods of Christian feeling. Original utterance of the spirit of Christian song was one of the manifestations of the gift of tongues ( 1 Corinthians 14:15-17 ). Paul distinguishes hymns and spiritual songs from psalms ( Ephesians 5:19;  Colossians 3:16 ); and it was hymns that he and Silas sang at midnight in the prison of Philippi ( Acts 16:25 the Revised Version (British and American)). But from hymns and songs that were the spontaneous utterance of individual feeling the development was natural, in New Testament as in Old Testament times, to hymns that were sung in unison by a whole congregation; and in rhythmic passages like   1 Timothy 3:16;  Revelation 15:3 f, we seem to have fragments of a primitive Christian hymnology, such as Pliny bears witness to for the early years of the 2nd century, when he informs Trajan that the Christians of Bithynia at their morning meetings sang a hymn in alternate strains to Christ as God ( Ep . x.97). See Persecution .

(3) The Duty of Praise.

Praise is everywhere represented in the Bible as a duty no less than a natural impulse and a delight. To fail in this duty is to withhold from God's glory that belongs to Him ( Psalm 50:23;  Romans 1:20 f); it is to shut one's eyes to the signs of His presence (  Isaiah 40:26 ff), to be forgetful of His mercies (  Deuteronomy 6:12 ), and unthankful for His kindness ( Luke 6:35 ). If we are not to fall into these sins, but are to give to God the honor and glory and gratitude we owe Him, we must earnestly cultivate the spirit and habit of praise. From holy men of old we learn that this may be done by arousing the soul from its slothfulness and sluggishness ( Psalm 57:8;  Psalm 103:1 ), by fixing the heart upon God ( Psalm 57:7;  Psalm 108:1 ), by meditation on His works and ways ( Psalm 77:11 ff), by recounting His benefits (  Psalm 103:2 ), above all, for those to whom He has spoken in His Son, by dwelling upon His unspeakable gift ( 2 Corinthians 9:15; compare  Romans 8:31 ff;   1 John 3:1 ). See also Worship .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [13]

an acknowledgment made of the excellency or perfection of any person or action, with a commendation of the same. "The desire of praise," says an elegant writer, "is generally connected with all the finer sensibilities of human nature. It affords a ground on which exhortation, counsel, and reproof can work a proper effect. To be entirely destitute of this passion betokens an ignoble mind on which no moral impression Is easily made, for where there is no desire of praise there will also be no sense of reproach; but while it is admitted to be a natural and in many respects a useful principle of action, we are to observe that it is entitled to no more than our secondary regard. It has its boundary set, by transgressing which it is at once transformed from an innocent into a most dangerous passion. When, passing its natural line, it becomes the ruling spring of conduct; when the regard which we pay to the opinions of men encroaches on that reverence which we owe to the voice of conscience and the sense of duty, the love of praise, having then gone out of its proper place, instead of improving, corrupts, and instead of elevating, debases our nature." See Young, Love of Fame; Blair, Sermons, vol. 2, ser. 6; Jortin, Diss. No. 4 passim; Wilberforce, Praeft. View, ch. 4 3; Smith, Theory of Moral Sent. 1, 233; Fitzosborne, Letters, No. 18.