The Psalms reverberate with joy, groan in pain, whimper with sadness, grumble in disappointment, rage with anger and have long served a vital role in the individual and corporate lives of Christians, expressing the full range of human emotions, including some that we are ashamed to admit.
The church fathers employed the Psalms widely. In liturgy they used them both as hymns and as Scripture readings. Within them they found pointers to Jesus both as Son of God and as Messiah. They also employed the Psalms widely as support for other New Testament teachings, as counsel on morals and as forms for prayer.
Especially noteworthy was their use of Psalms in the great doctrinal controversies. The Psalms were used to oppose subordinationism, modalism, Arianism, Apollinarianism, Nestorianism, Eutychianism and Monophysitism, among others. More than fifty church fathers are cited here from Ambrose to Zephyrinus.
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