What are Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs?

In both Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5, Paul uses the phrase “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” when commanding the church to use music in its discipleship. Are these terms three different kinds of music? Synonyms meaning pretty much the same thing? Generic terms embracing all kinds of music? Well, analyzing Paul’s use of Greek is beyond my abilities but I know someone, Dr. Scott Aniol, who has tackled this subject and addresses these questions in this article. There are a lot of opinions on this topic but most of them approach it from the perspective of projecting today’s aesthetics back into the 1st Century. Dr. Aniol looks at it from the perspective of the 1st Century church and the Greek and Hebrew traditions into which Paul was writing. You may or may not agree with him but, having sat through more than one of his lectures on the topic, I can assure you that the research behind his opinions is impeccable, and you should find his commentary intriguing, at the least. Enjoy!