A bit ago, my friend Wendy Nichols made a post about how our mutual, Christian heritage sometimes labels other Christians as “not Christian” based on whether or not they sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph 5, Col 3) with, say, someone also playing the piano.
Of note, it can be demonstrated that “psalms,” and to a degree hymns, were often accompanied, but not necessarily 100% of the time. The third form (odes), I have not been as sure about. However, “ode” (or at least its verb form, “ado”) is translated “sing” in the some passages in Revelation – and the singing was accompanied by the harps of God.
Hence, to say that Eph 5:19 demands singing unaccompanied cannot be substantiated, as the word “singing” there comes from “ado”, which in Scripture has instances where the song is accompanied.
I’m not a skilled scholar in other languages – but I wonder if ANY language has a word that means to “sing” to the exclusion of instruments. In English, we modify “sing” with “a capella” or “unaccompanied” if we want to exclude instruments. You do not find such modification of “sing” in the Scriptures.
It may be worth remembering that we can “add to the Word” by placing restrictions where God placed none. In doing so, we often rob ourselves of valuable family members through division!
With love, always,