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Mt Athos monastery has text of "Odes" in a Bible

laura odes of solomon

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#1 H. Smith

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 01:57 AM

Christians in the 1st c. were an illegal movement under Roman rule. In the New Testament, we read about Christians singing and composing "psalms" and singing in the Temple and synagogues.

 

The "Odes of Solomon" are Christian hymns with many references and allusions to Christ and Christian teachings. However, there is no explicit reference to Jesus of Nazareth. And there are no references to Solomon either explicitly. So one theory is that the "Odes of Solomon" are actually referring to "Solomon" in their title as an allusion to Jesus, the "Son of David", since open references to Jesus of Nazareth in hymns would have commonly been repressed in the synagogues.

 

The 6th c. AD Synopsis Sacrae Scripture says that the Odes of Solomon were not part of the canonical Bible, but that they were read to catechumens. Archaeologists have come across only fragments of the Odes of Solomon so far in Syriac and Coptic, and so our texts of them in English are incomplete.

 

However.... the Laura monastery on Mt Athos has a copy of "Odes" that one scholar claims is not found available:


 

There is a possibility that  the Odes were preserved also in the twelfth century  minuscule manuscript 1505 that is housed  at Laura Monastery on Mt. Athos in  Greece.  The full details of the contents of  that manuscript are not currently available, however, but the known list of books  in this New Testament collection of books includes Psalms and Odes. The list  of NT writings does not include the  Book of Revelation.  It is informativ e that the Psalms and Odes are in a  New Tes- tament  collection...

 

 The full collection includes: Matthew, Mark, L uke, John, Acts, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2, & 3  John, Jude, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatian s, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2  Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebr ews, Psalms, and Odes.  It is not presently  clear which psalms or odes are attach ed to this New Testament manuscript.

http://www.haventoda...016/09/odes.pdf

 

Chalesworth writes:

"The odes and psalms in Manuscript Gregory 1505 are not the same as the Odes of Solomon."

(Charlesworth, Sacra Scriptura: How "Non-Canonical" Texts Functioned, p. 110)

 

But Charlesworth doesn't elaborate.


Edited by H. Smith, 15 February 2017 - 01:59 AM.


#2 Kosta

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 05:29 AM

This is interesting. My interest in the Odes of Solomon is primarily in Ode 19 as this would be the earliest reference to the perpetual virginity of the Theotokos.

#3 H. Smith

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 08:22 AM

Ode 19 also has the part some think heretical because it refers to the Father having breasts::

The Son is the cup and He who was milked is the Father: 3 And the Holy Spirit milked Him: because His breasts were full, and it was necessary for Him that His milk should be sufficiently released; 4 And the Holy Spirit opened His bosom and mingled the milk from the two breasts of the Father and gave the mixture to the world without their knowing: 5 And they who receive in its fulness are the ones on the right hand.

 

Especially interesting for me would be the missing Odes. The opening two odes and part of Ode 3 are missing in all fragments that we have, except for part of Ode 1.


CARM makes this note about Ode 24
 


The mention of the Dove refers to a lost Gospel to which there are rare references in ancient writings.


1 The Dove fluttered over the Messiah, because He was her head; and she sang over Him and her voice was heard: 2 And the inhabitants were afraid and the sojourners were moved:

Which "lost gospel" do you think that would be?



#4 H. Smith

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 08:39 AM

CARM makes this note about Ode 24

 

Which "lost gospel" do you think that would be?

 

NOTE: to answer my own question: CARM is referring to the Gospel according to the Hebrews. And along that theme, Ode 36 is about the Holy Spirit, according to R. Murray, and I agree.



#5 Kosta

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:22 AM

Ode 19 also has the part some think heretical because it refers to the Father having breasts::

 

Yeah i can see how that can raise eyebrows. Seems to be referring to the abundance of the Grace of God poured upon believers. Verse 9 of Ode 19 i find interesting:

  1. The womb of the Virgin took it, and she received conception and gave birth.
  2. So the Virgin became a mother with great mercies.
  3. And she labored and bore the Son but without pain, because it did not occur without purpose.
  4. And she did not require a midwife, because He caused her to give life.
  5. She brought forth like a strong man with desire, and she bore according to the manifestation, and she acquired according to the Great Power.

 

We see in this verse the first written insinuation of the perpetual virginity and the Orthodox tradition that Christ left the Theotokos womb inviolate.  That it makes a point to say no midwife was required, makes me think that it may originate from a slightly different tradition than what is found in the Protoevangelium of James where midwives do play a role.  This is interesting as there was a slight controversy in some narrow circles of modern day Orthodoxy on the depiction of a midwife in the Nativity icon. Some iconographers refuse to depict a midwife thinking it puts Marys ever-virginity into question because a miraculous birth which leaves the womb inviolate would not require midwives to bathe off the baby from the natural elements of childbirth. 

But here is the catch-22 in this scenario. The midwives would be required in the narrative to counter the docetist heresy. My feeling is docetism found evidence in their theory in the proper Orthodox teaching of the Virgin birth. That if Christ passed through Mary as light keeping her inviolate without birth pangs it can only mean he was some sort of phantom and not a physical body. But can it mean the Ode of Solomon has a docetist tinge itself? Some accuse the PJ of this. 

 

Now I have heard the gospel of the hebrews would refer to the Holy Spirit as a 'she' due to the feminine nature of the word 'spirit' in hebrew. Im not sure how many fragments and quotes from this gospel remain to make a direct link with it though. By the way whats CARM?


Edited by Kosta, 17 February 2017 - 10:28 AM.


#6 H. Smith

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 02:25 PM

Yeah...  By the way whats CARM?

I like that you thought on this.

 

CARM is a Christian Apologetics Research Ministry, with a Protestant orientation.

I know that CARM is not an Orthodox site, but it still is raising the kind of question that other scholars have about how orthodox the Odes are because of that issue. Generally though CARM finds the ideas basically orthodox... and I should note that in the 6th c. AD the Church was using the Odes for catechesis.


Edited by H. Smith, 20 March 2017 - 02:26 PM.


#7 H. Smith

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 02:32 PM

Yeah ....

 

Now I have heard the gospel of the hebrews would refer to the Holy Spirit as a 'she' due to the feminine nature of the word 'spirit' in hebrew. Im not sure how many fragments and quotes from this gospel remain to make a direct link with it though.

Yes, in Hebrew and Aramaic (I guess in Greek too?), the word Spirit is feminine. There are mainstream pre-Schism Christian writings that describe the Holy Spirit as Jesus' mother.

 

Also a curious instance is when in matthew 13, Galileans ask about Jesus:

“Is this not the carpenter’s son? Isn’t His mother’s name Mary, and aren’t His brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?

 

My question is about the words in bold. Jesus was implying to the crowds that the Lord was His father. (Hence 'Is this not the carpenter's son?') But was Jesus also implying that his "mother" had a different "name"?



#8 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 06:35 PM

The Holy Spirit is in the neuter in Greek.






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