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Odes of Solomon

At a Glance
Treatise
Genre:
(1/5) *
Reliability of Dating:
(2/5) **
Length of Text:
Greek
Original Language:
Ancient Translations:
Modern Translations:

Estimated Range of Dating: 100-200 A.D.

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Information on Odes of Solomon

James H. Charlesworth writes (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 6, p. 114):

The date of the Odes has caused considerable interest. H. J. Drijvers contends that they are as late as the 3d century. L. Abramowski places them in the latter half of the 2d century. B. McNeil argued that they are contemporaneous with 4 Ezra, the Shepherd of Hermas, Polycarp, and Valentinus (ca. 100 C.E.). Most scholars date them sometime around the middle of the 2d century, but if they are heavily influenced by Jewish apocalyptic thought and especially the ideas in the Dead Sea Scrolls, a date long after 100 is unlikely. H. Chadwick, Emerton, Charlesworth, and many other scholars, are convinced that they must not be labeled "gnostic," and therefore should not be dated to the late 2d or 3d century.

Charlesworth comments on the attestation to the Odes Of Solomon (op. cit., v. 6, p. 114):

The 11th ode was found among the Bodmer Papyri in a 3d-century Gk manuscript (no. 11). Five were translated into Coptic in the 4th century and used to illustrate the Pistis Sophia (Odes Sol. 1, 5, 6, 22, and 25). Also in the 4th century Ode 19 was quoted by Lactantius (Div. Inst. 4.12.3). In the 10th century a scribe copied the Odes in Syriac, but only Odes Sol. 17:7-42:20 are preserved (British Museum ms. Add. 14538). In the 15th century another scribe copied them into Syriac, but again the beginning is lost (John Rylands Library Cod. Syr. 9 contains only Odes Sol. 3.1b-42:20).

There is controversy over whether the Odes of Solomon were a Jewish or a Christian composition.


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Kirby, Peter. "Odes of Solomon." Early Christian Writings. <http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/odes.html>.