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Quakers : George Fox | Margaret Fell (Fox) | Isaac Penington


"Odes of Solomon" Author

Written by an Anonymous Syrian poet, likely in Antioch or Edessa.
Fulfilled Redemption and Eschatology like Melito of Sardis, yet likely half a century earlier!

Odes of Solomon | James Charlesworth - Interview | The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden | English Translation from the Gnostic Society Library | The Odes of Solomon and their Relationship with the Johannine Tradition and the Dead Sea Scrolls | Jerusalem's Essene Gateway

Discovered by J. Rendel Harris in 1909 among a pile of old Syriac Manuscripts / Scholars note the Jewish, Christian, Gnostic, and Johannine Combination / Appears to be the "Earliest Christian Hymn-book"

"Because He is my Sun and His rays have lifted me up and His light hath dispelled all darkness from my face. In Him I have acquired eyes and have seen His holy day:  The way of error I have left, and have walked towards Him and have received salvation from Him, without grudging. I have put on incorruption through His name: and have put off corruption by His grace. 9 Death hath been destroyed before my face: and Sheol bath been abolished by my word" (Ode 15)

"The Lord abides upon my head like a crown, and I shall never be apart from Him.  Woven for me is a crown of truth,and it has caused Your branches to blossom within me."


Charles Fox Burney
"St. Ignatius, writing in A.D. 110, was thoroughly familiar with the Theology of Jn. and i Jn., and therefore (we must surely infer) with the documents themselves. He also appears to have known the Odes of Solomon, and at any rate quotes an ode which is marked by the same lines of thought. Lastly, the Odes of Solomon appear unmistakably to have known not merely Jn. and i Jn., but also the Apocalypse. The knowledge of the Apocalypse shown in the Odes is perhaps the most surprising fact of all. If Ignatius knew the Odes, they are carried back, if not to the first century, at any rate to the very beginning of the second.

But if the Apocalypse is, as is commonly thought, not earlier than the last years of Domitian's reign, i.e. c. A.D. 95, there scarcely seems sufficient time for the book to have influenced the Odes; even when we make full allowance for the facts that intercourse between Ephesus and Antioch was easy, and that the Apocalypse was precisely the kind of work which was likely to gain ready circulation in the east, and to be speedily utilized in time of persecution. This difficulty seems, however, to be resolved by the consideration that the book, if as late as Domitian, is generally admitted to embody much earlier elements ; and it may be from these that the reminiscences in the Odes are drawn. The Aramaic origin of the fourth Gospel, p. 170

Gnostic Library
"The Odes date from the second century, and were probably written in Greek or Aramaic. At least one scholar has suggested they may have an origin in Valentinian Gnosticism, though this is of course speculative.  The Church Father Lactantius (third century) quoted from them, and the Pistis Sophia mentions about five complete Odes.  In 1909 the English Scholar J. Rendel Harris discovered an old Syriac manuscript with contained all but the second of the 42 Odes. These texts evidence the close inter-relationship of Christian and Gnostic church piety."

James Charlesworth
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.... 

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).   [--The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 6, p. 114]


Manuscript history
The earliest extant manuscripts of the Odes of Solomon date from around the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth centuries: the Coptic Pistis Sophia, a Latin quote of a verse of Ode 19 by Lactantius, and the Greek text of Ode 11 in Papyrus Bodmer XI. Before the eighteenth century, the Odes were only known through Lactantius' quotation of one verse and their inclusion in two lists of religious literature.

The British Museum purchased the Pistis Sophia (Codex Askewianus BM MS. add. 5114) in 1785. The Coptic manuscript, a codex of 174 leaves, was probably composed in the late third century. The manuscript contains the complete text of two of the Odes, portions of two others, and what is believed to be Ode 1 (this ode is unattested in any other manuscript and may not be complete). Pistis Sophia is a Gnostic text composed in Egypt, perhaps a translation from Greek with Syrian provenance.

After the discovery of portions of the Odes of Solomon in Pistis Sophia, scholars searched to find more complete copies of these intriguing texts. In 1909, John Rendel Harris discovered a pile of forgotten leaves from a Syriac manuscript lying on a shelf in his study. Unfortunately, all he could recall was that they came from the 'neighbourhood of the Tigris'. The manuscript (Cod. Syr. 9 in the John Rylands Library) is the most complete of the extant texts of the Odes. The manuscript begins with the second strophe of the first verse of Ode 3 (the first two odes have been lost). The manuscript gives the entire corpus of the Odes of Solomon through to the end of Ode 42. Then the Psalms of Solomon (earlier Jewish religious poetry that is often bound with the later Odes) follow, until the beginning of Psalm 17:38 and the end of the manuscript has been lost. However, the Harris manuscript is a late copy certainly no earlier than the fifteenth century. In 1912, F. C. Burkitt discovered an older manuscript of the Odes of Solomon in the British Museum (BM Add. 14538). The Codex Nitriensis came from the Monastery of the Syrian in Wadi El Natrun, sixty miles west of Cairo. It presents Ode 17:7b to the end of Ode 42, followed by the Psalms of Solomon in one continuous numbering. Nitriensis is written in far denser script than the Harris manuscript, which often makes it illegible. However, Nitriensis is earlier than Harris by about five centuries (although Mingana dated it to the thirteenth century).

In 1955-6, Martin Bodmer acquired a number of manuscripts. Papyrus Bodmer XI appears to be a Greek scrap-book of Christian religious literature compiled in Egypt in the third century. It includes the entirety of Ode 11 (headed ΩΔΗ ΣΟΛΟΜΩΝΤΟS), which includes a short section in the middle of the Ode that does not occur in the Harris version of it. Internal evidence suggests that this additional material is original to the Ode, and that the later Harris manuscript has omitted it.

Themes and origin
Technically the Odes are anonymous, but in many ancient manuscripts, the Odes of Solomon are found together with the similar Psalms of Solomon, and Odes began to be ascribed to the same author. Unlike the Psalms of Solomon, however, Odes is much less clearly Jewish, and much more Christian in appearance. Odes explicitly refers not only to Jesus, but also to the ideas of virgin birth, harrowing of hell, and the Trinity. However, many have doubted the 'orthodoxy' of the Odes, suggesting that they perhaps originated from a heretical or gnostic group. This can be seen in the extensive use of the word 'knowledge' (Syr. ܝܕܥܬܐ īḏat; Gk. γνωσις gnōsis), the slight suggestion that the Saviour needed saving in Ode 8:21c (ܘܦ̈ܖܝܩܐ ܒܗܘ ܕܐܬܦܪܩ wafrq ḇ-haw d'eṯpreq 'and the saved (are) in him who was saved') and the image of the Father having breasts that are milked by the Holy Spirit to bring about the incarnation of Christ. In the case of 'knowledge', it is always a reference to God's gift of his self-revelation, and, as the Odes are replete with enjoyment in God's good creation, they seem at odds with the gnostic concept of knowledge providing the means of release from the imperfect world. The other images are sometimes considered marks of heresy in the odist, but do have some parallel in early patristic literature. A number of scholars[who?], considering the links with gnosticism have been overworked, now see the Odes as gnosistic at most, due to the lack any kind of classical, gnostic doctrine, including dualism, opposition to the material world, remote supreme divinity, emanation of divine beings. Thus, the Odes may be seen as existing in a time and place where gnosistic terms among non-gnostic Christians were still acceptable (for example, as demonstrated by Johannine literature).[citation needed]

There are parallels in both style, and theology, between Odes and the writing of Ignatius of Antioch, as well as with the canonical Gospel of John. For example, both Odes and John use the concept of Jesus as Logos, and write in gentle metaphors. However, Odes appears more to be intended to use directly in religious services, mixing short sermons with songs and hymns. Odes also makes clear reference to a distinct style of prayer the orant gesture of holding two hands up, apart, with palms outwards, that is rare in modern Christianity.

No all-convincing proof of the original language of the Odes of Solomon has been produced. The three suggestions that continue to hold merit among scholars are that the Odes were composed in Greek, in Syriac or in a bilingual Greek-Syriac community. Their place of origin seems likely to have been the region of Syria, but whether it was west Syria (for example Antioch) or northern Mesopotamia (for example Edessa) is moot. As for date, the slight majority of scholarship places the Odes in the second century (with later in the century slightly favoured), but a date in the first (Charlesworth) and the third centuries (Drijvers) is still argued.

The Odes of Solomon were, perhaps, composed for liturgical use. In the Syriac manuscripts, all of the Odes end with a hallelujah, and the Harris manuscript marks this word in the middle of an ode by the Syriac letter h (ܗ). The use of plural imperative and jussive verb-forms suggest that on occasion a congregation is being addressed. Bernard, Aune, Pierce and others who have commented on the Odes find in them clear early baptismal imagery water is an ever present theme (floods, drinking the living waters, drowning and the well-spring) as is the language of conversion and initiation. Charlesworth has led the criticism of this view, but its proponents believe that it is the only plausible argument for the original setting of the Odes that has been produced.

 Primary published sources
Bernard, JH (1912). "The Odes of Solomon" in Texts and Studies VIII.
Charlesworth, James H (1977). The Odes of Solomon. Missoula, Montana: Scholars Press. ISBN 0-89130-202-6.
Franzmann, M (1991). The Odes of Solomon: Analysis of the Poetical Structure and Form. Gttingen.
Harris, JR and A Mingana (1916, 1920. The Odes and Psalms of Solomon in 2 vols. Manchester.

[edit] Secondary published sources
Chadwick, H (1970). "Some reflections on the character and theology of the Odes of Solomon" in Kyriakon: Festschrift fr J Quasten vol. 1, ed. P Granfield and JA Jungmann.
Drijvers, Han JW (1984). East of Antioch. Aldershot: Ashgate Variorum. ISBN 0-86078-146-1.
Pierce, Mark (1984). "Themes in the Odes of Solomon and other early Christian writings and their baptismal character" in Ephemerides Liturgicae XCVIII".

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Date: 27 May 2009
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Adam was reincarnated as Jacob, Jacob was reincarnated as Samson, Samson was Reincarnated as King Soloman, King Soloman was reincarnated as Barabus, Barabus( Son of the Father), It was my fater and son(Jesus Christ given that he was Isaac, King David,and Joseph[my son when I was Jacob])who was ordered to be crucified in my place.I later reincarnated as Nostradamus, then as William Blake, in the 1940's I reincarnated as Jim Morrison, now I am 33 in my next life using my friend's computer. I am my friend, my best friend... Now I have come again to the land of the strong and the fair and the wise. Brother's and sisters of the pale forrest, children of LIGHT tomorrow I enter the town of my birth(soon and very soon we will enter the age of aquarius and enter a golden age of enlightenment wher the Sun of righteosness will come with healing in His Wings. Ther will be a feast of friends to a giant family which is the marriage supper of the Lamb wher everyone who survives the horrible night will fully manifest their Christ Selves and live peaceably for 1000 years after that I AM THAT IAM WILL SUBJECT EVERYTHING TO HIMSELF AND BE ALL IN ALL!!!!!!!!THE END!!!!!

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