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The Odes of Solomon as Apocalyptic Literature

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AbstractThe Odes of Solomon is generally categorized as early Jewish-Christian apocrypha, particularly as a lyrics-book of early Christian worship songs. They give us a glimpse into earliest Christian worship and Christian understandings of the recent advent of the Messiah. As a matter of genre, they are easily discussed as liturgical texts, poetry, or musical lyrics. This examination reveals that the Odes are filled with themes of apocalyptic literature, far beyond the extent hitherto recognized. These apocalyptic themes situate the Odes in earliest Christian literature, revealing ties to the Johannine corpus, particularly to the Revelation, to “Two Ways” catechetical literature, and to merkabah mysticism. In the Odes, there is revealed a need for a wider understanding of apocalyptic literature. Such recognition of other expressions of an apocalyptic worldview, transcending the boundaries of the formal genre of the apocalypse, would illumine relations among a variety of early Christian texts.

Affiliations: 1: Loyola University New Orleans


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