The Odes of Solomon

From Encyclopedia of Syriac Literature
Jump to navigationJump to search

This work is a collection of 42 short lyric poems, which survive in an almost complete form in Syriac. One is also preserved in Greek, and five in Coptic. The poems do not conform to any known Syriac verse form, however.

The date, place of origin, and original language are all uncertain. Some scholars see them as 1st century and link them to the works of S. John; others in the mid-late 2nd century, and others still as reacting to Manichaeism in the late 3rd century, since Mani was executed in 276. The original language was probably either Greek or Syriac, although Hebrew and some other Aramaic dialect have all been suggested.

The text is highly allusive, which makes its intended audience very uncertain. Many of them celebrate the freedom of the baptised Christian in Christ.


  • J.A.Emerton, in H.F.D. Sparks (ed.), The Apocryphal Old Testament. Oxford (1884), pp. 683-731. A better translation than Charlesworth.
  • The Odes and Psalms of Solomon : now first published from the Syriac version / by J. Rendel Harris. Publisher: Cambridge : University Press, 1909. Physical desc.: 154, [52] p ; 25 cm. Note: English translation with notes: p. [89]-154; Syriac text: l l., [52] p. at end (with paging in Syriac)
  • Martin Sprengling, The newly discovered Odes of Solomon. American journal of theology, vol. 14 (1910) pp. 632-637.
  • Die Oden Salomos : aus dem syrischen Übersetzt, mit Anmerkungen / von A. Ungnad und W. Staerk. Series: Kleine texte für theologische und philologische vorlesungen und übungen, hrsg. von Hans Lietzmann ; 64. Publisher: Bonn : A. Marcus und E. Weber, 1910
  • Les Odes de Salomon : une oeuvre chrétienne des environs de l'an 100-120 ; traduction française et introduction historique / J. Labourt et P. Batiffol . 1911
  • The Odes of Solomon / edited, with introduction and notes by J.H. Bernard. Series: Texts and studies : contributions to Biblical and Patristic literature ; v.8, no.3. Cambridge: University Press (1912) 134 p. English and Greek. Other Names: Bernard, J. H. (John Henry), 1860-1927
  • Le odi di Salomone : cantici cristiani degli inizi del II secolo, versione dal siriaco, introduczione e note / Leone Tondelli ; prefazione [di] Angelo Mercati. Roma: F. Ferrari, 1914. 268 p.
  • The odes and psalms of Solomon / re-edited for the governors of the John Rylands Library by Rendel Harris and Alphonse Mingana. Contents: I. The text, with facsimile reproductions.-II. The translation, with introduction and notes. Manchester: University Press (1916,1920) In 2 vols.
  • The odes of Solomon / a selection rendered into English verse by S.P.T. (Sherburne Povah Tregelles) Prideaux. London, New York, SPCK [1927]
  • The Odes of Solomon / edited with translation and notes by James Hamilton Charlesworth. Oxford: Clarendon Press (1973) 167p. ISBN/ISSN: 0198261624. Parallel Syriac text and English translation. Reprinted Missoula, MT : Scholars Press, [1978] c1977, with extra indexes. ISBN/ISSN: 0891302026.
  • Papyri and leather manuscripts of the Odes of Solomon / edited by J.H. Charlesworth. Series: Dickerson series of facsimiles of manuscripts important for Christian origins ; v. 1. Publisher: Durham, N.C. : International Center for the Study of Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations and Christian Origins, Duke University, 1981. Physical desc.: 89 p : ill ; 29 cm. ISBN/ISSN: 0894591290
  • The odes of Solomon resung / by James Neal Blake. Louisville: Marathon, c1982. 68 p. ISBN/ISSN: 0915216051. Note: Not an exact technical translation, but rather a spiritual restatement of their several themes in a modernized updated expression.
  • Les Odes de Salomon / texte présenté et traduit par Marie-Joseph Pierre ; avec la collaboration de Jean-Marie Martin . 1994