From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Giuseppe
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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:56 am

This may be the proof that the Odes are pre-Christian:

In Ode XII we read:
...
The phrase "the swiftness of the Word" is noteworthy because it shows that, however the Word may be poetically personified, he is really conceived as an all-pervasive, "penetrating" Spirit. This appears clearly on a comparison with Wisdom:
For Wisdom is more mobile than any motion. Yea, she pervades and penetrateth all things (Wis., 7:24).
It is a proof of the very early date of these Odes that although on the whole "the Word" has replaced "Wisdom", yet the thought of the writer sometimes fluctuates between the two in a way which would have been impossible for a "Christian". Since each of them is "the Spirit of the Lord", either term may be used. The substitution has, however, advanced so far that the name Wisdom is not actually found. That Wisdom is meant is clearly perceptible by comparison with the Wisdom of Solomon or Proverbs.
(Beginning, p.52-53)

In no other Christian writing you have a so interchangeable use of the terms "Wisdom" and "Logos".
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by andrewcriddle » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:42 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:56 am
This may be the proof that the Odes are pre-Christian:

In Ode XII we read:
...
The phrase "the swiftness of the Word" is noteworthy because it shows that, however the Word may be poetically personified, he is really conceived as an all-pervasive, "penetrating" Spirit. This appears clearly on a comparison with Wisdom:
For Wisdom is more mobile than any motion. Yea, she pervades and penetrateth all things (Wis., 7:24).
It is a proof of the very early date of these Odes that although on the whole "the Word" has replaced "Wisdom", yet the thought of the writer sometimes fluctuates between the two in a way which would have been impossible for a "Christian". Since each of them is "the Spirit of the Lord", either term may be used. The substitution has, however, advanced so far that the name Wisdom is not actually found. That Wisdom is meant is clearly perceptible by comparison with the Wisdom of Solomon or Proverbs.
(Beginning, p.52-53)

In no other Christian writing you have a so interchangeable use of the terms "Wisdom" and "Logos".
The Son was proclaimed as God's Wisdom and Word
Athanasius

Andrew Criddle

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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by andrewcriddle » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:49 am

Emerton suggests that the spelling of the third person preformative of the imperfect supports a date after 100 CE for the Syriac of the Odes.

Andrew Criddle

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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by andrewcriddle » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:51 am

There is a general issue involved in comparing the Syriac of the Odes of Solomon to the Syriac Peshitta Old Testament. The Syriac Old Testament used to be dated to the mid 1st century CE which meant that resemblances between the Odes and the Syriac Old Testament implied a very early date for the Odes. However, the Syriac Old Testament is now thought to be early 2nd century, which makes resemblances to he Odes less significant as evidence for an early date of the Odes.

Andrew Criddle

Edited to Add

For the probable date of the Peshitta Old Testament see for example Weitzman

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Giuseppe
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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by Giuseppe » Fri May 18, 2018 12:29 am

Louis G. Rylands pointed out a strong evidence that the Odes were written before the 70 CE:

His [of the author of the Odes] universalistic outlook is indeed apparent in the extracts already given. An indication of this can be seen particularly in Ode XXXVIII, where the idea of planting " has clearly been suggested by Ps. xcii, 13-15. But the expressions "house of the Lord" and "courts of our God" are carefully avoided as signifying the temple of Yahveh at Jerusalem. The writer substitutes "hand of the Lord." Another distinction found here is also important. For the Psalmist life was ended with the death of the body, so that "fruit-bearing" could not in his view continue later than " old age." The Odist, who believed in the continuous life of the spirit, corrected his statement into " its fruits are for ever."

(Beginning of Gnostic Christianity, p. 34-35, my bold)

The writer had need to avoid any reference to the temple of Jerusalem only if that temple was seen as a serious rival, i.e., only if it was still standing and not destroyed by the Romans. Because otherwise it would be very strange to explain why he didn't quote the Psalm by writing also ''house of the Lord'' and/or ''courts of our God'': afterall, he could imagine them as references to a celestial temple, in the absence of a physical temple in Jerusalem. Evidently that absence was not there.

The Psalm in question:
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13
planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
15
proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”



The Odes based on that Psalm:
I went up to the light of truth as if into a chariot;
and the truth took me and led me. From the rocks and
the waves it preserved me; and it brought me to the
haven of salvation. My foundations were laid
on the hand of the Lord; be
cause he established me. For he set the root and watered
it and fixed it and blessed it; and its fruits are for ever.
And the Lord alone was glorified in his planting and his
husbandry..

Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by rakovsky » Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:23 pm

andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:08 am
Lord does seem to be used in the Odes as a title of Christ

Ode 42
I extended my hands and approached my Lord, for the expansion of my hands is His sign.
And my extension is the upright cross, that was lifted up on the way of the Righteous One.
(Some of these are probably more clear-cut than others).

Andrew Criddle
Dear Andrew, I agree with your sense that Lord refers to Christ here, which would mean that the narrator extends his hands and approaches "my Lord" Christ, because the extended hands are Christ's sign. The problem is that the rest of the Ode, which you didn't quote here, is apparently the words of Christ speaking. And so one answer is that the narrative voice switches in the Ode from the composer to Christ. What do you think?

I raised this issue as question 3 on this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4925&p=111009#p111009

My research on the prophecies of the Messiah's resurrection: http://rakovskii.livejournal.com

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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:32 am

rakovsky wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:23 pm
andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:08 am
Lord does seem to be used in the Odes as a title of Christ

Ode 42
I extended my hands and approached my Lord, for the expansion of my hands is His sign.
And my extension is the upright cross, that was lifted up on the way of the Righteous One.
(Some of these are probably more clear-cut than others).

Andrew Criddle
Dear Andrew, I agree with your sense that Lord refers to Christ here, which would mean that the narrator extends his hands and approaches "my Lord" Christ, because the extended hands are Christ's sign. The problem is that the rest of the Ode, which you didn't quote here, is apparently the words of Christ speaking. And so one answer is that the narrative voice switches in the Ode from the composer to Christ. What do you think?

I raised this issue as question 3 on this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4925&p=111009#p111009
I agree that the narrator switches here from speaking as a Christian to speaking in the person of Christ.
If we take the attribution to Solomon as original then Solomon is represented as switching from speaking in the person of a Christian to speaking in the person of Christ. There are parallels to ancient interpretations of the Psalms of David, where David is always in one sense the author but he speaks in the name of various persons sometimes changing within a given Psalm.

Andrew Criddle

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:47 am

andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:32 am
There are parallels to ancient interpretations of the Psalms of David, where David is always in one sense the author but he speaks in the name of various persons sometimes changing within a given Psalm.
One I came across not long ago is the Targum to Psalm 91 (link), which has been reframed as a conversation between David, Solomon, and the Lord of the World.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

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rakovsky
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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by rakovsky » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:32 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:47 am
andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:32 am
There are parallels to ancient interpretations of the Psalms of David, where David is always in one sense the author but he speaks in the name of various persons sometimes changing within a given Psalm.
One I came across not long ago is the Targum to Psalm 91 (link), which has been reframed as a conversation between David, Solomon, and the Lord of the World.
I didn't think of that possibility where Solomon would be narrating in other peoples' voices- I just plainly thought of it as a normal Christian narrator speaking in his own voice or at times speaking in Christ's.

One example that came to mind of Psalms in other person's voices is Psalm 22- in my mind it's meant as the Messiah's voice, but some rabbis took it as a Psalm about Esther, due to the possible subtitle about being played on the "Doe of the Morning" interpreted as a reference to the morning star, Esther's name meaning "star".
The Targum connects the name with the Persian word for "star", ستاره setareh, explaining that Esther was so named for being as beautiful as the Morning Star. In the Talmud (Tractate Yoma 29a), Esther is compared to the "morning star", and is considered the subject of Psalm 22 because its introduction is a "song for the morning star." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esther
In that case, if Esther is considered the subject of this Davidic Psalm, then David could be writing in her voice.

In any case, back on the thread that I made on this topic (Question #3), I put down some scholars who think that the narrator is shifting voices:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4925&p=111009#p111009

They note that this voice-shifting happens in other OT-genre literature, as well as even more clearly in some of the other "Odes of Solomon."

My research on the prophecies of the Messiah's resurrection: http://rakovskii.livejournal.com

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