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The Bible’s Other* Hymnal

June 29, 2014

Psalms with OdesMany Greek Septuagint manuscripts do not contain them, but the Odes are a fascinating collection of texts appended to the end of the Greek Psalter in Codex Alexandrinus and a few other manuscripts.

The Odes compile some beautiful prayers from Scripture. A few of them are in the Book of Common Prayer’s Morning Prayer canticles.

Good information on the Odes is hard to come by, though. In part this is because they are generally not accorded the same status as, say, the Psalms. The NETS introduction to the Psalms, for instance, has:

One “book” not included in NETS, however, is Odes since it has dubious integrity as a literary unit, and, in any case, almost all of the individual Septuagint odes have already been included in their native setting in other books. The sole exception is Ode 12 in Rahlfs’ edition, the Prayer of Manasses, which for that reason has been separately appended to the Psalter.

I’ve just discovered, however, that David Lincicum has a nice rundown of the Odes, their numbering, and their contents. He also includes a bibliography for further reading. Check it out here.

 

*HT to a member of the Yahoo! LXX email group for the idea of the Odes as a sort of “little hymnal.”

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