On “Hymns” in the New Testament: A Suggestion

Larry Hurtado's Blog

As illustrated in the recent articles I’ve reported on in earlier postings, scholars continue to approach the question of “hymns/odes” in the NT in what I regard as a curious fashion.  They often first turn to “pagan” examples of hymns and formulate characteristics of Greek “pagan” hymns and poetry as a basis then for assessing putative hymnic material in the NT.  This I find open to questions for a few reasons, and I’d think a more inductive approach more sensible.

To start from classical/pagan poetry and hymnody is to presume that earliest circles of what became Christianity would have adopted these as patterns for their own “odes”.  But it seems to me much more likely that the earliest “hymnic” practices would have been shaped much more by the Psalms (which, by all evidence, seems to have been the most used and copied text in early Christianity).  The Psalms don’t follow…

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About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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