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What are the Odes of Solomon?

The Odes of Solomon are a collection of early Christian hymns. It's estimated that they were written at the end of the first century AD. There is no claim of authorship, so it's uncertain why these hymns are connected by name to Solomon. One thing to note is that the Odes of Solomon are separate from the Psalms of Solomon, which are a set of 18 psalms written around 60 BC in response to the Roman invasion of Israel. The Odes of Solomon are not a part of the Bible or considered to be divinely inspired, however they do discuss some elements of the Christian faith.

The hymns within the Odes of Solomon are poetic in nature, which makes the content within them easier to learn and call to mind later. Since they are not part of the canon of Scripture, it's important to note that some details and doctrines expressed within them may not perfectly line up with the Bible. Some people have suggested that some of the odes perpetuate Gnostic heresies; however, there is no explicit Gnostic teaching in the Odes of Solomon.

As far as topical content goes, one thing that is interesting about the Odes of Solomon is how they describe the Trinity and direct worship individually to the Father, Son, and Spirit at different points. There was not a big gap in time between the life of Christ and these writings. At the same time the Odes of Solomon were written, the New Testament was being completed. It's commonly believed that Ignatius of Antioch, a possible student of John the apostle, quoted portions of the Odes of Solomon in his own writings.

Some have tried to claim that Trinitarian theology was not believed until centuries after Christ. However, because of the historical link between the New Testament and the Odes of Solomon, instead we see that the theology of the Trinity was present right after the life of Christ. It was later more explicitly and overtly codified in response to heresy.

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