Welcome to The Odes of Solomon. The origin of the Odes are debated. However, the consensus is that they comprise the earliest collection of Christian hymns.
They are inspired songs of praise such as referred to by the Apostle Paul in the following passages, where the Greek word “ode” actually appears.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:18-21, ESV).
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Letthe word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:15-17).
The contemporary paraphrases of the Odes appearing here were written by Robert C. Stroud, whose Master of Theology (Th.M.) thesis at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley explored the interwoven baptismal and charismatic themes of these amazing “spiritual songs.”
Forty-one of the original forty-two Odes of Solomon have survived. Although their origin is intensely debated, it is likely that they were written in Syriac, a language closely related to the Aramaic spoken by Jesus.
Contemporary paraphrases of five of the Odes are found on this site. (These paraphrases are copyrighted.)