From the Odes of Solomon

37 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2011

Date Written: October 7, 2000


The Odes of Solomon are believed to have been written around the year 100 A.D., and include strong parallels to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Scholars have debated whether the Odes should be considered Jewish, Christian or Gnostic, and whether they were first written in Greek, Hebrew or Syriac. Early Christian writings refer to and quote from them. A Syriac manuscript containing the text of most of the Odes was discovered in 1909 by the English scholar J. Rendel Harris, and other partial texts in various languages have also been found. There are 42 Odes. Some fragments are still missing from Odes I and III, and no part of Ode II has yet been found. For these choral settings, I selected text from four of the Odes of Solomon which I found particularly compelling. The anonymous translation I have used comes from The Gnostic Society Library.

From the Odes of Solomon is a set of three pieces for unaccompanied mixed choir (SATB). The set was premiered in concert on June 2, 2002, by the Ars Brunensis Chorus under the direction of conductor Roman Valek and choirmaster Dan Kalousek at the Husov Sbor, in Brno, Czech Republic. Their recording is available on CD. The score is published by Ars Nova Music, a division of Ars Nova Press.

From the Odes of Solomon is a Project Encore selection.

Keywords: Odes, Solomon, Odes of Solomon, sacred texts, ancient texts, sacred choral works, unaccompanied choir, choir, chorus, SATB, SSAATTBB, a cappella, dead sea scrolls, syriac

Suggested Citation

Bartholomew, Greg, From the Odes of Solomon (October 7, 2000). Available at SSRN: or

Greg Bartholomew (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

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