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The Biblical Odes and the Text of the Christian Bible : A Reconsideration of the Impact of Liturgical Singing on the Transmission of the Gospel of Luke

Wasserman, Tommy LU and Knust, Jennifer (2014) In Journal of Biblical Literature 133(2). p.341-365
Abstract
Sung in Christian liturgies from the earliest period, biblical Odes—a set of songs excerpted from the biblical and apocryphal books—were central to emerging Christian practices and texts, yet their significance as textual witnesses has rarely been studied. Overlooked by text critics and editors, the Odes have largely been omitted from contemporary critical editions of the biblical books, including the very recent twenty-eighth edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece. This analysis suggests, however, that the liturgical setting of the Odes had a double impact: whereas some of the readings probably do reflect liturgical adaptation, public performance could also set limits on how much these texts could change.

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Sung in Christian liturgies from the earliest period, biblical Odes—a set of songs excerpted from the biblical and apocryphal books—were central to emerging Christian practices and texts, yet their significance as textual witnesses has rarely been studied. Overlooked by text critics and editors, the Odes have largely been omitted from contemporary critical editions of the biblical books, including the very recent twenty-eighth edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece. This analysis suggests, however, that the liturgical setting of the Odes had a double impact: whereas some of the readings probably do reflect liturgical adaptation, public performance could also set limits on how much these texts could change.



Comparison of the biblical Odes as they appear in the great fifth-century majuscule Codex Alexandrinus, both in their place among the Odes and within their appropriate biblical book, demonstates that these songs are in fact a valuable textual resource, a conclusion that is further confirmed by an examination of the textual and paratextual features of early Odes manuscripts. A more focused study of the Song of Mary offers additional support to the hypothesis: this song remained remarkably fixed even as Odes traditions and collections remained unsettled. As this study shows, interactions between oral and written forms of transmission are complex and thus no textual witness can be dismissed solely on the basis of its liturgical setting. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
liturgical singing, Odes, textual criticism, liturgy
in
Journal of Biblical Literature
volume
133
issue
2
pages
341 - 365
publisher
SBL (Society of Biblical Literature)
external identifiers
  • scopus:84902580255
ISSN
1934-3876
DOI
10.1353/jbl.2014.0024
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
703fc98b-0bab-443b-a89f-28e68c21e257 (old id 5336515)
alternative location
http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_biblical_literature/v133/133.2.knust.html
date added to LUP
2015-04-28 12:49:08
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:52:26
@article{703fc98b-0bab-443b-a89f-28e68c21e257,
  abstract     = {Sung in Christian liturgies from the earliest period, biblical Odes—a set of songs excerpted from the biblical and apocryphal books—were central to emerging Christian practices and texts, yet their significance as textual witnesses has rarely been studied. Overlooked by text critics and editors, the Odes have largely been omitted from contemporary critical editions of the biblical books, including the very recent twenty-eighth edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece. This analysis suggests, however, that the liturgical setting of the Odes had a double impact: whereas some of the readings probably do reflect liturgical adaptation, public performance could also set limits on how much these texts could change. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Comparison of the biblical Odes as they appear in the great fifth-century majuscule Codex Alexandrinus, both in their place among the Odes and within their appropriate biblical book, demonstates that these songs are in fact a valuable textual resource, a conclusion that is further confirmed by an examination of the textual and paratextual features of early Odes manuscripts. A more focused study of the Song of Mary offers additional support to the hypothesis: this song remained remarkably fixed even as Odes traditions and collections remained unsettled. As this study shows, interactions between oral and written forms of transmission are complex and thus no textual witness can be dismissed solely on the basis of its liturgical setting.},
  author       = {Wasserman, Tommy and Knust, Jennifer},
  issn         = {1934-3876},
  keyword      = {liturgical singing,Odes,textual criticism,liturgy},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {341--365},
  publisher    = {SBL (Society of Biblical Literature)},
  series       = {Journal of Biblical Literature},
  title        = {The Biblical Odes and the Text of the Christian Bible : A Reconsideration of the Impact of Liturgical Singing on the Transmission of the Gospel of Luke},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/jbl.2014.0024},
  volume       = {133},
  year         = {2014},
}