Re: New Testament Hymns & Greek Hymns

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Oct 27 1995 - 15:35:08 EDT

At 12:44 PM 10/27/95, Calvin D. Redmond wrote:
>I'm doing some research involving the New Testament "hymns" (John 1:1-14, Col.
>1:15-20, Phil. 2, etc). I'm out of my area of limited knowledge and wonder if
>someone can help me with the following question: Where can I find some
>description of a "standard form" for classical or Koine hymns or poems? I have
>read most of the standard literature on the NT "hymns," which generally says
>the NT "hymns" are not really in Greek hymn form, but I haven't been able to
>define the form to try to reach any judgment on my own.

An "oldie but goodie" is a work by the major German scholar of the early
part of this century, Eduard Norden, _Agnostos Theos_ (1913). As I recall
(can't give the exact reference) there is an analysis of standard hymnic
structure in both classical and Hellenistic Greek prayer and hymn. Other
magnificent works by Norden: _Die Antike Kunstprosa_ and a commentary on
the sixth book of the Aeneid that's been re-issued in
I-don't-know-how-many-editions-most-recently because it touches on so many
issues that are ancillary to Vergil's poetry itself (like varieties of
ancient eschatology!).

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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