Re: New Testament Hymns & Greek Hymns

From: Edgar M. Krentz (
Date: Sat Oct 28 1995 - 11:35:42 EDT

You 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.
>Thanks for your help!
>Cal Redmond
>The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

I append a bibliography from an article I wrote that will be published in
the next issue of _Biblical Research_, the journal of the Chicago Society
for Biblical Research, titled "New Testament Hymnody as Epideictic." I did
not take the time to insert the marks to indicate italics.

People have already called attention to Norden and Lattke (who does not
think there are hymns in the NT). An old classic is the work by Kroll. The
article by Thraede is especially important, as are the tow items by Klaus
Berger. I put asterisks in front of the works that I think are especially
important. I recommend the article by Russell on Menander Rhetor and the
reading of the so-called "Sminthiac Hymn" in Menander Rhetor II.

Basic works for the NT are those by Deichgraeber, Schille, and Wengst.
Unfortunately, all the most important works are in German. If you can use
it, the first two works to consult are Thraede and Lattke.

There is a debate at present about the existence of prose hymns in the NT.
Lattke and Berger doubt their existence, Thraede supports them.

If you are interested, I could send you a short list of prose hymns in the
Greek world.

Bibliography: Epideiktik and Hymnody

Anderson, Graham. The Second Sophistic. A Cultural Phenomenon in the Roman
Empire. London and New York: Routledge, 1993.

Aphthonius, Aphthonii Progymnasmata, ed. H. Rabe. Rhetores Graeci X.
Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1926.

Bergman, J. Ich bin Isis. Studien zum memphitischen Hintergrund der griech.
Isisaretalogien. Uppsala: 1968. [Not available to me.]

Bowie, E. L. "Greek Poetry in the Antonine Age," Antonine Literature, ed.
D. A. Russell. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990, pp. 53-90.

Buchheit, V. Untersuchungen zur Theorie des Genos Epideiktikon von Gorgias
bis Aristoteles. Munich: [C. H. Beck?], 1960. [Not available to me]

* Burgess, Theodore Chalon. Epideictic Literature. pp. 89-261 in _Studies
in Classical Philology_ 3. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1902.

Dieterich, Albrecht. Eine Mithrasliturgie. 3. Aufl. by Otto Weinreich.
Leipzig and Berlin: B. G. Teubner, 1923.

Pseudo-Dionysius of Halicarnassus. "Ars Rhetorica," Dionysii Halicarnei
Opuscula, ed. Herman Usener and Ludwig Radermacher. 2 vol. Leipzig: B. G.
Teubner, 1904, II. 253-385

* Guthrie, W. K. C. "Hymns," OCD 443-44.

Harding, Mark. "The Classical Rhetoric of Praise and the New Testament,"
The Reformed Theological Review 45 (1986) 73-82.

Heitsch, E. Die griechischen Dichterfragmente der ršmischen Kaiserzeit. 2
vol. Gšttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1961-1964. [Not available to me]

Hermogenes, of Tarsus. Hermogenes. Ed Rabe. Rhetores Graeci VI. Leipzig: B.
G. Teubner, 1913.

* Hšfler, A. Der Serapishymnos des Ailios Aristides. TŸbinger BeitrŠge zur
Altertumswissenschaft 27. Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer Verlag, 1935.

Kennedy, George A. Greek Rhetoric Under Christian Emperors . Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1983.

Lebek, W. "Ein Hymnos auf Antinoos," ZPE 12 (1973) 101-137.

* MacMullen, Ramsay. Paganism in the Roman Empire. New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1981 (especially pp. 15-24, with the notes on pp.

--------, and Eugene N. Lane. Paganism and Christianity 100-425 C.E.
Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1992.

Martin, J. Antike Rhetorik.: Technik und Methode. HAW 2.3. MŸnchen: C. H.
Beck, 1974.

* Menander. Menander Rhetor. Ed D. A. Russell and N. G. Wilson. Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1981. Contains the text, translation and commentary on the
"Sminthiac Hykmn."

Mitford, T. B. "No. 104. Antinoos, the Favorite of Hadrian, Honored in a
Dactylic Hymn by a Legatus Provinciae, A. D. 130/1," pp. 195-99 in _The
Inscriptions of Kourion_. Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society 83.
Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1971.

Nicolas. Progymnasmata, ed. Joseph Felten. Rhetores Graeci XI. Leipzig: B.
G. Teubner, 1913.

* Norden, Eduard. Die antike Kunstprosa. 3rd ed. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1923.

Peek, W. Der Isishymnos von Andros und verwandte Texts. Berlin: Weidmann,
1930. [Not available to me]

Powell, J. U. Collectanea Alexandrina. Reliquiae minores Poetarum
Graecorum Aetatis Ptolemaicae 323-146 A.C. Epicorum, Elegiacorum,
Lyricorum, Ethicorum. Cum Epimetris et Indice Nominum. Oxford: Clarendon
Press, 1925 = Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970.

Powell, J. U., and E. A. Barber, New Chapters in the History of Greek
Literature First Series. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1921; Second Series.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1929.

Powell, J. U. New Chapters in the History of Greek Literature Third
Series. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1933.

* Russell, D[onald]. A[ndrew]. "Aristides and the Prose Hymn," pp. 199-216
in Antonine Literature, ed. D. A. Russell. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990.

Race, W. H. "Aspects of Rhetoric and Form in Greek Hymns," GRBS 23 (1982) 5-14.

Spengel, Leonhard, ed. Rhetores Graeci . 3 vol. Leipzig. B. G. Teubner, 1856.

Volkmann, Richard. Die Rhetorik der Griechen und Ršmer in systematischer
†bersicht.. 2. Aufl. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1885.

WŸnsch, R. "Hymnus," PW 9,1 (1914) 140-183.

* Ziegler, K. "Hymnos," Der kleine Pauly 2. 1268-1271.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:Rhetoric and the New Testament

Forbes, Christopher. "Comparison, Self-Praise and Irony: Paul's Boasting
and the Conventions of Hellenistic Rhetoric," NTS 32 (1986) 1-30.

        I restrict this to titles that deal with hymnody in general;
monographs on specific hymns or New Testament passages are cited only if
valuable for some generic comments.

* Berger, Klaus. "¤ 69 Hymnus und Gebet," pp. 239-247 in _Formgeschichte
des Neuen Testaments_. Heidelberg: Quelle & Meyer, 1984.

* --------. "Hellenistische Gattungen im Neuen Testament," ANRW II.25.2.
1031-1432. "Hymnus und Gebet," pp. 1149-69, treats the hellenistic hymn.

Cullmann, Oscar. The Earliest Christian Confessions. London: Lutterworth,

* DeichgrŠber, Reinhard. Gotteshymnus und Christushymnus in der frŸhen
Christenheit. Untersuchungen zu Form, Sprache und Stil der frŸhchristlichen
Hymnen. SUNT 5. Gšttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1967.

Delling, Gerhard. Worship in the New testament. Philadelphia:
Westminster, 1962.

--------. "HUMNOS", HUMNEW, etc."," TDNT 8.489-501.

Dibelius, M. "Literatur zur Formgeschichte des Neuen Testaments au§erhalb
den Evangelien," TRu 3 (1931) 207-242.

Dunn, James D. G. Unity and Diversity in the New Testament. 2nd ed.
Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1990.

Foley, Edward. "The Question of Cultic Singing in the Christian World of
the First Century. Notre Dame. Master of Arts Thesis, 1980.

Fowl. Stephen E. The Story of Christ in the Ethics of Paul. JSNT SS 36.
Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990.

Gabathuler, H. J. Jesus Christus, Haupt der Kirche, Haupt der Welt. Der
Christus-Hymnus Colosser 1.15/20 in der theologischen Forschung der letzten
130 Jahre. ATANT 45. Zurich: Zwingli Verlag, 1965.

Hahn, Ferdinand. Worship of the Early Church. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1973.

Harding, Mark. "The Classical Rhetoric of Praise and the New Testament,"
The Reformed Theological Review 45 (1986) 73-82.

Hengel, Martin. "Hymns and Christology," Studia Biblica 1978. JSNTSS 3.
Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1980; rep.: Jesus and Paul. Tr. John Bowden.
Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983. German original, "Hymnus und Christologie,"
Wort in der Zeit. Festgabe fŸr Karl Heinrich Rengstorf zum 75. Geburtstag.
Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1980.

Hunter, A. M. Paul and His Predecessors. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Westminster,
1961 (=1940).

Kim, Seyoon. The Origin of Paul's Gospel. TŸbingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1981.

Klinzing, Georg. Die Umdeutung des Kultus in der Qumrangemeinde und im
Neuen Testament. SUNT 7. Gšttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1971.

Kramer, Werner. Christ, Lord, Son of God. Naperville: Alec R. Allenson, 1966.

* Kroll,. Joseph. Die christliche Hymnodik bis zu Klemens von Alexandria.
Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1968 (=1921-1922).

--------. "Die Hymnendichtung des frŸhen Christentums (ausserhalb den
Evangelien)," _Die Antike_ 2 (1926) 258-281.

* Lattke, M. Hymnische Materialien zu einer Geschichte der antiken
Hymnologie. NT und Orbis Antiquus 19. Freibourg: UniversitŠtsverlag;
Gšttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1991.

* Martin, Ralph. "Aspects of Worship in the New Testament," Vox Evangelica
2 (1963) 6-32.

--------. Carmen Christi. Philippians ii.5-11 in recent Interpretation and
in the Setting of Early Christian Worship. SNTSMS 4. Cambridge: University
Press, 1967.

--------."Some Reflections on New Testament Hymns," Christ the Lord. Ed.
Harold H. Rowden. Leicester: Inter Varsity Press, 1982.

--------. Worship in the Early Church. Westwood: Fleming H. Revell, 1964.

Moule, C. F. D. Worship in the New Testament. Richmond: John Knox, 1961.

Neufeld, Vernon H. The Earliest Christian Confessions. Grand Rapids:
Eerdmans, 1963.

* Norden, Eduard. Agnostos Theos. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1913. [reprinted
after 1960].

Oesterley, W. O. E. The Jewish Background of the Christian Liturgy. Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1925.

* Quasten, Johannes. Music & Worship in Pagan and Christian Antiquity. NPM
Studies in Church Music and Liturgy. Washing;ton. D.C.: National
Association of Pastoral Musicians, 1983.

Sanders, Jack T. The New Testament Christological Hymns: Their Historical
Religious Background. SNTSMS 15. Cambridge: At the University Press, 1971.

Schattenmann, Johannes. Studien zum neutestamentlichen Prosahymnus. Munich:
C. H. Beck, 1965.

* Schille, Gottfried. FrŸhchristliche Hymnen. 2. Aufl. Berlin: Evangelische
Verlagsanstalt, 1965.

Schweizer, Eduard. "Worship in the New Testament," Reformed and
Presbyterian World 24 (1957) 196-205.

Smith, W. S. Musical Aspects of the New Testament. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij W.
Ten Have N.V., 1962.

* Thraede, Klaus. "Hymnus I," RAC . Lf. 126 (1993) col. 916-946.
Treu, Kurt. "Ein altkirchlicher Christushymnus (P. Berol. 16 389)," NovT 19
(1977) 142-149.

* Wengst, Klaus. Christologische Formeln und Lieder des Urchristentums.
GŸtersloh: Gerd Mohn, 1973.

Edgar Krentz, New Testament
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Tel.: 312-256-0752; (H) 312-947-8105

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:31 EDT