This title explores the implications of the Descent of Christ in the twenty-third Ode in regards to astrology and Gnostic thought and supports the thesis of the author’s earlier work that the Odes emerged from a Judaeo-Christian, Mesopotamian setting.
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In The Descent of Christ in the Odes of Solomon Professor Newbold explores the implications of the Descent of Christ in the twenty-third Ode in regards to astrology and Gnostic thought. Fittingly the work begins with a review of the author’s conception of Gnostic ideology. Next, Newbold offers a translation of the twenty-third Ode with textual notes and a commentary. Though reliant largely on secondary source evidence for his comparisons of the Odes with Gnostic philosophy, Newbold offers provocative arguments for a correlation between the two. Likewise, a survey of the astronomical dating systems of the age is provided to compensate for the ambiguity surrounding the timing of the astronomical events referred to in the Odes. In the end, this essay supports the thesis of the author’s earlier work, Bardaisan and the Odes of Solomon, that the Odes emerged from a Judaeo-Christian, Mesopotamian setting.
William Romaine Newbold (1865-1926) was a philosopher and an antiquarian. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he returned there as a Lecturer in Latin and was later promoted to Assistant Professor of Philosophy and eventually Dean of the Graduate School and later Adam Seybert Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy. His research included several ambitious archaeological and literary analyses including the presumed discovery of the tombs of St. Paul and St. Peter.