Publication Date

2015

Abstract

This article builds on recent criticism of form-critical approaches to so-called hymnic material in Paul’s letters, in an effort to reset the default interpretive stance with respect to Phil. 2.6-11 and Col. 1.15-20. Beginning with a review and critique of previous form-critical criteria, the authors then survey ancient definitions of ὕμνος to demonstrate that the oft posited ‘Christ-hymns’ do not fulfill these definitions. In an effort to broaden out the discussion, the reception of these passages in early Christian writings is surveyed, showing that it provides no positive support for identifying these passages as ‘hymns’. The authors conclude that, given the lack of constructive evidence, scholars should reconsider the enduring and widespread operative assumption that these passages are hymns.

School/Institute

Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

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