Edsall, B. & Strawbridge, J. (2015). The songs we used to sing? Hymn 'traditions' and reception in Pauline Letters. Journal for the Study of the New Testament,37(3), 290-311. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/0142064X14567054
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.
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