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The Father, Son, and Spirit Taught in Ante-Nicene Hymns

I presented this paper at the Evangelical Theological Society on November 15, 2023. Please email me if you would like the published form of this paper (when it is available).

After the Council of Nicaea, the Arian controversy was far from over, and the battle raged on partly through the composition and dissemination of church songs. Portions of Arius’s songbook, the Thalia, are preserved in the polemical writings of Athanasius.[1] On the other hand, the Nicaean position was also promulgated by means of songs. In no place is this more evident than in the hymns of Ambrose.[2] The use of music to promote doctrine—whether it be orthodox or heterodox—is in keeping with Paul’s command to use psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to teach and admonish.[3]As will be demonstrated in this paper, Christians before Nicaea also sang about the Father, Son, and Spirit. Basil of Caesarea gives testimony of this, saying that the Christians used a very “ancient formula” when they “praise Father, Son, and God’s Holy Spirit.”[4] In this paper, I will argue that the prevalence of the triadic formula in second and third-century apocryphal and pseudepigraphic didactic hymns supports Basil’s claim and that teaching the Father, Son, and Spirit with hymns is germane to Christianity. The hymns presented in this paper have been limited to those that contain the triadic formula—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Hermut Löhr’s chapter titled, “What Can We Know about the Beginnings of Christian Hymnody?” provides an important preliminary consideration. He makes a distinction between the disciplines of hymnody and hymnography, “hymnography as a phenomenon of literary production and hymnody as a religious practice.”[5] Stated in simple terms: hymnography is concerned with the writing of hymns or hymnic material, while hymnody is concerned with the use of hymns in the church. Furthermore, as Löhr has noted, “the category hymn may be used for poetry, but also for exalted prose.”[6] In other words, there may not be evidence that an ancient passage that scholars have labeled as a hymn or have recognized as having hymnic qualities was ever used in the synaxis or even sung. The hymns I will examine in this paper contain evidence that suggests these hymns were written as songs. To what extent they were used in their perspective communities, we cannot be sure.

Before I examine these apocryphal and pseudepigraphic hymns, let us first hear from four orthodox Fathers of the second and third centuries who promoted the use of music for teaching and admonishing. Tertullian used the Psalms of David to counter the psalms written by Valentinus. Tertullian states, “[we have] the support of the Psalms, not indeed those of that apostate and heretic and Platonic Valentinus, but of the most holy and canonical prophet David. He, in our Church, sings of Christ, because by him Christ sang of himself.”[7] The only extant psalm from Valentinus’s psalm book is preserved in the writings of Hippolytus. This psalm, “Summer Harvest,” also instructs about the Father, Son, and Spirit but with theology that accords with Valentinian mythology and cosmology.[8]

Another third-century Christian writer, Origen of Alexandria, wants his community to understand the teachings of Scripture while singing. Citing Paul, he states, “For neither can our understanding pray unless the Spirit prays first . . . neither can it sing psalms with rhythm and melody, in time and harmony, and praise the Father in Christ, unless the Spirit who searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God, first praises and hymns him whose depths he hath searched.”[9] Origen is saying that understanding songs about the Father and Son is made possible by the Spirit. In another place, Origen writes against the Greek philosopher Celsus who suggested that the Greek songs to the gods, Helios and Athena, could also be used for Christian worship.[10]

Clement of Alexandria makes an explicit connection between teaching and music in the context of his quotation of the Messianic Psalm 22 used by the writer of Hebrews in which Christ sings of the Father in the congregation. Clement implores Christ: “Sing praises and declare unto me God Thy Father. . . Thy song shall instruct me.”[11] Clement also provides a hymn to Christ the Educator that alludes to the Father, Son, and Spirit.

Hippolytus of Rome offers a unique perspective on the didactic nature of music’s content and literary form.[12] He calls Israel’s ancient songbook, the Psalms, “the second book of doctrine” after the Law of Moses, and he tells us that “the Hebrews also divided the Psalter into five books, so that it might be another Pentateuch.”[13] Hippolytus even suggested that the construction of David’s stringed instrument provided a teaching lesson: “And the sound does not come from the lower parts, as is the case with the lute and certain other instruments, but from the upper” which helps Christians in “seeking things above.”[14]Hippolytus uses the triadic formula when he inquires why there are 150 psalms: “Thus, then, it was also fitting that the hymns to God . . . should contain not simply one set of fifty, but three [sets of 50], for the name of Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit.”[15]

With an overview of how these second and third-century orthodox Christians saw music as a means of teaching the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, let us look now at apocryphal and pseudepigraphic didactic hymns that contain the triadic formula. Unfortunately, there are very few extant hymns from orthodox sources, and there are more than 300 hymns from heterodox groups. The hymns from these other communities who began in Christianity but later developed their own doctrines that did not accord with Apostolic teachings, provide insight into early Christian hymnody.

The Odes of Solomon

The Odes of Solomon consist of forty-two (forty-one are extant) pseudepigraphic, psalm-like poems attributed to King Solomon that may have been in circulation as early as the beginning of the second century but no later than the early third century.[16] Although authorship is unknown, Michael Lattke has demonstrated that the unity of this collection is “almost universally accepted” and “the poems originated in one religious community.”[17] Scholars have noted Jewish and gnostic elements within this early Christian songbook, but this is no surprise given the Jewish origins of Christianity and the Christian origins of those communities and teachings that are labeled as “gnostic.” Each of the forty-one songs ends with “Hallelujah,” a liturgical response that has its roots in Judaism.

The triadic formula is found in Ode 23 which employs the imagery of a letter that has been signed:[18]

And the name of the Father was upon it
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
to reign as king for ever and ever. 
Hallelujah (Odes of Sol. 23.21-22).[19]

The reference to “the name” and the order of the Three Persons is reminiscent of the triadic formula in Matthew 28. Leslie Baynes has suggested that the letter is a metaphor for Christ, the Messiah.[20] In this song, the Father, Son, and Spirit sign the Letter to show that they are in perfect agreement with the message of the Letter (verse 21), and the ones singing the ode can rest assured that this agreement will last for eternity just as the reign of the Lord which is forever and ever (verse 22). This central metaphor, a letter, is by nature didactic. In this song, as is the case for most epistles, the Letter is sent forth so that the reader might increase in understanding. The contents of the epistle are not meant to be concealed forever; all is revealed when the document arrives in the hands of the intended recipient (verse 10). It states, that “The letter was also a decree” (verse 17), and that “those who saw the letter followed it, that they might perceive where it would settle and who would read it and who would hear it” (verse 10). This letter would be read and heard by a broad audience; it is not a secret message containing gnosis.

Lattke identifies the first three verses of Ode 23 as a didactic introduction; notice the didactic language of “put on” and “receive.”[21]

Joy belongs to the saints,
     and who will put it on
     except they alone?
Grace belongs to the elect,
     and who will receive it
     except those who trust in it from the beginning?
Love belongs to the elect,
     and who will put it on
     except those who gained it from the beginning? (Odes of Sol. 23.1-3)

The recipients of the letter are the “saints” or the “elect” who are learning to “receive” and “put on” “joy,” “grace,” and “love” (verses 1-3). The saints have received Christ, a Letter, and the letter has been signed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

The Oxyrhynchus Hymn

The date for the papyrus found at Oxyrhynchus, Egypt that contains a Christian hymn is widely accepted as late third century which means the hymn itself was likely composed at an earlier date. Of all the hymns examined in this paper, the Oxyrhynchus hymn is unique because it is the only one accompanied by music notation. This Greek form of notation, preserved largely in the surviving writings of Alypius of Alexandria, a late-Roman musician from the fourth century, provides the intervals for the singer; the rhythm of the hymn follows the natural, prosodic rhythm and meter of the spoken words. 

As I read this fragmented hymn, the long pauses represent portions that cannot be translated due to damage to the papyrus: 

. . . together all the eminent ones of God. . .
. . . night] nor day (?) Let them be silent. Let the luminous stars not [. . .],
. . . [Let the rushings of winds, the sources] of all surging rivers [cease]. While we hymn
Father and Son and Holy Spirit, let all the powers answer, “Amen, amen, Strength, praise,
[and glory forever to God], the sole giver of all good things. Amen, amen.”[22]

The call for a “cosmic stillness” across the earth (lines 1-3) is a feature found in both Jewish and Greek religious music.[23] Why must the inanimate creation be silent and still? So that the song of the saints who hymn the Father, Son, and Spirit can be heard, and in this song, the Christians are hymning all Three Persons. 

But the song to the Three Persons does not conclude with the song of the saints; the angels answer the chorus. Cosgrove argues that the “powers” (δυνάμεις) are the angels,[24] and the reason why the writer did not use some form of ἄγγελος, Cosgrove believes, is for reasons of poetic meter: “The word δυνάμεις is a perfect half of an anapestic metron.”[25] Although the angels’ offering of praise to God is rooted in the Psalms (103:20-21; 148:2), Isaiah 6, and Revelation, the concept of humans carrying out liturgical acts in conjunction with the angels seems to have originated with Clement of Alexandria (see the Strom. 7 and Prot. 12). Origen also mentions the saints’ and angels’ song in a passage this paper has already explored. In Against Celsus, he states, “We sing praise to God and His only-begotten Son, as also do the sun, moon, and stars, and all the heavenly host. For all these form a divine choir.”[26] The response of the angels to the song of the saints, “Amen, amen, Strength, praise, and glory forever to God,” is reminiscent of the song of the Cherubim in John’s Revelation: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen” (7:11-12).

The “Hymn of Jesus” in the Acts of John

The Acts of John is an apocryphal document written in Greek that claims to provide an account of the deeds of John in western Asia Minor. While some have advocated for a later date of the early third century, Pieter Lalleman argues that the final form of the Acts of John was completed by the middle of the second century.[27] In what has been called the “Hymn of Jesus” or the “Hymn of the Dance,” the author states that the occasion of this hymn is before Jesus was arrested by the Jews.[28] This presumably takes place somewhere between Jerusalem and the garden of Gethsemane. An expanded version of the triadic formula begins the hymn using λόγος for the Son as is common in the Johannine corpus: 

Glory be to you, Father!
Glory be to you, Word! 
Glory be to you, Grace!
Glory be to you, Spirit! 
Glory be to you, Holy One! 
Glory be to the glory!
     Amen (94.8–14).[29]

Since John’s Gospel does not record that Jesus sang a hymn in the upper room before departing to the Mount of Olives (see Matthew 26), the “Hymn of Jesus” could be a version of the Johannine community’s tradition of that upper room hymn. On the other hand, since the upper room hymn was likely a Hallel psalm (Psalms 113–118) which was traditionally used with the Passover meal, it is possible that the “Hymn of Jesus” was an additional song that was not recorded in Scripture. It is also possible that the pseudonymous author fabricated the hymn to express perhaps a received tradition that Christ often sang with his disciples.

The Acts of John contain a large amount of Valentinian theology; thus, it was condemned by Eusebius, Augustine, and the Second Council of Nicaea (A.D. 787). Despite this condemnation, the Acts of John provides a window into early Christian communal singing, specifically the use of the “Amen” which occurs twenty-nine times. In the “Hymn of Jesus,” the Lord asks his disciples to gather around him forming a circle, and to answer “Amen” to his teachings in musical form. In early Christianity, the “Amen” was said often at the conclusion of prayers; the custom of saying “Amen” after a song is rooted in the five books of the Psalms, 1 Corinthians 14, and Revelation 5.[30]The call-and-answer pattern with the “Amen” is a distinguishing feature of the “Hymn of Jesus.” This repetition of the “Amen” is a didactic feature used by the pseudonymous author to create multiple occasions for the disciples to say “may it be so” to the teachings of their Lord.

The final doxology of the “Hymn of Jesus” has a more concise statement of the triadic formula. If Lalleman’s date is correct, this final doxology is a mid-second-century occurrence of the Lesser Doxology or the “Gloria Patri” which gives equal glory to each of the Three Persons.

Glory be to you, Father; 
Glory be to you, Word; 
Glory be to you, Holy Spirit!
     Amen (96.39­–41).[31]

The “Hymn of the Bride” in the Acts of Thomas

The Acts of Thomas (not to be confused with the gnostic Gospel of Thomas discovered at Nag Hammadi in 1945) is an apocryphal document that gives an account of the missionary journey to India of the Apostle Thomas as well as his martyrdom. The Syriac version which contains the hymn that will be examined in this paper is dated around the beginning of the third century in the Eastern Church.[32] The Acts of Thomas is a rich text for early liturgical studies as it contains two hymns as well as accounts of baptism and the Eucharist. The second hymn, which has been called the “Hymn of the Pearl,” is more widely known. This paper will focus on the first hymn, a 54-line metrical song that has been called the “Hymn of the Bride.” It contains the triadic formula in the final lines (50-54): 

And [they] have drunk of the life
which makes those who drink of it long and thirst (for more);
and have glorified the Father, the Lord of all,
and the only-(begotten) Son, who is of Him,
and have praised the Spirit, His Wisdom.[33]

In the context of the Acts of Thomas, this song is being sung at a Christian marriage, but the theme of this hymn may be an indication of its use within the synaxis. The metaphor of the bride is a picture of the Church which is evident in the opening line: “My church is the daughter of light” (line 1). Using bridal imagery, the hymn speaks of the Church as the dwelling place of truth. It states, “within, truth dwells in humility. Her gates are adorned with truth” (lines 28-29). This mixing of the church and truth with building imagery is reminiscent of Pauline language when he calls the “Church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). Like Paul, this hymn also refers to God as “living” Father (line 45). This emphasis on truth is certainly a didactic quality, especially since the King “feeds those who dwell with him beneath” His truth (lines 8–9).

In this hymn, the bride is accompanied by a wedding party (lines 30-34) who are wearing shining garments (line 43) as they await the Bridegroom who has a “kingdom which shall never pass away” (lines 37-38). This passage mirrors the metaphors used in the Apostle John’s Revelation. John tells of the bride who will be clothed in “bright and pure” linen and who is ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:6-9). The thirst imagery in association with the water of life and the bride (line 51) is also used by John: “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Rev. 22:17).

The Manichaean Psalm-book

The Manichaean Psalm-book is a collection of psalms from the community that adhered to the teachings of the prophet Mani (c.216–277), who was born in southern Babylonia (now in Iraq) and became a missionary to India. Mani mixed elements of Christianity with Zoroastrian and Buddhist teachings.[34] The Manichaean Psalm-book is preserved in an early fourth-century Coptic papyrus, but its original form would have been earlier and the songs themselves would have been even earlier. The triadic formula is overwhelmingly present throughout the Manichaean Psalm-book. Here is one such instance: 

“Victory to thee and glory, O Living Father, 
and to Jesus Christ thy son, and to thy Holy Spirit” (Mani. Ps. 82.30–31).[35] 

In a psalm that C. R. C. Allberry has titled “Psalm to the Trinity,” the Three Persons make music together:

(25) The Father rejoices always, the Son also makes music
     to the Father, but his is wisdom entire,
     even the Holy Spirit.

As the Father, Son, and Spirit make music in perfect harmony, they also teach important virtues for the soul and body. The writer continues using the Three Persons:

(28) The Love may we get for ourselves towards the Father, the faith which
     is in us towards the Son, the fear of our heart
     towards the holy Spirit.

(31) The seal of the mouth for the sign of the Father, the peace
     of the hands for the sign of the Son, the purity of virginity
     for the sign of the Holy Spirit. (Mani. Ps. 115.25–33)

In this Manichaean psalm, the Three Persons are more than just a doctrinal position; they are the source of virtuous teaching, learning, and doing.

The Psalms of Heracleides are included as part of the Manichaean Psalm-book. One of these psalms reveals something about the relationship of the Three persons to the Church:

The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit—this is the perfect
     Church. (Mani. Ps. 190.25–26)

In the triadic formula of this song, the presence of the Three Persons is necessary for a whole and complete church (ⲧⲉⲕⲕⲗⲏⲥⲓⲁⲉⲧϫⲏⲕ). Elsewhere in the Psalms of Heracleides, the writer has a concept of the ekklesia that is rooted in the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. The author likens the ekklesia to a bridegroom (193.25; Rev. 18:23; 19:7) and calls Peter the foundation of the ekklesia (194.7; Mat. 16:18). The community of the ekklesia holds a special place in this psalter; a unifying literary device is the inclusion of members of the community in the final doxology of each of the 289 psalms. For instance, psalm 190 mentions Mary and Theona. Allberry suggests that these could be martyred saints.[36] The Manichaean psalm-writers hold the saints of the ekklesia in high regard, but apart from the Three Persons, the church is lacking and incomplete.

Elsewhere in the psalm of Heracleides, the Amen is called the “Psalmist of the Sky.” God speaks forth revelation in the form of music while the saints make music. This didactic theme of making revelation was presented in another occurrence of the Three Persons at the beginning of this psalm:

Amen, the Father, Amen, the Son: 
     let us answer to the Amen. 
Amen, Amen, Amen, the Holy Spirit, that makes revelation:
     let us answer to the Amen. (Mani. Ps. 189.30–31; 190.1–2)


In the introduction to this paper, I provided the testimony of four orthodox fathers whose writings span the end of the second century to the middle of the third century, from Rome to North Africa. Tertullian and Origen used the Psalms of David to combat false teachings; Clement asked Christ to instruct him with song and provided a hymn of tribute to the Educator; Hippolytus and Origen used the triadic formula in their teachings on the didactic nature of music. To further demonstrate that hymning the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was, as Basil said, “an ancient” practice, I have examined hymns from apocryphal and pseudonymous sources of the second and third centuries that contain the triadic formula. This examination has demonstrated that even among groups who began in Christianity and slowly developed their own views that would not accord with the Apostles’ doctrines, teaching the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with hymns is germane to Christianity. Across three continents, from Rome to North Africa and all the way to India, in Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac, early Christians raised their voices to sing: 

Glory be to you, Father; 
Glory be to you, Word; 
Glory be to you, Holy Spirit!

[1] Rowan Williams, Arius: Heresy and Tradition, Revised edition (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), 62–66, 98–116; R. P. C. Hanson, The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God: The Arian Controversy, 318-381 (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005).

[2] Many pseudepigraphic hymns were attributed to Ambrose; scholars generally agree that four hymns were written by Ambrose himself. For recent translations of these hymns, see Boniface Ramsey, Ambrose (London: Routledge, 1997).

[3] Matthew E. Gordley, Teaching through Song in Antiquity: Didactic Hymnody among Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011).

[4] Of the Holy Spirit, 29. Basil of Caesarea, “De Spiritu Sancto,” in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, trans. Blomfield Jackson, vol. 8 (Buffalo: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895), 46.

[5] Hermut Löhr, “What Can We Know about the Beginnings of Christian Hymnody,” in Literature or Liturgy? Early Christian Hymns and Prayers in Their Literary and Liturgical Context in Antiquity, ed. Clemens Leonhard and Hermut Löhr (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014), 171.

[6] Löhr, “Beginnings of Christian Hymnody,” 163.

[7] De Carne Christi, 17. Geoffrey S. Smith, Valentinian Christianity: Texts and Translations (Oakland: University of California Press, 2020), 10; Tertullian, “De Carne Christi,” in Tertullian’s Treatise on the Incarnation: The Text Edited with an Introduction, Translation and Commentary, ed. Ernest Evans (London: SPCK, 1956), 69.

[8] Einar Thomassen, The Spiritual Seed: The Church of the “Valentinians” (Leiden: Brill, 2006), 481.

[9] Origen, “On Prayer,” in Origen’s Treatise on Prayer: Translation and Notes with an Account of the Practice and Doctrine of Prayer from New Testament Times to Origen, trans. Eric George Jay (London: SPCK Publishing, 1954), 86.

[10] Contra Celsum 8.67. Henry Chadwick, trans., Origen: Contra Celsum (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953), 503; Miroslav Marcovich, Origenes: Contra Celsum, Libri VIII (Leiden: Brill, 2001), 583.

[11] Protrepticus 11. Clement of Alexandria, “Protrepticus,” in The Exhortation to the Greeks, The Rich Man’s Salvation, To the Newly Baptized, trans. G. W. Butterworth (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1919), 243.

[12] Authorship of the catena of commentary fragments on the Psalms has been questioned. Some of these fragments are more likely written by Origen or Eusebius. For more, see Alice Whealey, “Prologues on the Psalms: Origen, Hippolytus, Eusebius,” Revue Bénédictine 106, no. 3–4 (1996): 234–45. 

[13] Hippolytus of Rome, “Fragments from the Scriptural Commentaries of Hippolytus,” in Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, trans. Stewart D.F. Salmond (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1919), 199, 201.

[14] Hippolytus of Rome, “Fragments,” 200.

[15] Hippolytus of Rome, “Fragments,” 199.

[16] Michael Lattke, Odes of Solomon: A Commentary, ed. Harold W. Attridge, trans. Marianne Ehrhardt (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009), 6–10.

[17] Lattke, Odes of Solomon: A Commentary, 5.

[18] The Father, Son, and Spirit also occur in Ode 19, but as Lattke has observed, “in a less formulaic expression.” The ode states: “A cup of milk was offered to me and I drank it in the sweetness of the Lord’s kindness. The Son is the cup, and he who was milked, the Father, and [the one] who milked him, the Spirit of holiness.” Lattke, Odes of Solomon: A Commentary, 339.

[19] Lattke, Odes of Solomon: A Commentary, 325.

[20] J. Rendel Harris, The Odes and Psalms of Solomon, Now First Published from the Syriac Version (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1909), 63; Baynes, Leslie, “Christ as Text: Odes of Solomon 23 and the Letter Shot from Heaven.” Biblical Research 47 (2022): 63–72.

[21] Lattke, Odes of Solomon: A Commentary, 325.

[22] Charles H. Cosgrove, An Ancient Christian Hymn with Music Notation, Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1786: Text and Commentary (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011).

[23] Cosgrove, Papyrus Oxyrhynchus, 38–44.

[24] Cosgrove, Papyrus Oxyrhynchus, 50.

[25] Cosgrove, Papyrus Oxyrhynchus, 50.

[26] Chadwick, Origen: Contra Celsum, 503; Marcovich, Origenes: Contra Celsum, Libri VIII, 583.

[27] Pieter J. Lalleman, The Acts of John: A Two-Stage Initiation into Johannine Gnosticism (Leuven, Belgium: Peeters, 1998), 270.

[28] According to Hendrik F. Stander, dances were performed by early Christians at “wedding ceremonies, at church festivals, and at the graves of martyrs,” but dancing was not “an integral part of the liturgical worship services of the ‘orthodox’ church.” “Dance,” in Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, ed. Everett Ferguson (London: Routledge, 1999), 317.

[29] I am referencing the English translation and the Greek text in Barbara Ellen Bowe’s “Dancing into the Divine: The Hymn of the Dance in the Acts of John,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 7, no. 1 (1999): 84.

[30] Everett Ferguson, “Amen,” in Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, ed. Everett Ferguson (London: Routledge, 1999), 44–45.

[31] Bowe, “Dancing into the Divine,” 86.

[32] A. F. J. Klijn, The Acts of Thomas: Introduction, Text, and Commentary (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 4–15.

[33] Klijn, The Acts of Thomas: Introduction, Text, and Commentary, 28.

[34] Paul Mirecki, “Manichaean Literature,” in The Gnostic Bible: Gnostic Texts of Mystical Wisdom from the Ancient and Medieval World, ed. Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer (Boston: Shambhala, 2011), 567–654.

[35] C. R. C. Allberry, A Manichaean Psalm-Book: Part 2 (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1938), 82. Additional occurrences of the triadic formula can be found on pages 14, 39, 49, 57, 62, 75, 82, 113, 115, 116, and 164. In Allberry’s Coptic/English copy, not all the psalms are numbered. Because Allberry preserves the page numbers of the papyrus, my numbering system reflects the page number and the line of poetry. For more on the Manichaean Psalm-book, see Torgny Säve-Söderbergh, Studies in the Coptic Manichaean Psalm-Book: Prosody and Mandaean Parallels(Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells, 1949).

[36] Allberry, A Manichaean Psalm-Book: Part 2, xx. “Martyrs” are mentioned at the conclusion of two psalms (157.13; 173.12). 

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bio picture for Daniel Webster A Thing Worth Doing ATWD blog - worship, ministry, and culture

Daniel Aaron Webster is a minister, writer, and teacher. His primary research interest is Early Christian music, especially the musical thought of Clement of Alexandria.

Daniel serves at Welch College as Director of Enrollment & Marketing and as Adjunct Instructor of Music & Theology. He also serves as the Associate Pastor for Music & Worship at Immanuel Church in Gallatin, TN.

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