Psalmic Odes From The Times Of Christ's Apostles

Who could have dreamed that, in the third millennium, beautiful love songs of followers of Jesus' Way, in the period before all the first twelve apostles had died, would have been re-discovered, pored over by scholars, honed in the devotions of Indian monastics,  and translated from the original Syriac into uplifting English  - though it is a pity that archaic  rather than modern English is used?

These very early psalms were written in Syriac, a close cousin of the Aramaic which Jesus spoke, in the first two centuries CE.  Until now, only the hymns of St. Ephrem were a parallel.  They were written in the second century and re-discovered in 1909.  These are conjectures, but most scholars who have studied them believe these conjectures to be true.

Abbot Francis Acharya, a pioneer of modern Christian monasticism in India made them the heart of his devotions.  They were discovered in his papers and have now been re-visited and published. Bernard Kilroy, DTh, a distinguished academic who has been a monastic retreat animator translated them.  Bernard is a member of Christians Aware, who recently invited me, along with Ian Bradley,  to speak at their Holy Island retreat.

This book also includes a few ravishing illustrations, such as a crown in the form of a blossoming branch of a tree:

Thou art a bridal crown on my head, Lord,

And I shall never be without it.

Plaited for me is the crown of truth.

And it caused Thy branches to blossom in me.

For it is not like a parched crown that blossoms no more.

Thou livest upon my head.

And has blossomed upon me.

Good and perfect are Thy fruits:

They are full of Thy salvation.


You may order copies on-line at £10.95 plus £2.95 post = £13.90 per copy or from  Bernard Kilroy, 10 Hunts Common, Hartley Wintney, Hants RG27 8NT. 

Posted at 10:04am on 14th July 2023
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