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The World's Oldest ChurchBible, Art, and Ritual at Dura-Europos, Syria$
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Michael Peppard

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300213997

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300213997.001.0001

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Paradise Restored

Paradise Restored

Chapter:
(p.202) Conclusion: Paradise Restored
Source:
The World's Oldest Church
Author(s):

Michael Peppard

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300213997.003.0007

The conclusion takes up two small fragments not yet analyzed in the book: scenes of paradise and Adam and Eve. Focusing on how the primordial couple was understood in early Syrian Christianity enables a recapitulation of some of the themes of the book, while also showcasing the common initiatory ideas of new creation and paradise restored. The book then ends with a reflective reading of one of the earliest Christian collections of “hymns,” the Odes of Solomon, widely considered to be from second- or third-century Syria. We cannot know for sure exactly what words were on the minds and lips of initiates at Dura-Europos, but many of these odes echo the spiritual themes, biblical narratives, and notions of salvation that were precisely emphasized in this room. Dwelling on representative motifs from these Odes offers a fitting end to this historical reconstruction of the Christian community at Dura-Europos.

Keywords:   Adam and Eve, Eden, Odes of Solomon, Paradise

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