The Oxyrhynchus Hymn

"In 1896, in a garbage dump in the ancient town of Oxyrhynchus near Cairo, two archeologists made an amazing discovery!

Preserved for thousands of years were fragments from nearly every book from the Hebrew and Christian Bible.

On the back of one of the papyri, written in Greek with both lyrics and music notations, is thought to be the oldest known Christian hymn—from around the 3rd Century AD—translated:

". . .let the luminous stars not shine, let the winds and all the noisy rivers die down. And as we hymn the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Let all the powers add, 'Amen. Amen.' Empire, praise always, and glory to God, the sole giver of good things. 'Amen. Amen.' "

Engage with the Bible—in the many surprising layers of this Book of Books!"

Share

More Book Minute Features

June 10, 2019

Shavout

Shavout—the Feast of Weeks, is celebrated seven weeks after Passover—commemorating the first fruits of the harvest, associated with the giving of the...
June 03, 2019

Going Into D-Day With the Bible

In the hours before the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944—D-Day—troops were preparing to land on a 50-mile stretch of French coastline. T...
May 27, 2019

The Latin Vulgate

In the late fourth century, Jerome was commissioned by Pope Damasus to revise the Gospels in order to correct errors of the old Latin translation. Jer...