“The Milk of the Two Breasts of the Father” : Motherhood & Salvation in the Odes of Solomon
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Despite all of the arguments scholars have about the origins of the Odes of Solomon, this text is clearly linked to Christian values and theologies because of its focus on New Testament Biblical characters like Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Virgin Mary. This answers nothing about the Odes original geographic location, language of composition, or its authorship, but answering those questions requires historical evidence that simply does not exist. Instead, this paper seeks to show there is demonstrable evidence throughout Christian literature that echoes themes and images in the Odes of Solomon. This work follows in the line of other scholars who have reached out for connections between the Odes of Solomon and other texts like the Gospel of John or known Gnostic writings. Studying the images of motherhood in the Odes of Solomon and comparing them to similar images in early Christian reveals a new understanding of salvation through motherhood. This vision of salvation takes inspiration from the relationship of a mother to her child and finds expression in explicit images of breastfeeding and the Immaculate Conception. Reading the Odes from this perspective suggests an intimate connection between gender and salvation.