Why is the Song of Solomon in the Bible, anyway?

Why is the Song of Solomon in the Bible, anyway?


The Song of Solomon gets a lot of "bad press." Are there spiritual lessons to be found in this book?


The Song of Solomon or Song of Songs has probably roused more confusion than any other book in the Hebrew Bible, similar to the New Testament’s complex Book of Revelation. Roland K. Harrison of the University of Toronto says the Song provides “almost unlimited ground for speculation.” The Bible’s usual piety, preachments and prayers are totally absent, nor is God even mentioned (except for 8:6 in some translations). Yet readings from the Song are chosen for Judaism’s Passover liturgy and Catholicism’s feast of Mary Magdalene.

Why was this book chosen for the Bible in the first place? Did King Solomon write it? Is it about him? And, most important, is this a book of erotic poetry, as it appears on the surface, or something totally different, an unusual expression of the spiritual love bond between God and believers?

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Got news? Prayers and poetry in the Ukraine standoff

The daily march of the headlines from Kiev continues. The other day, I offered up a post linked to an amazing Associated Press photo of a quarter of Orthodox Christians, including at least one priest and one monk, who put themselves in the line of fire in between a wall of riot police and the brick-tossing demonstrators. Click here to catch up on that.

I want to return to that subject for a moment (also watch for an upcoming Crossroads podcast with George Conger on Ukraine coverage), because several Orthodox readers of this site have sent me links to additional information about what is happening with those priests and monks. It appears that their public witness for peace is continuing?

As George has been stressing in his posts, it’s important to realize that — in part due to the complexities of post-Soviet life in this region — there are two major Eastern Orthodox bodies and hierarchies in Ukraine, one aligned with Russia and the other is an autonomous Ukrainian church.

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Was Seamus Heaney a Catholic poet?

Religion’s never mentioned here,’ of course.‘You know them by their eyes,’ and hold your tongue. ‘One side’s as bad as the other,’ never worse. Christ, it’s near time that some small leak was sprung In the great dykes the Dutchman made To dam the dangerous tide that followed Seamus. Yet for all this art and sedentary trade I am incapable.

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