The Didache.

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
John2
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Re: The Didache.

Post by John2 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:07 pm

Joseph mentions some parallels between the DSS and Christianity (including "the Way") and sums them up by quoting Fitzmyer: "Many of these parallels now seem more like 'parallelomania.' Nonetheless, 'It is widely admitted that some influence was exerted by the Qumran Essenes and the early Church ... the Qumran texts provide at least an intelligible Palestinian matrix for many of the practices and tenets of the early Church.'"

https://books.google.com/books?id=eskHk ... ts&f=false
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Didache.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:15 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Ben C. Smith wrote: I can say that I am quite open to what we find in the Qumran scrolls having a lot to do with how Christianity started. I may simply require more education on the topic than I currently possess.
I'm not sure if you're reference there to 'the topic' is to the Qumran scrolls (I suspect it isn't; I get the impression it is to wider discussion you've been having with John2) but, to me, your reference to "what we find in the Qumran scrolls having a lot to do with how Christianity started" raises the issue that we (the world) does not have a good idea of what is in the entire corpus of the Qumran scrolls b/c they have, to date, been studied in a 'limited way'.
I think all, or at any rate most, of the scrolls have now been published, but I also think that truly absorbing the contents of such a find may require some time.
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Re: The Didache.

Post by DCHindley » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:57 am

John2 wrote:Joseph mentions some parallels between the DSS and Christianity (including "the Way") and sums them up by quoting Fitzmyer: "Many of these parallels now seem more like 'parallelomania.' Nonetheless, 'It is widely admitted that some influence was exerted by the Qumran Essenes and the early Church ... the Qumran texts provide at least an intelligible Palestinian matrix for many of the practices and tenets of the early Church.'"

https://books.google.com/books?id=eskHk ... ts&f=false
Be careful to note the dismissive language but he is right that the DSS (which I am far from equating with Essene products as the author did here as if the hypotheses is 100% fact) do indicate that in some quarters ideas and terminology common to the DSS and the NT books were in circulation in the culture of Judaea. I mean, there is no reason that the direction of influence between these groups has to be linear and direct, and not just drawing from common culture.

DCH :goodmorning:

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Re: The Didache.

Post by John2 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:40 am

DCH,

I think more can be made about the similarities that exist between the DSS sect and Jewish Christianity than that they shared a common culture. For instance, the Pharisees shared a common culture with the DSS sect, but it can be argued that the DSS sect are not like the Pharisees in certain respects, and I think conversely they are like Jewish Christians in certain respects, enough so for me to feel comfortable seeing it as a direct connection.
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Re: The Didache.

Post by John2 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:06 am

But I'm eager to see more of Ben's ideas about which parts of the Didache might be the oldest layer(s). Thus far my take on the issue is to take into consideration the overall "beyond Jewish" milieu of the Didache (something that is not as pronounced in the DSS). Yes, the Didache ultimately has a more or less Jewish Christian heart, but as Finlan notes, even though the Two Ways chapters (which are considered early and which I think could have come from the DSS sect) are full of Torah commandments, "the language of Israel is absent from the group's self-identification ... Clayton Jefford says the 'materials ... are both Jewish in nature and beyond Jewish in scope.' The ethnic composition of the Didache community is also 'beyond Jewish' ... I think ... that we can concede that the group had a kind of Jewish identity, while also having a Christian identity."

https://books.google.com/books?id=KZbIC ... he&f=false
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Re: The Didache.

Post by John2 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:34 am

I bear in mind too, as I start to read Garrow, that even if (parts of) the Didache pre-date Matthew, the similarities he sees between the former and the latter are in Greek, and I'm on board with the idea that Matthew was written in Hebrew and then translated into Greek. In this scenario the Didache would then be a product of whatever community used (and/or produced) a Greek Matthew.
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Re: The Didache.

Post by John2 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:42 am

And I think the appearance of the proscription against eating food sacrificed to idols in Did. 6:3 (which forms part of the letter that was sent out to Gentiles by Jewish Christians in Acts 15 and 21 and was discussed by Paul, an apostle to the Gentiles, in 1 Cor. 8 and 10) also supports a semi-Jewish-Christian Gentile milieu for the Didache community.
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Re: The Didache.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:09 am

John2 wrote:But I'm eager to see more of Ben's ideas about which parts of the Didache might be the oldest layer(s).
Most of those ideas are, of course, not my own. Garrow accounts for quite a few of them. Most of them are also based on textual analysis, not on assumptions about the cultural environment (Jewish, Christian, Jewish-Christian).

I think Garrow overdefines the layers in the Didache (sentence by sentence, line by line), but I also think that it is okay to overdefine such things sometimes, so as to show how things could be working in the document at hand. The actual truth of the history of that document may not be exactly what the critic has outlined, but it is possible that the postulated scenario has come close enough to serve a heuristic purpose. I think Garrow at least makes a good case that it should not be automatically assumed that all of the Didache postdates Matthew.

I am going by memory here, but I believe Garrow argues that the heart of Matthew 24 is textually explicable as a conflation of Didache 16 and Mark 13. In that article I linked you to he argues that 1 Thessalonians 4 is derived from something like Didache 16. He also argues that the Didache's dominical prayer did not come from Matthew, but rather that the explicit reference to "the gospel" was added later (layer 4, IIRC) as a cross reference, so to speak. I am up for discussing these issues, certainly, and possibly reevaluating them. Maybe I change my mind; who knows? It is all in the realm of the possible right now for me anyway.
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Re: The Didache.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:21 am

Hi, John. I wanted to present my own take on the argument that Garrow offers in chapter 13 (no rush on getting there or responding until you have read it). He gives most (all?) of his synopses in Greek only, so I will give the English translation here for convenience.

Matthew 24 and Mark 13 follow each other pretty closely, but there are differences that it appears the Didache can account for. Matthew and Mark start out in lockstep:

Matthew 24.1-3 = Mark 13.1-4 (not one stone).
Matthew 24.4-8 = Mark 13.5-8 (the birth pangs).

Mark 13.9-13, however, which comes next, has already been paralleled fairly completely in Matthew 10.17-22. I will underline the one Marcan verse which lacks a parallel in Matthew 10; I will also italicize a line that Matthew and Mark present in common which will be repeated later:

Matthew 10.17-22
Mark 13.9-13
17 But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; 18 and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.

19 But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. 20 For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
21 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
22 You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
9 But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.
10 The gospel must first be preached to all the nations.
11 When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.
12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
13 You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

So what is Matthew to do at this point, already having paralleled this part of Mark? Well, he uses material similar to what we find in the Didache; he also adds in that bit of Mark that he skipped in chapter 10 and repeats the line about who will be saved:

Matthew 24.9-14: 9 Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. 10 And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. 12 And because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.

Didache 16.3-5: 3 For in the last days the false prophets and the corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall change to hate; 4 for as lawlessness increases they shall hate one another and persecute and betray, and then shall appear the deceiver of the world as a Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders and the earth shall be given over into his hands and he shall commit iniquities which have never been since the world began. 5 Then shall the creation of mankind come to the fiery trial and many shall be offended and be lost, but they who endure in their faith shall be saved by the curse itself.

Now Matthew and Mark march together again:

Matthew 24.15-16 = Mark 13.14 (the abomination of desolation).
Matthew 24.17-18 = Mark 13.15-16 (housetop and field).
Matthew 24.19-22 = Mark 13.17-20 (great tribulation).
Matthew 24.23-25 = Mark 13.21-23 (false prophets).
Matthew 24.26-28 (like lightning).

That last pericope parallels Luke 17.22-25, but nothing in Mark, so here Matthew has stepped away from Mark for a moment. He returns, however, immediately afterward, but this time with some additional material that parallels the Didache:

Didache 16.6-8
Matthew 24.29-31
Mark 13.24-27
-29 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken.
6 And then shall appear the signs of the truth. First the sign spread out in Heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet, and thirdly the resurrection of the dead, 7 but not of all the dead, but as it was said, "The Lord shall come and all his saints with him."30a And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn.-
8 Then shall the world see the Lord coming on the clouds of Heaven.30b And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth, to the farthest end of heaven.

After this, Matthew and Mark return to the same material, not paralleled in the Didache:

Matthew 24.32-36 = Mark 13.28-32 (the parable of the fig tree).

It ought to be noticed that Mark and the Didache overlap really in only two spots: the line about the one enduring to the end being saved, and the line about seeing the Lord (or son of man) coming on the clouds. Mark and the Didache do not parallel each other in the rest of the material, while Matthew and the Didache parallel each other in much if not most of it.

If the Didachist is posterior to Matthew and copying from him, then he seems to have found himself especially enamored of the material that Matthew does not share with Mark. As Garrow writes, "What Tuckett proposes in the end is that the Didache breathes the atmosphere of Matthew, but is careful only to inhale almost exclusively non-Markan air. Given that twenty-nine verses of Mt. 24.1-36 appear to derive from Mk 13, it is remarkable that almost all of these so-called allusions should be densely located in five of the seven non-Markan verses." Such a phenomenon at least calls for an explanation.

If, however, Matthew is posterior both to Mark and to the Didache, then the explanation is readily apparent; Matthew has conflated the two sources, and has included the two lines where their testimony overlap (enduring to the end, coming on the clouds). And he has felt free to relocate Mark 13.9-13 to his own chapter 10 precisely because he has plenty of material from the Didache to present in chapter 24 instead.

Now, then, how are we to explain Mark and the Didache overlapping each other in those two lines, however little the overlap might appear compared to that between Matthew and the Didache and especially between Matthew and Mark? Garrow proposes that Mark knew the Didache, as well. His argument rests on a comparison of Mark 13.26 and Didache 16.8 (the coming on the clouds) to Daniel 7.13 LXX, since both passages appear to be redacted versions of that verse, and he lists 4 key redactional changes that Mark and the Didache hold in common against Daniel at this point:
  1. Both Mark and the Didache add τότε.
  2. Mark adds ὄψονται and the Didache adds ὄψεται.
  3. Both Mark and the Didache rearrange the phrases so that, instead of Daniel's "on the clouds, the son of man, coming", they have "'son of man/Lord, coming, with/on the clouds".
  4. Both Mark and the Didache change the direction of travel of the son of man or Lord (from heaven to earth rather than toward the Ancient of Days).
And Garrow addresses each redactional change in turn (I have added my own translations in brackets where necessary):

[1] First, τότε is not a favourite word of Mark's. It occurs only six times in his gospel, four of which are in Mk 13. Mark uses καί very much more frequently to denote 'then'; it is therefore unlikely that the inclusion of τότε was the original work of the gospel writer. By contrast, τότε is the means by which the Didachist introduces each paragraph of the apocalypse (with the exception of the opening paragraph). There is therefore no difficulty in seeing the Didache apocalypse as responsible for the introduction of this change to Dan. 7.13.

[2] Second, the introduction of ὄψεται/ὄψονται. As noted in Chapter 3, section 4.3, the addition of ὄψεται in the Didache's allusion to Dan. 7.13 assists the creation of an oppositional parallel between the appearance of the world-deceiver (16.4b) and the being seen by the world of the Lord (16.8):
  • 16.4b καὶ τότε φανήσεται ὁ κοσμοπλανὴς ὡς υἱὸς θεοῦ [and then the world-deceiver shall appear as a son of God]
    16.8 τότε ὄψεται ὁ κόσμος τὸν κύριον [then the world shall see the Lord]
The structural benefit derived from this change suggests that it may credibly be seen as the original work of the author of the Didache's apocalypse. By contrast, the use of ὄψονται in Mk 13.26 is inconsistent with its context. Thus Hooker (1991: 319) notes that "these words [ὄψονται and following] are no longer addressed to the disciples, perhaps because this saying or section was originally independent. It is by no means clear who the people referred to as 'they' are." This lack of clarity is explicable if Mk 13.26 presupposes the Didache's independent vision in which the 'they' referred to are ὁ κόσμος. The reverse view, that Did. 16.8 here presupposes Mk 13.26, requires Mark to make redactional changes to Dan. 7.13 that create ambiguity in his own text, but which happened to create a neat oppositional parallel when incorporated into the Didache's apocalypse.

[3] Similar observations may be made with regard to the common changes in Daniel's word order. It is possible that Mark made these changes, but if so, then they were highly convenient to the Didache's structural programme. It is more likely, therefore, that the changes in word order were made by the Didachist to conform the text to the structure of the apocalypse, and that Mark then absorbed these changes.

[4] Finally, the common change in the direction in which the Lord/Son of man travels... invites an explanation. It is, of course, possible that Mark independently chose to interpret Dan. 7.13 in this way, despite the fact that this source does not directly invite such a change. Alternatively, the origin of such an alteration may be located in the Didache's combination of Dan. 7.13 with Zech. 14.5. .... According to this arrangement Zechariah's vision provides the narrative base, while Dan. 7.13 provides a descriptive detail. Thus, the Lord's direction of travel is taken, without alteration, from Zechariah. This means that Mark's estimate of the Son of man's movements may credibly be explained if Mk 13.26 relies on Did. 16.8 and has sought to emphasize the eschatological role of Jesus by exchanging 'the Son of man' for 'the Lord'. Alternatively, to argue that Did. 16.8 presupposes (however indirectly) Mk 13.26 requires that the Didachist changed 'the Son of man' to 'the Lord'; changed 'in clouds with great power and glory' to 'upon the clouds of heaven'; and added, 'and all his holy ones with him', in order to introduce an allusion to Zech. 14.5. This is an unnecessarily complex explanation of Did. 16.8, which may be understood as a conflation of Old Testament texts without any reference to Mark's Gospel. It is preferable, therefore, to see the Lord/Son of man's direction of travel as determined by the Didache's version of Zech. 14.5, which then provided a basis for Mk 13.26.

I might summarize this fourth point as follows: Mark has retained the change in direction of travel that Zechariah 14.5 suggests, but has not retained the allusion to Zechariah 14.5 itself.

I personally find much (if not most) of this pretty persuasive. It had been a while since I had read Garrow, so yesterday I took the opportunity to try to go back into him afresh, evaluating each argument as if I were seeing it for the first time. I cannot objectively say for certain how successful I was at this mental exercise, but I found myself being persuaded by the arguments all over again. I really think that Didache 16 (or something like it) preceded Mark 13 and Matthew 24.

Ben.
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John2
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Re: The Didache.

Post by John2 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:15 am

Ben,

Thanks for all this and the summary of Garrow. I too am looking at the Didache with fresh eyes again and will take Garrow's perspective into consideration. I do though have one comment about one thing you wrote:

"If the Didachist is posterior to Matthew and copying from him, then he seems to have found himself especially enamored of the material that Matthew does not share with Mark. As Garrow writes, "What Tuckett proposes in the end is that the Didache breathes the atmosphere of Matthew, but is careful only to inhale almost exclusively non-Markan air. Given that twenty-nine verses of Mt. 24.1-36 appear to derive from Mk 13, it is remarkable that almost all of these so-called allusions should be densely located in five of the seven non-Markan verses." Such a phenomenon at least calls for an explanation."

I think an explanation for this could be that if the Matthew-type text in the Didache is a translation of an original Hebrew Matthew, the latter would presumably not have had any Markan material because it was in Hebrew and used by Jewish Christians and Mark is in Greek and arguably Pauline.
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