# Thursday, December 28, 2006

[This is part of a running series on the Didache. See the introductory post for more information — RWB]


Μετὰ δὲ τὸ ἐμπλησθῆσαι οὗτως εὐχαριστήσατε·
But when you have been satisfied with food, in this way give thanks:

   Εὐχαριστοῦμέν σοι, πάτερ ἅγιε,
   We give thanks to you, O Holy Father,
      ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἁγίου ὀνόματός σου,
      according to your holy name,
         οὗ κατεσκήνωσας ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν,
         which you caused to dwell in our hearts,
      καὶ ὑπὲρ τῆς γνώσεως καὶ πίστεως καὶ ἀθανασίας,
      and according to the knowledge and faith and immortality
         ἧς ἐγνώρισας ἡμῖν
         which you made known to us
            διὰ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ παιδός σου·
            through Jesus your child;
      σοὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας.
      to you be glory forever.

   σύ, δέσποτα παντοκράτορ,
   You, all-powerful master,
      ἔκτισας τὰ πάντα ἕνεκεν τοῦ ὀνόματός σου,
      created all things for the sake of your name;
      τροφήν τε καὶ ποτὸν ἔδωκας τοῖς ἀνθρώποις εἰς ἀπόλαυσιν,
      both food and drink you gave to people for their enjoyment,
         ἵνα σοι εὐχαριστήσωσιν,
         so that they might give thanks to you;
      ἡμῖν δὲ ἐχαρίσω
      but to us you have graciously given
         πνευματικὴν τροφὴν
         spiritual food
         καὶ ποτὸν
         and drink
         καὶ ζωὴν αἰώνιον
         and life eternal
            διὰ τοῦ παιδός σου.
            through your child.

   πρὸ πάντων εὐχαριστοῦμέν σοι,
   Above all things we give thanks to you,
      ὅτι δυνατὸς εἶ·
      because you are powerful;
      σοὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας.
      to you be glory forever.

   μνήσθητι, κύριε, τῆς ἐκκλησίας σου,
   Remember, Lord, your church,
      τοῦ ῥύσασθαι αὐτὴν
      to deliver it
         ἀπὸ παντὸς πονηροῦ
         from all evil
   καὶ τελειῶσαι αὐτὴν
      and to perfect it
         ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ σου,
         in your love
      καὶ σύναξον αὐτὴν
      and gather it
         ἀπὸ τῶν τεσσάρων ἀνέμων, τὴν ἁγιασθεῖσαν,
         from the four winds, in its holiness,
         εἰς τὴν σὴν βασιλείαν, ἣν ἡτοίμασας αὐτῇ·
         into your kingdom, which you prepared for it;
      ὅτι σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας.
      for yours is the power and the glory forever.

   ἐλθέτω χάρις
   Come, grace
      καὶ παρελθέτω ὁ κόσμος οὗτος.
      and let this world pass away.

   Ὡσαννὰ τῷ θεῷ Δαυείδ.
   Hosanna to the God of David!

   εἴ τις ἅγιός ἐστιν,
   If anyone is holy,
      let them come.
   εἴ τις οὐκ ἔστι,
   If anyone is not,
      let them repent.

   μαρὰν ἀθά·


τοῖς δὲ προφήταις ἐπιτρέπετε εὐχαριστεῖν ὅσα θέλουσιν.
But allow the prophets to pray as they desire.


Upon reading the first line, my first question was to wonder if the "satisfaction" referred to had to do with meals in general, or if it had to do with the Lord's Supper in specific since that section immediately precedes this. I wonder further based on the reference to "spiritual food and drink" later on. I'm not sure what to think about this and am open to any insight or comment. Niederwimmer, in his Hermeneia volume on the Didache, states that the meal in question takes place "between chaps. 9 and 10" (Niederwimmer, 155) and refers to a meal that fully satisfies. But if the context is that of the Eucharist, a spiritual meal, how couldn't that meal fully satisfy its purpose? Seems to me this isn't as clear-cut as Nederwimmer makes it out to be.

Anyway, I'm still thinking about that and if you have insight I'd love to hear it.

Next I noticed the role of "the name" in this passage. Note the model prayer starts with giving thanks to God "according to" or "on behalf of" his "holy name"; and that it is "the name" that is "caused to dwell within our hearts". Interesting, particularly in light of the role of the name in the Hebrew Bible. And later we have almighty God creating all things "for the sake of" his name. I suppose these could be shades of reference to the Lord's Prayer ("hallowed be your name") or perhaps areas like Mt 10.22, "in my name's sake". Similar instances are found elsewhere in Matthew (18.5, 20; 19.29; 21.9; 23.39; 24.9) and similar passages in the balance of the Gospels. I'm not sure if there is anything there since the passages aren't exactly analogous, but I thought I'd bring it up.

Another interesting thing was the repetition of the line "through Jesus your child" indicating as the agent through which God gave or made known. Thus, according to the Didachist, the "knowledge of faith and immortality" was made known to us by God through his child Jesus and also the "spiritual food and drink and life eternal" through his child (the same child though the name isn't repeated).

Each verse in the Lake numbering from verse 2 through verse 5 is a sentence and a logical section. Note that verses 2 and 4 end with "to you be glory forever" and verse 5 ends with a similar mini-benediction, "for yours is the power and the glory forever". What's up with verse 3? Well, verse 4 is pretty short and refers to God via pronoun reference. Perhaps verses 3-4 form one unit of the prayer instead, with the units as v. 2, 3-4, 5 with the closing benediction(s) in v. 6. This would allow for v. 5 to wrap it up with its somewhat different form.

Verse 6 is also interesting as it is a series of five short statements, at least as I've broken it up. The image of grace moving into and the world moving away (using ἐλθέτω and παρελθέτω) is nice.

The next statement, "Hosanna to the God of David" sounds like someone was reading the Psalms. Indeed, I don't find any use of "God of David" in the NT. The only personal names used to qualify "God" (θεός) in the NT are those of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The next statement sounds something along the same lines as Re 22.17 but not quite. I don't think there's a parallel there, but the saying sounds similar to something I think I should remember but can't.

The μαρὰν ἀθά could allude to 1Co 16.22 (and also Re 22.20?). But that saying could be so prevalent in the developing church that a direct allusion is not necessary, I'd think. Note Niederwimmer sees parallels between this statement and the previous and 1Co 16.22.

After all of this specification on how to pray following a meal (again, could that be referring to the eucharist proper?) the note of the Didachist in verse 7, allowing the prophets to pray (after a meal, I'd guess) as they wish is curious. Is the model prayer more of a guideline and less of a prescription? And who are these "prophets" and what role did they play in the early church?

Final note: The Coptic witness to the Didache has an insertion after v. 7. According to Niederwimmer (excursus, p. 165), the insertion is as follows:

“But (δέ) because of the word of the oil of anointing (? [ⲥⲧ]ⲓⲛⲟⲩϥⲓ: see immediately below) give thanks, saying: ‘We thank you, Father, for the oil of anointing (? ⲥⲧⲓⲛ[ⲟⲩ]ϥⲓ) that you have made known through Jesus your Son (ϣⲏⲣⲓ; the Coptic has the same word also in 10.3 end; but at this point, as in 10.3, the Coptic word was certainly intended to reflect παῖς). Thine is (the) glory forever. Amen (ἀμήν).’ ”
Niederwimmer, K., & Attridge, H. W. (1998). The Didache : A commentary. Facsims. on lining papers. Hermeneia--a critical and historical commentary on the Bible (165). Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

I only add this as it is interesting; I have no plans to discuss it.

Next up: Didache 11. Hopefully it won't take as long to get to that as it did to get to Didache 10.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, December 28, 2006 4:17:06 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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