# Saturday, March 03, 2007

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


1 Χειροτονήσατε οὖν ἑαυτοῖς
Appoint for yourselves, therefore,
   ἐπισκόπους καὶ διακόνους
   overseers and deacons
      ἀξίους τοῦ κυρίου,
      holy of the Lord,
   men (who are)
      καὶ ἀφιλαργύρους
      and not lovers of money
      καὶ ἀληθεῖς
      and truthful
      καὶ δεδοκιμασμένους·
      and well-proven:
         ὑμῖν γὰρ λειτουργοῦσι καὶ αὐτοὶ τὴν λειτουργίαν τῶν προφητῶν καὶ διδασκάλων.
         for to you they themselves also minister the ministry of prophets and teachers.

2 μὴ οὖν ὐπερίδητε αὐτούς·
Therefore you must not disregard them:
   αὐτοὶ γὰρ εἰσιν οἱ τετιμημένοι ὑμῶν
   for they are your honorable ones,
      μετὰ τῶν προφητῶν καὶ διδασκάλων.
      along with the prophets and teachers.

3 Ἐλέγχετε δὲ ἀλλήλους
Correct one another
   μὴ ἐν ὀργῇ,
   not in anger,
      ἀλλ ̓ ἐν εἰρήνῃ
      but in peace
ὡς ἔχετε
as you find
   ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ·
   in the gospel:
      καὶ παντὶ ἀστοχοῦντι
      and anyone who has done wrong
         κατὰ τοῦ ἑτέρου
         against another
      μηδεὶς λαλείτω
      shall not be spoken to
         μηδὲ παρ ̓ ὑμῶν ἀκουέτω,
         nor shall he hear from you
            ἕως οὗ μετανοήσῃ.
            until he repents.

   4 τὰς δὲ εὐχὰς ὑμῶν
   But your prayers,
   καὶ τὰς ἐλεημοσύνας
   and your charity,
   καὶ πάσας τὰς πράξεις
   and all your observance
οὕτω ποιήσατε,
in this way do:
   ὡς ἔχετε
   as you find
      ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν.
      in the gospel of our Lord.


The beginning of the chapter transitions with a "therefore". Didache 14 is about keeping pure, Didache 15 transitions into leadership and other community guidelines. Thus I can only reason that proper leadership (overseers and deacons) combined with proper teaching (prophets and teachers), proper relationship (respond in peace, not anger), and proper practice (say prayers, give alms, etc.) all combine to ensure that the Eucharist is properly kept.

The problematic portion here, for me, is verse 3 which deals with the unrepentant one: He is to not hear from anyone until he repents. But that is prefaced with correcting in peace and not anger, as is "found in the gospel". The reference to the gospel, I'd think, must relate to Mt 18.15-20—particularly given the commonality of Matthew's gospel referenced in the Didache. So one has first approached the brother, then a group of two or three has approached him, then he has been put before the church. After this, then, the unrepentant brother is to be "as a Gentile and tax collector" (Mt 18.17). So I don't think it is as harsh as it seems once we plug in what the gospel says.

Next up: Didache 16. That's the last chapter!

Post Author: rico
Saturday, March 03, 2007 12:39:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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