# Monday, April 10, 2006

In working on the paper for the SBL meeting in DC, I've come across a citation for an article I'm interested in reading, but the closest university library (Trinity Western University) does not have the periodical.

If anyone can help out with the article, I'd be very appreciative. Here's the citation:

Reed, Jeffrey T. 'Cohesive Ties in 1 Timothy', Neotestamentica. 26.1: 131-47. 1992.

Otherwise I guess I'll try some other schools in the area and see what I can dig up.

Update (2006-04-10): Cheers to Cliff (Theological Musings) for attempting to locate a copy via interlibrary loan.

Update (2006-04-10): Cheers also to Ken Penner for pointing me to Regent College's Library, which is just up the street in Vancouver BC. Regent/UBC was my next stop, but I don't know when I'll get up there so I thought I'd try seeing if anyone had the article handy in the interim. If interlibrary loan doesn't do it, then I'll schedule a pilgrimage north of the border.

Post Author: rico
Monday, April 10, 2006 12:31:30 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Sunday, April 09, 2006

Since everyone else is blogging about the Gospel of Judas, I figure I will too. But briefly.

Best Post about Gospel of Judas: Ben Witherington III. Awesome. And I've really got to get my hands on his Pastorals/Johannines commentary when it comes out. I'll offer again: Need any advance readers, Dr. Witherington? I'm available! And I'm into the Pastorals!

Best Aggregation of Links: Mark Goodacre's Gospel of Judas megapost. Though note that Mark links to Roger Pearse as the go-to spot for ongoing internet coverage/references.

Best Live-Blogging of National Geographic Special: Jim West. I don't have a TV, and I spent the day with Amy anyway. (My thought process: Spend the day with my beloved, or wait around to watch some seemingly-authoritative sensationalisation of a 4th century gnostic MS likely derived from 2nd century source. Now that's an easy choice, no?) I read the English translation when it came out on Friday (or whenever that was). As many others (including Jim) said: Standard gnostic fare, nothing really new to see here.

Now, if you'll indulge me, here's a tale of what I thought when reading the English translation:

What came to mind when I read the English translation of this heretical and false "gospel", you know, where Judas recieves the oh-so-typical gnostic secret knowledge, and then he betrays Jesus and therefore ushers in Jesus' death?

All I could think of was the original Star Wars movie ("Episode IV" to you young'uns). You know, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader duking it out? Obi-Wan stops and says something like, "if you strike me down, you will make me more powerful than you could ever imagine", and then Vader cuts him in half?

Yeah, that's what I thought of.

Post Author: rico
Sunday, April 09, 2006 10:50:45 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Friday, April 07, 2006

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


Ὁδοί δύο εἰσί,
There are two ways,
   μία τῆς ζωῆς
   one of life
   καὶ μία τοῦ θανάθου,
   and one of death;
      διαφορὰ δὲ πολλὴ μεταξὺ τῶν δύο ὁδῶν.
      there is great difference between the two ways.
Ἡ μὲν οὖν ὁδὸς τῆς ζωῆς ἐστιν αὕτη·
The way of life is this:
   πρῶτον ἀγαπήσεις τὸν θεὸν τὸν ποιήσαντά σε
   First, love the Lord who made you;
   δεύτερον τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν·
   Second, [love] your neighbor as yourself;
      πάντα δὲ ὅσα ἐὰν θελήσῃς μὴ γίνεσθαί σοι καὶ σὺ ἄλλῳ μὴ ποίει.
      all that you wouldn't wish to have done to you, do not do to others.
Τούτων δέ τῶν λόγων ἡ διδαχή ἐστιν αὕτη·
The teaching of these words is this:
   εὐλογεῖτε τοὺς καταρωμένους ὑμῖν
   Bless those that curse you,
   καὶ προσεύχεσθε ὑπὲρ τῶν ἐχθρῶν ὑμῶν
   pray on behalf of your enemies
   νηστεύετε δὲ ὑπὲρ τῶν διωκόντων ὑμᾶς·
   and fast on behalf of those who persecute you.
ποία γὰρ χάρις ἐὰν ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας ὑμᾶς;
For what benefit is it if we love those who love us?
   οὐχὶ καὶ τὰ ἔθνη τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν;
   Do not the even the Gentiles do this?
   ὑμεῖς δὲ ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς μισοῦντας ὑμᾶς
   But love those who detest you
      καὶ οὐχ ἕξετε ἐχθρόν.
      and you will not have an enemy.
ἀπέχου τῶν σαρκικῶν καὶ σωματικῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν·
Refrain from fleshly and bodily lusts.
   ἐάν τίς σοι δῷ ῥάπισμα εἰς τὴν δεξιὰν σιαγόνα
   If someone slaps you on the right cheek,
      στρέψον αὐτῷ καὶ τὴν ἄλλην καὶ ἔσῃ τέλειος·
      turn the other one to him and you will be perfect.
   ἐὰν ἀγγαρεύσῃ σέ τις μίλιον ἕν
   If someone compels you to go for one mile,
      ὕπαγε μετ ̓ αὐτοῦ δύο·
      go with him for two.
   ἐὰν ἄρῃ τις τὸ ἱμάτιόν σου
   If someone takes away your cloak,
      δὸς αὐτῷ καὶ τὸν χιτῶνα·
      give him your shirt too.
   ἐὰν λάβῃ τις ἀπὸ σοῦ τὸ σόν
   If someone takes from you what is yours,
      μὴ ἀπαίτει·
      do not demand repayment;
         οὐδὲ γὰρ δύνασαι.
         for you are not able.
παντὶ τῷ αἰοῦντί σε
To all that ask of you,
   δίδου καὶ μὴ ἀπαίτει·
   give and do not demand repayment;
      πᾶσι γὰρ θέλει δίδοσθαι ὁ πατὴρ
      for the Father desires to give them gifts
         ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων χαρισμάτων.
         from his own beneficence.
μακάριος ὁ διδοὺς κατὰ τὴν ἐντολήν·
Blessed is the one who gives according to the command;
   ἀθῷος γάρ ἐστιν.
   for he is without guilt.
οὐαὶ τῷ λαμβάνοντι·
Woe to the one who receives;
   εἰ μὲν γὰρ χρείαν ἔχων λαμβάνει τις ἀθῷος ἔσται·
   for if anyone having need receives, he is guiltless;
   ὁ δὲ μὴ χρείαν ἔχων δώσει δίκην,
   but anyone having no need will give testimony:
      ἱνατί ἔλαβε καὶ εἰς τί·
      Why has he received, and for what purpose?
      ἐν συνοχῇ δὲ γενόμενος ἐξετασθήσεται περὶ ὧν ἔπραξε
      He will be put into prison, interrogated concerning what he did
         καὶ οὐκ ἐξελεύσεται ἐκεῖθεν
         and he will not be set free from there
            μέχρις οὗ ἀποδῷ τὸν ἔσχατον κοδράντην.
            until he has paid back the last cent.
ἀλλὰ καὶ περὶ τούτου δὲ εἴρηται·
And concerning this it has also been said:
    Ἱδρωσάτω ἡ ἐλεημοσύνη σου εἰς τὰς χεῖράς σου
   Your charitable gift must sweat in your hands
      μέχρις ἂν γνῷς τίνι δῷς.
      until you know to whom to give it.


The above groups are made largely based on sentence boundaries in Lake's edition. They do not necessarily align with established verse boundaries. I should also say that I'm simply doing a relatively quick glance at the text, thinking about how it was intended to be understood. This is not a critical study -- not by any means. Also, I don't consider the Didache to be on par with Scripture, but I do think the Didache offers insight regarding how Scripture was interpreted, taught and applied in these very early days of the church. This is where my interest lies.

The first group serves as an introduction to the section of the "Two Ways", which runs from here through chapter 6. The binary image of one way leading to life and another leading to death is common. Most of the focus of this first large section is on the way of life (chaps 1-4).

The second group begins to explain the first. If there is a way that leads to life, what is it? The way of life is summed up in the same way that Jesus summed up the whole of the law: Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself.

The third group expands the teaching of the second group, giving practical advice and application as to how to go about loving the Lord and loving neighbors. When folks hurl invective at you, bless them. Pray for those who work against you. Fast for those who persecute you. This is really three ways of saying the same thing: earnestly desire the salvation of those who are opposed to you. Fast and pray for their souls. All of these actions are testified to in the New Testament; the Didachist is providing instruction on how to live according to those principles, tying the generic statements (Love God, love your neighbor) with specific application (desire salvation for those working against you).

The fourth group continues expounding on how to love, providing more application. As well, these are based in the New Testament (largely from the sermon on the mount). The idea is to be in control of one's own actions; the natural response is likely not the correct response. Work to override it and be in control. If slapped on the face, instead of striking back one is to turn the other cheek. If conscripted for some sort of service, excel in your work and provide more than was expected of you. If something is taken, give more than is asked and do not pursue repayment.

The fifth group sums up the fourth group. When asked, we are to give with no expectation of repayment. What we have is the Lord's, and if the Lord desires to reallocate his resources from his goodness, who are we to question it? We should give and be grateful.

The sixth group continues and transitions from the positive side of obedience (those who obey are blessed) to the negative side.

The seventh group is the negative side: Woe to those who receive needlessly. The important realization is that whether requesting, giving or receiving, we will be held responsible for our actions.

The eighth group continues the summation. Because we are responsible, we are to give responsibly. We are stewards of God's resources, and we should give freely. But we should not give lackadaisically. Consider available options for the gift, and give according to the discerned will of God.

Next: Didache 2. No idea when that will be.

Post Author: rico
Friday, April 07, 2006 12:30:41 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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I'm finally beginning a series of random, unscheduled posts on the Didache. I'm less interested in textual history (e.g. Niederwimmer and his endless discussion of textual history and parallels on the "Two Ways" literature) and more interested what the Didache says. So if you're looking for discussion on textual history, parallels, musings on source documents, how the Didachist might have edited his source into the Didache, and stuff like that ... well, read Niederwimmer's Didache volume in the Hermeneia commentary series.

Me, I'll just be reading the document and blogging about what I read. I hope to do the following for each chapter:

  • Translation. OK, this really isn't a from-scratch translation, I'm reading Lake's edition of the Greek and English. My "translation" is really just working over Lake's stuff and rico-tizing it. Most times that will include wholesale changes, other times (when I'm really confused) it will be a simple modernization of the language.
  • Phrasing Breakdown. I hope to do simple phrasing breakdown (some might call it "sentence phrasing" or "block diagramming") of the Greek. This is largely based on my intuition. I don't claim to have the last word on this and realize that others would break things in other ways. I largely use punctuation of the printed Greek editon as guide, along with examining conjunctions, prepositional phrases, and other natural (to me) breaking points in the text. This produces a simple tabbed "hierarchy" that I'll base my notes on.
  • Notes. I'll write whatever comes to mind based on how I worked through the text. Nothing systematic here, particularly since this will be work done over time and really only taking the current chapter (and perhaps some previous context) into account.

Sound good? Ok. Let's get started. For some background, check out EarlyChristianWritings.com on the Didache.

Update (2006-04-07): Thanks to Mike Aquilina (The Way of the Fathers) for linking to this little series of mine. Also note his Introduction to the Didache.

As of March 29, 2007, this series is complete.

Post Author: rico
Friday, April 07, 2006 11:37:17 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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I took today off and went for a quick kayak paddle on Lake Whatcom. It was awesome. It was calm, relatively temperate, and I think I was the only boat of any kind on the lake. Now, reality has set in. I really need to mow my lawn this afternoon. Take the good with the bad, right?

I was going to take pictures but I forgot my camera. Maybe next time. More info on my kayak is on my personal web site.

Before I mow the lawn, though ... maybe ... look for a post on the Didache.

Post Author: rico
Friday, April 07, 2006 11:23:30 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, April 06, 2006

Just a quick aside --

When I first read about the Didache (in, say, 1995) I had never heard the word pronounced before and I didn't know anyone who knew how to pronounce it.

I'm almost afraid to admit this -- but the only word I knew (please remember, I'm a child of the 1980s) that even remotely looked like "Didache" was "Jordache". You see, they both end in "-dache". So that informed my pronunciation of "Didache".

(Why didn't I think of "headache"? I can't say. I just didn't even though it would've informed my pronunciation almost as erroneously as "Jordache" did. I blame Brooke Shields.)

Realization that "Didache" was a transliteration and actually came from the Greek, that the 'ch' is hard, and the 'e' is pronounced, came later. I only saw citations in passing, not realizing the document in reference was Greek.

Hey, it was 10 years ago. Cut me some slack!

All this to say: I think I'm going to start blogging on the Didache. Nothing (too) regular, but I'll start posting nonetheless.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, April 06, 2006 6:16:23 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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I've blogged a few times in the past about a Manuscript Copying Project whereby a small group of folks each copy out, by hand, editions of Second Timothy in Greek from a common source. Here are the relevant links to previous articles:

To those who are out there who have committed to doing a copy, I apologize for being silent on this for so long. I've realized that I've committed to too many side projects. I'm still very interested in doing this, but I also need to postpone it. I will likely begin thinking about this one again in the fall (so, September/October).

If you've committed to this project in the past, could you just drop me an email confirming that you're still interested if you haven't sent me something yet?

With the wedding coming up (July 22!), a paper for SBL in the pipeline, and my dabblings in the Pastoral Epistles still consuming mental bandwith (and all that on top of my work at Logos), something has to give. This is the easiest to postpone and remove from my immediate thoughts, so ...

Don't worry, I'll be back on it around the time I get into Second Timothy in my work on the Pastoral Epistles.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, April 06, 2006 9:08:31 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Browsing around, I came across the Coptic Language entry on the Wikipedia. If you are confused by the Coptic dialects and subdialects that are cited in the UBS and NA apparatuses with versional evidence, the article gives some brief info that should help clarify.

Note also the article on the Coptic Alphabet.

This is all doubly cool because I'd been looking for some brief information on Old Nubian after seeing references to Nubian in some stuff Metzger had written. Who'd've thunk that the Wikipedia would have an article on that too?

Update (2006-04-06): Stephen C. Carlson with some Coptic-related Gospel o' Judas bloggin'. Note he points at a PDF file that is a transcription of the Coptic that is the Gospel of Judas. And the English is available too.

Update II (2006-04-07): If you're interested in typing Coptic in Unicode, then the Logos Coptic Keyboard is for you. (alternately, try here for Greek, Hebrew, Syriac and Coptic keyboards!) Note that this is considered beta software, though it uses standard Windows keyboard stuff. Also -- if  you have any suggestions as to a good, non-ornamental unicode Coptic font, please leave some suggestions (with URLs if available) in the comments. Thanks!

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, April 04, 2006 8:59:01 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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