# Friday, March 02, 2007

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

Phrasing/Translation

   1 Κατὰ κυριακὴν δὲ κυρίου συναχθέντες
   Upon coming together on the Lord's Day of the Lord
κλάσατε ἄρτον καὶ εὐχαριστήσατε,
break bread and hold the Lord's Supper,
   προεξομολογησάμενοι τὰ παραπτώματα ὑμῶν,
   confessing your sins beforehand,
      ὅπως καθαρὰ ἡ θυσία ὑμῶν ᾖ.
      so that your offering may be pure.

   2 πᾶς δὲ ἔχων τὴν ἀμφιβολίαν
   And all those having a quarrel
      μετὰ τοῦ ἑταίρου αὐτοῦ
      with another of your number,
μὴ συνελθέτω ὑμῖν,
do not let them gather with you
   ἕως οὗ διαλλαγῶσιν,
   until they have reconciled
      ἵνα μὴ κοινωθῇ ἡ θυσία ὑμῶν.
      so that your offering may not be defiled.

3 αὕτη γάρ ἐστιν ἡ ῥηθεῖσα ὑπὸ κυρίου·
For this is what the Lord says:
   Ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ καὶ χρόνῳ προσφέρειν μοι θυσίαν καθαράν.
   "In every place and time offer me a pure offering.
      ὅτι βασιλεὺς μέγας εἰμί,
      For I am a great king,"
   λέγει κύριος,
   says the Lord,
      καὶ τὸ ὄνομά μου θαυμαστὸν ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσι.
      "and my name is great among the nations".

Notes

The liturgy (that word is too formal for the context, I think, but you get what I mean) for Eucharist was given in Didache 9 and Didache 10. Here in Didache 14, the view is from a higher level. It assumes that the process for the meal is known and instead focuses on when to hold the feast (on "Lord's Days of the Lord", a curious phrase) and how to prepare for the feast.

Preparation involves confessing one's own transgressions and also reconciling any quarrels, fights, misunderstandings and whatnot one has with anyone else. This likely comes from Mt 5.23-24:

23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Mt 5.23-24, ESV)

This degree of preparation is justified with appeals to what "the Lord" says. Niederwimmer (in his commentary [amazon] (amazon.com)) finds basis for the second quotation in Mal 1.11 and Mal 1.14. I say why not the whole range?:

11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. 12 But you profane it when you say that the Lord’s table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. 13 But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. 14 Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations. (Mal 1.11-14, ESV, emphasis added)

The whole range has to do with purity for one's offering, and that is really what Didache 14 is getting at: When we come before the Lord, we are to offer him our best, so we confess our sin and we also make right our relationships with others.

Also worthy of note is Niederwimmer's summary of some previous chapters:

In retrospect we find a more or less cogent train of thought here. While in chaps. 11–13 the Didachist had, in a sense, looked outward (toward the arriving guests of the community), in chaps. 14–15 he looks inward (at the relationships within the community itself). In doing so he touches on two groups of questions: on the one hand the moral status of the community, and on the other hand problems that arise with regard to the leadership of the community (the subject of chap. 15). In the first instance he decrees that the community may only offer its eucharistic sacrifice in a pure state when (1) the members have been purified of sin by a previous confession, and (2) all quarrels have been cleansed away by a prior reconciliation. Only in this way can the sacrificing community be clean; only in this way can it offer the pure, eschatological sacrifice prophesied by Malachi.
Niederwimmer, K., & Attridge, H. W. (1998). The Didache : A commentary (amazon.com). Facsims. on lining papers. Hermeneia--a critical and historical commentary on the Bible (199). Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Next up: Didache 15

Post Author: rico
Friday, March 02, 2007 7:37:30 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, March 01, 2007

Charles Halton over at Awilum is hosting BSC:XV, which he he has already posted. So go check it out and see what's been going on in the biblioblogosphere this past month.

And give Awilum a look-see too while you're there!

Post Author: rico
Thursday, March 01, 2007 7:31:06 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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Here's my translation for James 3.1-12, which we're going over on Friday in our home group Bible study. It reads rough in some spots but that is because I largely keep the phrase and clause order from the Greek intact.

1 Not many of you should become teachers my brothers, knowing that we who teach will receive a greater judgment. 2 For greatly we all stumble. If anyone does not stumble in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle even the whole of his body. 3 But if horses' bits of bridle we put into their mouths, for them to obey us, we steer even the whole of their bodies. 4 And behold, great ships being driven by strong winds are steered by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the steersman guides. 5 In the same way the tongue is a small part, but it boasts greatly.

Behold, how a small fire ignites such a large forest! 6 The tongue is a fire: the world of the unjust. The tongue is put in charge of our parts, defiling the whole body; setting ablaze the wheel of being* and set ablaze by Gehenna. 7 For every kind—beast and bird, snake and sea creature—is tameable and has been tamed by human-kind. 8 But the tongue no human can possibly tame; (the tongue is) a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless the Lord and Father and with it we curse humans—the same humans made in the image of God. 10 Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. Not ever, my brothers, are these things to be! 11 Does a spring from the same source pour forth both fresh (water) and salt (water)? 12 Is it possible, my brothers, for a fig tree to produce olives? Or a grapevine (to produce) figs? Neither can salt produce fresh water.


* "wheel of being" ==> idiom for "course of life" or "way of life".

Post Author: rico
Thursday, March 01, 2007 7:14:26 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, February 26, 2007

The NW Regional ETS meeting this past weekend was in Salem, OR. That means that we had to drive through Portland, OR. You may or may not know, but Portland is home to Powell's Books. Their main store is one city block, and it is all books, new and used. You've gotta stop by if you're in town.

So we stopped, but only for about half an hour since we were hungry. The trip was focused, but I found two books that piqued my interest, and I only spent 20 bucks!

It was a great time just poking through some books in the religion section.

Then, at the regional meeting, they had a book giveaway. I was the lucky bibliophile who walked away with the following five books:

All in all, a great day!

Post Author: rico
Monday, February 26, 2007 7:09:32 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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(If you're reading this with a feed reader, you may be missing out on relevant images. Check out the actual post on my main blog site. — RWB)

A friend and colleague of mine, Dr. Michael S. Heiser, presented a paper on the "Jesus Ossuary" at the 2003 meeting of the Near East Archaeological Society. This is the ossuary behind the "Jesus Family Tomb" sensationalism that the biblioblogosphere is abuzz over (see Ben Witherington for a good overview).

In his paper, titled "The Jesus Ossuary: A Critical Examination", Dr. Heiser works through the inscriptions on the relevant ossuaries using L.Y. Rahmani's A Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries in the Collections of the State of Israel. In case you're wondering about Dr. Heiser's skills and training to do such work, here's his CV.

Mike posted the paper on his website this afternoon. So grab it and check it out, and see reproductions of the relevant inscriptions for yourself.

Update (2007-02-26): Just received word from Mike that he and Darrell Bock will be on Coast to Coast AM tonight talking about the Jesus Family Tomb thing. I won't be able to listen, but if you are you can find a local station on the Coast to Coast AM site.

Update II (2007-02-27): The Discovery Channel website has a PDF file with material from Rahmani's book as well. The PDF also has Amos Kloner's 1996 article on the tomb and inscriptions, which include maps of the tomb.

Update III (2007-02-27): Duane Smith over at Abnormal Interests has a post dealing with the inscriptions as well. It is worth reading.

Update IV (2007-03-01): Richard Bauckham (yes, that Richard Bauckham) guest-posts on the names and the inscriptions over at Chris Tilling's Chrisendom blog. You need to read this, Bauckham is the go-to guy in onomastics.

Post Author: rico
Monday, February 26, 2007 1:31:25 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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If you've not yet caught the sure-to-envelop-us-come-easter sensationalistic rah-rah about something folks are now calling "the Jesus tomb", you do need to check out Ben Witherington's post on the matter.

It is notable to check Witherington because he provides statistics on the relevant names that he received from Richard Bauckham. Bauckham is, from all I have read, one of the go-to guys in the realm of Palestinian names in the first century. That, tied with other stats Bauckham provides on the frequency of names found on ossuaries provides some good data by which to refute the sensationalistic claims made by the filmmakers of "The Jesus Tomb". So do check it out.

My take? I think the data on names, combined with the known sensationalism-mongering of the filmmakers (thoroughly documented and debunked by Chris Heard, check it out) combined with the fact that the tomb's original finders and excavators reached entirely opposite conclusions (the tomb was found in 1980, findings released in 1996) speaks volumes against what the filmmakers are proposing.

All of this sounds like you've stepped in on the middle of a conversation? Then you probably have. So check out Witherington's post for the background and some further information on how to handle the assertion when you hear it come easter.

Post Author: rico
Monday, February 26, 2007 6:48:44 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, February 22, 2007

I mentioned awhile back that I was presenting a paper at the 2007 NW Regional ETS Meeting on the "plural to singular narrative device" as described by Richard Bauckham in his recent book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (amazon.com).

Well, the paper is done (enough). I'm not completely satisfied with it, but I'm cuttin' the cord. If you'd like to give it a look-see, it is on my Academic Papers page. Or just download the PDF directly. I'm presenting the paper on Saturday; I'll likely post an update here to let y'all know how it goes.

Update (2007-02-26): The conference was good (Darrell Bock had the keynote) and the paper went well. I received good feedback from those who heard it and was generally encouraged.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, February 22, 2007 5:25:07 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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I mentioned yesterday that I'd post my translation of James 2.14-26, so here it is.

I typically translate clause-by-clause and my translations try to convey Greek word order where doing so isn't overly unweildy. And I haven't thought much about paragraph boundaries either. Anyway, here it is:

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Is it possible for that faith to save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacking in food for the day, 16 and if one from out of your number says, "Go away in peace, keep warm and stay filled with food", and does not give them their bodily needs, what good is it? 17 Faith is like this, if it does not have works it is dead by itself.

18 But someone will say: "You have faith, and I have works". Show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith from works. 19 You believe that God is one and you do well. Even the demons believe this and tremble. 20 But do you desire to know, you empty-headed human, that faith without works is useless?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works in offering up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was a co-laborer with his works and by his works faith was proven 23 and the scripture was fulfilled which says: "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness", and he became a friend of God.

24 You see that from works a person is justified and not from faith alone.

25 And was not Rahab the whore in the same way justified by receiving the messengers and sending them out another way?

26 For just as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, February 22, 2007 8:27:35 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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