Category Archives: Anti-DIDACHE: Pauline

DIDACHE: Timeline

This is a rough being augmented in pieces over time.

Caveat: Please (as with everything at this website) regard this as no more than the understanding of one spiritual person. I am imagining a sequence of events in history.  While much of this is also widely accepted by scholars, much is also debated and speculative. This is offered in the spirit not of desiring to harm harming anyone’s life which may be based on a contrary narrative, but of seeking the truth. Please feel free to offer comments or suggest improvements.

All dates are of course approximate A.D., and again are debatable.

 

Years: Key Events:
30-35

Christ proclaims the Kingdom of God. In so doing He speaks the True Gospel [divine Word] solely to Israel; it consists of (a) a simplified Torah/interpretation, which He embodies in Sermon on the Mount, and  (b) a call to resist the Temple and rabbinical / priestcraft system. This is to be replaced with what might be called a community welfare league. He also shares esoteric and cosmological wisdom with certain disciples in private.  MORE–the mystery of the True Gospel

From the beginning He had planned to include Gentiles, but, initially at least, the Message was spoken for those who understood the Torah and were oppressed by the Temple and sectarian rulers.

36 Paul (and others) persecute the Church; then, Paul claims conversion in a vision.
37-49 As a self-proclaimed apostle, Paul busily plants churches and forms a ministry team.
49 Paul begins writing epistles.
49 The Jerusalem apostles investigate Paul’s gospel, and, in a stern corrective response, they write the DIDACHE. They dispatch messengers to circulate it to the churches of Asia Minor and Europe.
51 Paul reacts with ferocious defensiveness, writing Galatians in retort.
   
  First draft of Gospel of Matthew
  Paul’s counter-Gospel: Letter to Hebrews
   
  1st Thessalonians
  2nd Thessalonians
   
  1 Corinthians
  2 Corinthians
   
  Colossians  Ephesians Philippians Romans
  Mark  Luke John 1 2 3 John  1 Peter Revelation James  Acts
  Barnabas  2Enoch  Apostolic   Gnostic
  Councils  ‘War Against DIDACHE’
  Modern War  delayed publication  Harnack
  DSS  finding 1Enoch 2Enoch 3Enoch
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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Paul’s Backpeddling on the Parousia, Deferring to DIDACHE (2Th 2; DID. 16.3)

Paul writes:

2Th 2:1-17  Now we beseech you, my brothers, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,  (2)  that you should not be soon shaken in mind or troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word or letter, as through us, as if the Day of Christ is at hand. 

(3)  Let not anyone deceive you by any means… [continues in side-by-side comparison]

As you compare, note that Paul is writing to revise a point raised in first Thessalonians (1Th); and, in that first epistles, as I show in a separate article, Paul closely follows and imitates the structure of the DIDACHE   which is of course strongly indicative of the effect and authority the DIDACHE carried). 

 

DID 16.3 2Th 2:

16.3 In the last days shall be multiplied false prophets and corruption and
shall turn the sheep into wolves and love shall turn into hate. 16.4a For with
the increase of lawlessness they shall hate one another and shall persecute and
betray. 16.4b And then shall appear the world-deceiver as a son of God and he
shall do signs and wonders and the earth
shall be betrayed into his hands and
he shall do godless things that have not been done since the beginning of the
age.
16.5 Then human creation shall pass into the fire of testing and many shall
be caused to stumble and be lost, but those who persevere in their faith shall be
saved by the curse itself.

….For that Day shall not come unless there first comes a falling away, and the man of sin shall be revealed, the son of perdition,  (4)  who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself forth, that he is God. 

(5)  Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you?  (6)  And now you know what holds back, for him to be revealed in his own time.  (7)  For the mystery of lawlessness is already working, only he is now holding back until it comes out of the midst.  (8)  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming,  (9)  whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  (10)  and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, so that they might be saved.  (11)  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie,  (12)  so that all those who do not believe the truth, but delight in unrighteousness, might be condemned.

Paul wraps up:

(13)  But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brothers beloved of the Lord, because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth,  (14)  to which He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (15)  Therefore, my brothers, stand fast and hold the teachings which you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter.  (16)  Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, who has loved us and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,  (17)  comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.[end]

 

C O M M E N T :

Note, via my color-coding, how Paul’s interrelated ideas regarding (a) lawlessness (7-8), and then (b,c) Satanic revelatory signs (9) and lies/deceit (9-10) all follow the DIDACHE in the same logical sequence. This strongly indicates the DIDACHE in early circulation and, as with other comparative examples with Paul, in precedence to him.

Why then did Paul write 2Th?  Scholar Gerd Luedemann has suggested (in my reading of Luedemann anyway) that Paul was apparently embarrassed by his first letter, because, in it, Paul had imprudently put on the record his off-the-cuff theological imagining regarding the Second Coming (Parousia). Unfortunately for the Pauline entrepreneurs, this account by him soon turned out to be at odds with some other Parousia account in circulation. 

The latter had apparently been received in Thessaly, to Paul’s chagrin.  This other account was almost certainly the DIDACHE or ( remotely but conceivably), a proto Matthew.  In 1Th Paul had grandiosely attributed his Parousia to “the Word of the Lord” 1Th 4:15). So, this gaffe of his on paper was quite serious, and could easily be used to discredit his ministry.

In this regard, note also that 1Th and 2Th are both written quite self-consciously by Paul, not really for the benefit of the putative addressees’ edification regarding their spiritual needs at all, but, I would say, with quite a different aim in view: namely, to valorize Paul and to auto-historicize and create a paper-trail recording things like the powerful positive effect of Paul’s ministry in Greece (1Th 1); his suffering (1Th 2:2  ), his sincerity (2:5-6), gentleness, love (2:7-8), self-support (2:9), piety, and experience of persecution from the Jews just like Jesus did (2:15-16).

(Just an aside on the last, 2:15-16:  Paul’s intriguing and I would say hard-to-reconcile claim here is that the Jews prevented him from preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, because the Jews wanted Gentiles to remain ever-sinful i.e. “filled up with sin.”  This makes absolutely no sense.  Firstly, the documented early persecution was suffered by Jewish Christians who were preaching the Gospel to other Jews. There is no reason for Jews to care much about Gentiles converting to a Pauline and/or a Christian religion which the Jews don’t believe, is there?   Why should Jews give a hoot?  Secondly, Paul is preaching  a gospel of sola fide, i.e., faith without the Torah. Logically, Jews who believe in the Torah and who want Gentiles to remain “filled up with sin” as Paul claims they do, should welcome Paul’s preaching! This statement  as so much from Paul  makes no sense.)

At any rate, due to the seriously damaging discrepancies between Paul’s Parousia account in 1Th 4:14-17 and some more authoritative Parousia account in circulation (wherever it was, at this point), Paul hints in 2Th 2.2 that the first letter which contained this error may not even have been from himself!  This, at least, is Luedemann’s suggestion; see Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles and Paul, the Founder of Christianity. I find Luedemann’s view appealing; however, as I recall from reading one book (the relevant portion of which, if time permitted, I would post here) Luedemann does not cite the DIDACHE in this connection–a very curious oversight on his part; but then again, most New and Old Testament scholars I read, seem woefully incognizant of the DIDACHE’s full impact.

Please read my article on 1Th to see how closely tied to the DIDACHE Paul’s writing is.  Also, in another post that I think I will be able to get around to writing, I may explore specific insertions which Paul adds to the Parousia in several texts, insertions and allusions coming from Daniel.  It will be interesting to explore comparisons of the Synoptics and Paul. I don’t know what I will find. If you have suggestions, please offer them1  There may have been coordinated collaborative effort to harmonize the Parousia ‘Deceiver’ in the argot of the Abomination that Causes Desolation, foretold in Daniel.  This emendation, tending to subvert the DIDACHE perhaps, may signify a later stage in the conflict in which the aim is more openly and combatively to subvert the DIDACHE Gospel. Maybe we’ll see something.

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Showing Matthean Priority: DID. 16 // Matt 16 // Mk 8:34-38 // Lk 9:23-26

DID. 16:16 Mat. 16:24-8 (10:32)

Mar 8:34-38 

Luk 9:23-26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

as it says, ‘the Lord shall
come, and all his holy ones with him’.]

16.8 Then the world shall see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven,
and all the holy ones with him, on his royal throne,
to judge the world-deceiver
and to reward each according to his deeds.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. 

(25)  For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, and whoever desires to lose his life for My sake shall find it.  (26)  For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  (27)  For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He shall reward each one according to his works.  (28)  Truly I say to you, There are some standing here who shall not taste of death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.

 

Mat 10:32-33  Then everyone who shall confess Me before men, I will confess him before My Father who is in Heaven.  (33)  But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in Heaven.

And calling near the crowd with His disciples, He said to them, Whoever will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. 

(35)  For whoever will save his life shall lose it; but whoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, he shall save it.  (36)  For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?  (37)  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(38)  Therefore whoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man shall also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.

And He said to all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 

(24)  For whoever will save his life shall lose it, but whoever will lose his life for My sake, he shall save it.  (25)  For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses himself, or is cast away? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(26)  For whoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My Words, the Son of Man shall be ashamed of him when He shall come in His own and in His Father’s glory, and that of the holy angels.

Luk 12:8-10  Also I say to you, Whoever shall confess Me before men, the Son of Man also shall confess him before the angels of God.  (9)  But he who denies Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.  (10)  And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him. But to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven.

 

If Mark came first, why would Matthew drop his phrase ‘ashamed of Me and My Words’?

It would have to be argued that Matthew did this in favor of inserting the idea of rewarding “to each according to their works.” These are unique to Matthew (and DIDACHÉ; see also Matt. 6:1-4), but are not found here in Mark or Luke, and I cannot find them elsewhere in these tracts.

A far more plausible explanation would be that Matthew and the DIDACHE came first, and that Luke and Mark came forth afterwards, as contrivances aimed at undercutting the DIDACHÉ- Gospel, and especially at undoing the strong vocabulary linkage between DIDACHE and Matthew in sharing the phrase, “to reward each according to his deeds.”

In the thesis asserting Markan priority, the suggestion must be offered that Matthew dropped ‘ashamed of me and my words,’ but this he allegedly does for no plausible or obvious reason, despite this phrase occurring in both the allegedly prior Markan source and later in Luke. It must therefore be argued that Matthew went out of his way to delete these words.  What theological reason would he have had? 

In this regard, consider that Matthew earlier has included a very similar idea already, in 10:32-33, referring to reciprocal non-confession in heaven (see purple text). Matthew should have had no qualms with any allusion to the negative consequences of being ‘ashamed of me.’ He had no reason to delete this, as Markan priority would assert. 

Again, the stronger case is that Mark and Luke, which are both programmatically supportive of Paulianity, are both being used to thwart Matthew and the DIDACHÉ. Mark and Luke have deliberately excluded the allusion that first appeared in DIDACHÉ, a phrase decisively damaging for Paul, namely, the eschatological reward for one’s deeds.  This notion amount to a doctrine of justification by the works, and in the case of the DIDACHÉ, these are works of the law which Christ has issued as Halacha to Israel, and as catechism to Gentiles. It is therefore profoundly contradictory to Paulianity.

Even more directly, the reason for Markan-Lukan deletion of this phrase is the urgent necessity to delegitimize the DIDACHÉ as a fair representation of the Lord’s teaching; for the Gospel of Matthew’s publication on the heels of the DIDACHE amounts to an emphatic testimony by the Apostles that the DIDACHÉ instructions– which Paul has contested ferociously– actually do come from the Lord. Here, in Matthew, comes the full blown edition, with context, as a solemn, ‘whole truth’ witness.

The Markan-Lukan gospels truly are at best redundant in the first place, and in practical fact have subtly sabotaged the true [DIDACHÉ-Matthean] Gospel. It is for this reason, I believe, that they have been published. Of course I may be deceived, but at least this text upholds my case, with the strongest logic.

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The ‘Atoning Blood’ of Paulianity vis-a-vis Salvation in the DIDACHE

Sunday June 22 ’08 I prayed in the early hours for the truth regarding the doctrine of ‘the Atoning Blood of Christ.’ 

For some months this has been on the mind. It is such a seminal Prot. doctrine is now become ascendant, to the point that more Catholics seem to have embraced this soteriology.

Now, pertaining to the Blood and the DIDACHÉ:

The Atonement is absent. And this is not by mere incidental oversight.

Rather, I think the Atonement concept arose as a dialectical riposte to the DIDACHÉ. Blood Atonement as the salvific purpose and solution of Christ came first, I think, to the mind of Paul. And he aimed it squarely against the DIDACHE. One might say the Atoning Blood is a dialectical counter-position to the DIDACHÉ, which, more practically, instructs people how to live righteously, and, when we sin, to confess (DID. 14.1) our sins before the assembly. This is actually an rather urgent necessity, as confession is equated with cleansing of the soul. So, there is, I would say, a radical difference between the notion of Blood Atonement as the means of attaining Grace, in Paul’s writing, and the notion of sacrifice, in the DIDACHÉ.

Moreover, besides making open confession, a person should give a little to the poor, as a ‘ransom for sin’ (DID. 4.6). This is about as un-Lutheresque, un-Protestant and un-Pauline as you can get.

So, one can fairly assert that there is conceivably, and on the face, a contradiction between Paul and the DIDACHE on several matters, among them, the doctrine of the Blood of Atonement perhaps. 

And so, Sunday at 3:00 a.m. or so I sought God’s Wisdom on this, and received an answer in my spirit and in Bible study after dawn. 

Essentially, I came to understand Paul as having derived his teaching in an ‘inspired’ moment, shortly upon his having reflected on the intensely negative rebuke that the DIDACHE represented to his teaching ministry to the Gentiles and thus to his ministerial livelihood and how he might reply in order to save the

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latter. (As to who or what ‘inspired’ Paul in that moment whether God or the nemesis I will leave to you the reader.)

What happened (as I imaginatively reconstruct it for myself, guided by the spirit which is in me) is perhaps this:

First, that Paul understood the Two Ways doctrine as presented in the DIDACHÉ, and did not really disagree; in fact he knew that it was rock-solid truth (being after all, essentially a reverberation of classical Israelite wisdom and Torah). 

And Paul realized that the teaching as such was irresistible, irrefutable and one might say unstoppable. 

And so, in his rather desperate, livelihood-saving retort to the DIDACHE, what did Paul contrive? It appears that he came up with an ingenious jujitsu move, in which he simply attributed the bad Way, the Way of Death to the works of the flesh.  This was his coinage. The vices listed by Paul and by the DIDACHÉ overlap somewhat (as noted in another post.) Where the texts differ, however, is that Paul comes up with a dichotomy that more particularly differentiates between the flesh and the spirit. These two are, for Paul, the Two Ways.

This theme first appears, I think, in Galatians. And the association between this text of Paul’s and the DIDACHE is probably most obvious and blatant. However, Paul repeats the theme elsewhere (as I will perhaps get around to showing). He embellishes the theme and adds nuances with each retelling.

In any case, this distinction he makes between the spirit and flesh is really Paul’s prize strategic coup. Prior to Paul, the Two Ways was simply a moral choice posed to everyone. It was eminently wise conduct (or wickedness). The root source was perhaps from the Psalms (as I write about elsewhere)

All of which, Paul deftly twisted into something else. First, he sort of demonized the practical way of Life, by associating it with the Law—which he then regarded derogatorily as a curse and other bad things. And, because of the law, we are accursed and condemned to death. And because of the law, which give us no-nos, our flesh becomes excited and lustful to do evil.

And now Paul introduces his distinctive notion that the  only way to conquer the deadly works of this flesh (which has become corrupted by the law), is by reckoning the flesh to be dead, à la, the death that occurred in the body of Christ. 

For Paul, then, Christians thus ‘die’ with Christ in baptism. We are then are ‘raised in the spirit’ as a resurrection. 

By this means, the dire and ominous moral dichotomy that is posed by the Two Ways, is vicariously solved for us, by Christ’s death and resurrection. 

A Christian receives this righteousness as a ‘gift,’ through faith (that is, by believing both Paul’s teaching, and believing in the Resurrection in the first place). 

Paul goes on to elaborate on the theological, soteriological, and one should say mythological character of Christ’s death, and on how this death accomplishes the perfect triumph over the Way of Death, or, in Paul’s argot, over the way of sin and of the flesh. 

The solution, he writes, is the shedding of Christ’s Blood. It is by this means that Christians’ sins are collectively atoned for. And it is by a Christian’s having faith, that God is finally pleased. 

And God imputes this faith-assent as ‘righteousness.’  It is a faith He has given only selectively as a gift.  And this faith-gift is the only righteousness that God respects and accepts. 

This, at least, is my paraphrased interpretation of Paulianity.  Time permitting I expand upon this in other articles.

For now, the key point is simply that (in answer to a recent prayer) I have come to believe that Paul devised this doctrine as a ministry-saving retort after the severe chastisement of the DIDACHÉ. He claimed to have received his gospel directly from the Lord;  I do not know about that.  The textual evidence which I find, however, in his letters, and indicates that his doctrine was borne of response to the DIDACHE; responding to a scathing rebuke  the DIDACHE had leveled at false ministries (promulgated from a sizeable ministry team).

In this context, come responses from Peter, James and John, all of which bear upon the question of purification from evil. The Jerusalem apostles greatly understand the strength of Paul’s challenge: it represents a very easy, painless “free gift of righteousness.” And the Twelve realize they are up against a potent, well-funded, high-literary opposition team, who know how to undercut the competition.

If the Lord provides the means, perhaps I may be allowed to expound and elucidate this obviously enormously important point further.  You may want to subscribe to the RSS feed or visit again soon. 

In Christ’s service,

David

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