Category Archives: Chapter 07

Auto-Baptism Last Friday (DID. 7.1-4)

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Of course as a believer in the DIDACHE, I eventually had to get around to having a DIDACHE baptism. (Though, as an infant in 1951, had been given the of a Methodist-Episcopal Church.) 

The day itself, June 20, 08, was rather magical and well ordered.  For weeks prior, I had been under a sense of pressure to meet a deadline on an assignment, due 5:00 p.m. PDT June 20.  (If I had missed it, even by a few days it would not have mattered to my client; but the DIDACHE instructs us to let our words be fulfilled with action [2.5]; and so I forced myself to perform as promised, for that reason; and it felt good to do what is required.  The Lord arranged so that, somehow, at precisely 5:00 pm and not a moment earlier, my work was delivered by a series of emails.  This serendipity seemed like a sign.)

F a s t i n g

For this baptism I fasted in preparation as required (DID. 7.4). Incidentally, there is strong support for this practice in the history of the pre-Conciliar Christianity. The significant of fasting, as I understand and experience it, is that it works spiritual cleansing or purging. Daily life sullies us; fasting ejects evil spirits. And if we ourselves are not so plagued, then our fasting can benefit others. We should thus fast on their behalf, especially if they hate us. (DID. 1.3).

After fasting all day (incidentally, the longest day of the year), I recited the catechism (DID 7.1) at 7:30, in preparation. At precisely 7:59 I entered the water. (The time marked the solstice, the northern latitudes being closest to the sun; and we know from recent archaeology that the sect from which our Lord originated, were devotees of solar rather than lunar astronomical observance.)  And 7:59 corresponded with the sunset in my city, La Mesa, California.  

A u t o – B a p t I s m

I baptized myself.  Just me, going under.

I had thought about asking someone else to baptize me, but that would have caused problems and contradictions, because, implicitly and explicitly the baptizer in this rite is a believer in the DIDACHE catechism; and, so far, I am the only person I know who believes the DIDACHE as the authentic founding charter of the true Church, to be obeyed.  So, as Matthew’s Gospel notes, it is important to conform to the Word:

Then Jesus came from Galilee to Jordan, to John, to be baptized by him.  (14)  But John restrained Him, saying, I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me? 

(15)  And answering Jesus said to him, Allow it now, for it is becoming to us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he allowed Him.  (16)  And Jesus, when He had been baptized, went up immediately out of the water. And lo, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him. (Mat 3:13-16 )

And so I am self-baptized obedience to the DIDACHE, in the name of the Lord; and also in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (as there is a possibility that the two formulae evolved and are both preserved in the DIDACHE). 

As I underwent baptism, I did not see the Holy Spirit descend as a dove (but this happened earlier, in a wonderful dream on Oct. 9, 07, about which perhaps I will write).  Instead of a dove, two cute and playful little neighborhood children splashed in the pool with me a few feet away. I can’t think of witnesses I would rather have had.

Then home and dinner. Then spent the weekend fiddling with CMS software for a DIDACHE Gospel website in progress to supersede the weblog.

And the Spirit was being gentle and loving, but also, was bringing many things to mind, sins, directing me to examine my conscience and on cleanse it and keep it clean, by experiencing remorse for my sins.  

All Saturday and Sunday, ‘interesting’ signs followed. Among these events, concerning an altogether different Scripture issue, are told in a separate post (The ‘Atoning Blood’ of Paulianity vis-a-vis Salvation in the DIDACHE).

It was then on either Saturday or Sunday that I felt strongly led to the Psalms.

Easily, in reading the very first one, I made this personal discovery that they underlie the DIDACHE. (And hence are of course the basis of true saving Gospel of God in the Lord Christ).  This is really no earth-shaking insight; doesn’t every adult Christian knows that the events in the Gospel of Matthew often parallel the Psalms. The Lord often quotes them. 

But, somehow, in the past 9 months of my DIDACHE studies it had escaped my attention just how thoroughly based on the Psalms of David, the DIDACHE truly is. 

(And note ‘of David’; because Psalms of Asaph and Psalms for the sons Korah are also in the book, and there is another story to be told here as well, I think.)

It was, I’ll admit, a strange auto-baptism, as it is a strange one-man religion. Somehow, over the weekend, I receive a newsgroup mail with the signature quoting Martin Luther’s most famous words, I think it goes ‘Hier stehe ich, ich kanst nicht anders.’ So for me, Hier werde ich getauft. Was sonst kann ich tun?

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Filed under Chapter 07, Reflections, Implications

Baptism (and a text alteration? DID. 7.1)

7.1 Concerning baptism, baptize thus: [After you have repeated all these
things.] Baptize in the name of the [the Lord]
[cf. 9.5, later changed to ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit’] in running water.

COMMENT:

The text as we have it reads ‘in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit…’ Alan Garrow suggests that this reflects a change, and the original was simply ‘in the name of the Lord.’ Evidence of this is found in 9.5 which retains the original.

DIDACHE scholars and other NT scholars tend to agree that the trinitarian formula, here and in other texts, was probably a scribal emendation during a period of controversy over Christology and the trinity (say, during the time of the Arian controversy, I might suppose).

The Gospel of Matthew parallels this trinitarian baptismal insertion, in the Great Commission (see 28.19).

One further implication of a change like this, would that if the original term was simply ‘the Lord,’ later changed, then this would provide a further bit evidence of the DIDACHE’s early (making it more probably pre-Matthean) with respect to dating and its apostolic authenticity.

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Filed under Chapter 07, DIDACHE Authenticity