Category Archives: Intertextuality: Pro-DIDACHE

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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DIDACHE Priority, Parousia Parallels (DID 16, Mat.24, Mar 13, Lk 21, 1Co15, 1Th4

DID. 16.3

Mat 24:30-31

Mar 13:24-27

Luk 21:27-28 

1Co 15:51-52 

1Th 4:15-17

16.6 And then shall appear the signs of truth first the
sign of extension in heaven

next the sign of the trumpet call and third the
resurrection of the dead.

[16.7 not of all the dead, but, 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.

16.9 Then the evil shall go away into
eternal punishment but the righteous shall enter into life eternal, inheriting
those things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which has not
arisen in the heart of man. Those things which God has prepared for those
who love him.

 

DID 9.4 As this
fragment lay scattered upon the mountains and has been gathered to become
one, so gather your Church from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. For
the glory and power are yours, through Jesus Christ, forever.

10.5 Remember Lord your
Church, to preserve it from all evil and to make it perfect in your love. And,
sanctified, gather it from the four winds into your kingdom which you have
prepared for it.

And then the sign of the Son of Man shall appear in the heavens.

 

And then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the heaven with power and great glory. 

  

 

(31)  And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

 

 

LITERAL

And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet,

and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the heavens to their ends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(31)[triplicate of verse,place to show side-by-side comparison with DIDACHE Eucharist) 

And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 
(26)  And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.  (27)  And then He shall send His angels and shall gather His elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of heaven.

LITERAL

And then He will send His angels

 


and will gather His elect from the four winds, from the end of earth to the end of heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(27)  And then He shall send His angels and shall gather His elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of heaven.

  (27)  And then they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  (28)  And when these things begin to happen, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near.

 

Behold, I speak a mystery to you; we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed;  (52)  in a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet. For a trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.

For we say this to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall not go before those who are asleep. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  (16)  For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God.

 

And the dead in Christ shall rise first.  (17)  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall ever be with the Lord.

What we have here is intriguing intertextuality which could be the key to understanding a great deal;

The “Four Winds” and the “End of the Earth” Idioms

First, note the DIDACHE and Mark and Matthew, on the ‘gathering from four winds’ and ‘ends of the earth.’  The implication to me is that Mark and Matthew know this language and its echoes in the DIDACHE Eucharistic prayer. This, in the DIDACHE, is the true gathering of the Church from the four winds and the ends of the earth. 

How, then, do the two distinctive phrase find their way into Mark and Matthew where they both operate in an entirely different context, that is, referring to what some today fashionably would call the Rapture. 

There are several possibilities. One can only speculate.  It may be that a redactor has transplanted the two idioms from their original place in the DIDACHE Eucharist, to the Matthean/Markan ‘Rapture,’ because the DIDACHE is being discredited. This I consider only a remote possibility. A more likely one is that these two phrases are inserted into Matthew as code-terms for the benefit of those who have been properly initiated into the DIDACHE baptism and its exclusivistic ‘anti-canine’ policy (DID. 9.5). Thus, when when those initiates read/hear the Gospel of Matthew (the primary Gospel, but post-dating the DIDACHE) they will understand that the portrayal of the Rapture is actually a figurative device alluding esoterically to something else.

Regarding the Markan version of the same:

Note that it, the Markan, is almost verbatim, but the differences strongly indicate (at least to me) that Mark has reworked Matthew.  (Note: Contrary to mainstream scholars, I believe in Matthean priority and Markan dependence; and I believe, again with a minority, that Mark and Luke may have been written in order to (for lack of a more discreet word) subvert the DIDACHE-Gospel.)

Mark has incorporated Matthew’s phrase into his own work.  In the above side-by-side comparison, see where I have copied the texts using a literal word-for-word translation. 

Note that Mark eliminates the Matthean allusion to the trumpet.  Believe it or not, ‘trumpet’ is a loaded word because it strongly resonates with the authentic Apostolic DIDACHE Parousia.  ‘Trumpet’ is a word which I sense may have got Paul into embarrassment in 1Th, where he was sounding imitatively apostolic in his description of the Parousia, which–as the spirit-anointing upon me leads me to suggest– was based on the DIDACHE.  But Paul erred (quite ironically!) in leaving out a very important allusion to the revelation of a Deceiver in DID. 16.3-4). And Paul was basically caught up short for his error. This necessitates writing a second letter to cover his mistake (2Th2:1ff).  In any case, Paul has over-played the trumpet, which is a memorable sign spoken of as preceding the End, as the DIDACHE announces, and which Paul picks up and embellishes in 1Th and 1Co 15.52, his rather derivative (not to say plagiarized) Parousias. (Of course, so does Luke abandon trumpets.)

Perhaps because Mark knows about the sore history of the trumpet and the troubling note it stirred for Paul, Mark deletes the reference in his Parousia.

Now the interesting question concerns Mark’s use of the two idioms of  ‘gathering of the elect from the four winds’ and also ‘from the ends of the earth.’  The first question is, does Mark even recognize that these come from the DIDACHE Eucharist?  My tentative answer is, I think not!  Here, I think is what happened.

First, I believe that Matthew quite consciously re-adapted and then integrated the DIDACHE Eucharistic prayer idiom in question, into a Matthean Parousia written some years later.  In so doing, Matthew uses this Eucharistic allusion in a manner consistent with his whole exquisite Parousia Eschatology laid out in chapters 24-25. Because of this consistency, aptness and evidence of careful thought, the use of the two idioms in both Matthew and DIDACHE is not a mere coincidence but intended.  The Eucharistic prayer was prayed as it was, and it was memorized and internalized; and too, the Matthean hope and expectation of the Lord’s gathering of the saints from the four winds, was a fervent and ultimate hope. The two interrelated events–a weekly Sabbath Maranatha feast, and final rendezvous of the saints with Lord –is really the ultimate endpoint of Christian existence, even more so, one might say, than the Judgment, which, in a sense, is a life of preparation for meeting the Lord.

(Such a shame and pity, then, that the correct DIDACHE Eucharist was eventually subverted in later Christian practice; more on that, perhaps, elsewhere.)

Then, along came Mark, writing a variant on Matthew. In this text, Mark aims to archaize and consciously to incorporate certain primitive oral-flavored diction, the better to impart the subtle suggestion to hearers/readers and modern scholars, that Mark’s own gospel’s comes earlier, thus has priority, and hence greater authenticity, vis-a-vis the DIDACHE-Gospel of the Twelve; though actually it does not.

In so doing, Mark innocently copies the Matthean sentence in question almost verbatim: ‘And then He will send His angels and will gather His elect from the four winds, from the end of earth to the end of heaven.’  In so doing, Mark leaves out only the word trumpet. What is Mark’s redactive purpose? I think Mark simply wants to seem authentic by imitative copying here, and so he follows the Matthean original without reflecting adequately on the undesired suspicion this casts upon his archaizing project.  He does not grasp the fact that these two tell-tale idioms, which Matthew has shifted out of the Eucharistic prayer of DIDACHE and into the Parousia, were already in the  Eucharistic prayer.

There are several possible reasons why, in naturalistic terms, Mark (the not-quite-clever-enough scribe) may have overlooked this leaving-of-a-fingerprint ; we could speculate quite a bit, but in any case, it happened, for some divine purpose, and Mark made a slip-up, for which I think we should rejoice.

There is also the possibility that the idioms of ‘four winds’ and ‘ends of the earth’ were simply quite commonplace, so that their usage by any author in any context is not remarkable; see Eucharist category concordances for both phrases to get a sense of their commonality.

But if, as I believe, the use of these idioms signifies intertextuality of DIDACHE with Matthew, which Mark has then re-worked, then the implications are I think momentous; for one thing this would affirm Matthean priority, against the grain with most scholars.

Consider, for another, the Matthean Parousia in chapters 24-25.  I suspect most scholars assume many of the words could not have been said by Jesus, at least not in the form presented. (I don’t mean to impugn the profession, but most scholars seem to take an extremely minimalist position almost reflexively.)  However, in this case, if, as all the evidence I marshal seems to show, the DIDACHE is authentic, then it would make perfect sense that its Eucharistic prayer would use the very language the Christ Himself used, albeit in the context of the Parousia.  It is quite remarkable to me that the two idioms about the gathering of the saints from the four winds, and the ends of the heavens, should both occur together in the Eucharist prayer (in different portions) and then be joined in the Parousia. The use of these phrases in the prayer actually gives the attribution in Matthew 24 greater credibility, I would say.  The most plausible explanation for why the phrases occur in both places is that the same community participated in writing Matthew and the DIDACHE, and still recalled the Lord’s words in some context, of gathering the saints from the four winds and from the ends of the heavens. And so the community  consisting of the Twelve apostles and their church  included these words in their Maranatha prayer.  And this same theme naturally came to mind in the Eschatological language of the End.  The Miraculous Feeding anticipates the eternal banquet with Jesus. This is why the Eucharistic cry is, ‘Maranatha!   Come Lord!  Come to us in our feast.

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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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Psalms 1-9

Psalm 1
(1)  Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and has not stood in the way of sinners, and has not sat in the seat of the scornful.
(2)  But his delight is only in the Law of Jehovah; and in His Law he meditates day and night.
(3)  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivulets of water that brings forth its fruit in its seasons, and its leaf shall not wither, and all which he does shall be blessed.
(4)  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away.
(5)  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
(6)  For Jehovah knows the way of the righteous; but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Psalm 2
(1)  Why do the nations rage, and the peoples meditate on a vain thing?
(2)  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers plot together, against Jehovah and against His anointed, saying,
(3)  Let us break their bands in two and cast away their cords from us.
(4)  He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; Jehovah shall mock at them.
(5)  Then He shall speak to them in His anger, and trouble them in His wrath.
(6)  Yea, I have set My king on My holy hill, on Zion.
(7)  I will declare the decree of Jehovah. He has said to Me, You are My Son; today I have begotten You.
(8)  Ask of Me, and I shall give the nations for Your inheritance; and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession.
(9)  You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
(10)  And now be wise, O kings; be instructed, O judges of the earth.
(11)  Serve Jehovah with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
(12)  Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled in but a little time. Blessed are all who put their trust in Him.

Psalm 3
(1)  A Psalm of David, when he fled from his son Absalom. O Lord, how my foes have increased! Many are the ones who rise up against me.
(2)  Many are saying of my soul, There is no deliverance for him in God. Selah.
(3)  But You, O Jehovah, are a shield for me; my glory, the One who lifts up my head.
(4)  I cried to Jehovah with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill. Selah.
(5)  I laid down and slept. I awoke, for Jehovah kept me.
(6)  I am not afraid of ten thousands of people who have set against me all around.
(7)  Arise, O Jehovah; save me, O my God; for You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone. You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
(8)  Salvation belongs to Jehovah. Your blessing is on Your people. Selah.

 

Psalm 4
(1)  To the Chief Musician, for stringed instruments. A Psalm of David. Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness; You gave room to me in trouble; have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
(2)  O sons of men, how long will you turn My glory into shame? Will you love vanity and seek after a lie? Selah.
(3)  But know that Jehovah has set apart the godly for Himself. Jehovah hears when I call to Him.
(4)  Tremble, and sin not; speak within your own heart on your bed and be still. Selah.
(5)  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in Jehovah.
(6)  There are many who say, Who will show us any good? Jehovah, lift up the light of Your face on us.
(7)  You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their grain and their wine increased.
(8)  I will lie down, both in peace and in sleep. For You alone, Jehovah, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 5
(1)  To the Chief Musician, for flutes. A Psalm of David. Give ear to my words, O Jehovah; consider my meditation.
(2)  Listen to the voice of my cry, my King and my God; for to You I will pray.
(3)  My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Jehovah; in the morning I will direct my prayer to You, and I will look up.
(4)  For You are not a God that enjoys wickedness; nor shall evil dwell with You.
(5)  The foolish shall not stand in Your sight. You hate all doers of iniquity.
(6)  You shall destroy those who speak lies; Jehovah will despise the bloody and deceitful man.
(7)  But I, in the abundance of Your grace, I will come into Your house; I will worship in Your fear toward Your holy temple.
(8)  Lead me, O Jehovah, in Your righteousness, because of my enemies; make Your way straight before my face.
(9)  For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is wickedness; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.
(10)  Hold them guilty, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, for they have rebelled against You.
(11)  But let all who put their trust in You rejoice; let them always shout for joy, because You defend them. And let those who love Your name be joyful in You.
(12)  For You; O Jehovah, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Psalm 6
(1)  To the Chief Musician, for eight-stringed instruments. A Psalm of David. O Jehovah, rebuke me not in Your anger, nor chasten me in the heat of Your fury.
(2)  Have mercy on me, O Jehovah, for I am weak; O Jehovah, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
(3)  My soul also is exceedingly troubled; but You, O Jehovah, how long?
(4)  Return, O Jehovah, return; deliver my soul; save me for Your mercy’s sake.
(5)  For in death there is no memory of You; in the grave who shall give You thanks?
(6)  I am weary in my groaning; all the night I make my bed swim; I melt my couch with my tears.
(7)  My eye is dim because of grief; it wastes away because of all my enemies.
(8)  Depart from me, all workers of iniquity; for Jehovah has heard the voice of my weeping.
(9)  Jehovah has heard my cry; Jehovah will receive my prayer.
(10)  Let all my enemies be ashamed and exceedingly troubled; let them turn back and be ashamed in a moment.

Psalm 7
(1)  A song of David, which he sang to Jehovah, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite. O Jehovah my God, in You I put my trust; save me from all who pursue me, and deliver me,
(2)  lest he tear my soul like a lion, tearing it in pieces, and there is no one to deliver.
(3)  O Jehovah my God, if I have done this; if there is iniquity in my hands;
(4)  if I have rewarded evil to my friend, or if I have delivered one oppressing me without cause;
(5)  let the enemy persecute my soul and take it; yea, let him trample down my life on the earth and lay my honor in the dust. Selah.
(6)  Arise, O Jehovah, in Your anger; lift up Yourself because of the rage of my enemies, and awake for me to the judgment which You have commanded.
(7)  And the congregation of the peoples shall surround You; and over it You will return on high.
(8)  Jehovah shall judge the people; judge me, O Jehovah, according to my righteousness, and according to my integrity on me.
(9)  O let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just. For the righteous God tries the minds and hearts.
(10)  My defense is from God, who saves the upright in heart.
(11)  God judges the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
(12)  If he does not turn, He will whet His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready.
(13)  Yea, He has fitted him for instruments of death; He has made His arrows hotly pursue.
(14)  Behold, he labors in pain with iniquity, and he has conceived mischief, and has brought forth falsehood.
(15)  He dug a pit and bored it, and has fallen into the ditch which he made.
(16)  His mischief shall return on his own head, and his violence shall come on his own crown.
(17)  I will praise Jehovah according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of Jehovah most high.

Psalm 8
(1)  To the Chief Musician, on the harp. A Psalm of David. O Jehovah our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens!
(2)  Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings You have ordained strength, because of ones vexing You, to cause the enemy and the avenger to cease.
(3)  When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have established;
(4)  what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man, that You visit him?
(5)  For You have made him lack a little from God, and have crowned him with glory and honor.
(6)  You made him rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet:
(7)  all sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field;
(8)  the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, and all that pass through the paths of the seas.
(9)  O Jehovah, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!

Psalm 9
(1)  To the Chief Musician. To die for the Son. A Psalm of David. I will praise You, O Jehovah, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
(2)  I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
(3)  When my enemies have turned back, they shall fall and perish before You.
(4)  For You have maintained my right and my cause; You sat in the throne judging right.
(5)  You have rebuked the heathen, You have destroyed the wicked, You have put out their name forever and ever.
(6)  The desolations of the enemy have come to an end forever, and You have destroyed the cities; their memorial has perished with them.
(7)  But Jehovah shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment.
(8)  And He shall judge the world in righteousness; He shall judge the peoples in uprightness.
(9)  Jehovah also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
(10)  And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Jehovah, have not forsaken those who seek You.
(11)  Sing praises to Jehovah, who dwells in Zion; declare among the nations His deeds.
(12)  For He remembers them, the seekers of bloodshed; He forgets not the cry of the humble.
(13)  Have mercy on me, O Jehovah; see my trouble from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death,
(14)  so that I may declare all Your praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion; I will rejoice in Your salvation.
(15)  The nations have sunk down in the pit that they made; their foot is caught in the net which they hid.
(16)  Jehovah is known. He has executed judgment; the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. A meditation. Selah.
(17)  The wicked shall be turned into hell, all the nations that forget God.
(18)  For the needy shall not always be forgotten; the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.
(19)  Arise, O Jehovah; let not man be strong. Let the nations be judged in Your sight.
(20)  Put them in fear, O Jehovah, let the nations know they are but men. Selah.

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The DIDACHE-Gospel and True Perfectionism (DID. 1.4, 6.2, 10.5, 16.2)

Both the DIDACHE and New Testament underscore the goal and purpose of the Gospel and its brand of salvation: it is that a person attain perfection.

In the DIDACHE, perfection can be refined as moral, spiritual and economic.

The stakes are absolutely enormous; nothing could be more so: those who attain perfection will enter eternal heavenly life; those who fall short will be excluded (see DID. 16.2). Whether a ‘second chance’ of some kind, or reincarnation(s) and/or corrective purgatory are available to those who do not enter immediately,we are not told.

Purgatory and Protestant Over-Reaction?

There is, of course, voluminous testimonial evidence regarding a Purgatory, revealed in visions of Christian saints and mystics.  In the Protestant Reformation, the notion of Purgatory was famously a central issue of dispute, as the Sale of Indulgences amounted to a kind of quasi-extortionistic ‘bailout racket,’ if you will,  to which Martin Luther objected.

Curiously, the DIDACHE expresses a similar idea in stating that one should ‘ransom’ ones’ sins by giving money to the poor (DID. 4.6).

This notion makes perfect sense to me.  However, to Protestants it is so repugnant that it sparked of the entire Reformation!

The Root Idea of Perfection

Underlying the Reformation-era conflict is the basically same issue behind the 1st century conflict, between the DIDACHE-Gospel Apostolate notion which stresses, four time, the necessity of being ‘perfect’ “Or Else!”    and Paulianity, with it’s radically different solution. 

It is hard to think of a more crucial issue in all of human life!  For not only is attainment of moral-spiritual-economic perfectionism the basis for deciding one’s eternal fate in Christianity, but in Hinduism and in the ancient philosophy of the Greeks as well. 

When you think about it, what could possibly be more important?  This is Jesus’ point precisely, too, when he declared: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, if he lose his soul?” And also, “He who tries to save his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s shall find it.” And in several other texts.

Thus we see a remarkable consistency of positions regarding the necessity and goal of attaining ‘perfection in triplicate’ (moral, spiritual, economic) in some moral philosophies, religions, and in “both” rival Christianities; in the latter case, the only question is, how is this to be done?

For the most liberal Christians the answer is sola fide:  faith alone.  This came from Paul and was picked up and made into the Protestant creed, by Martin Luther.

Yet, it was and is roundly rejected by other apostles, especially by James in his letter; and also in more moderate terms in the Sermon on the Mount and elsewhere.

This perfection-getting is truly the central question of life!

If you attain perfection    by whatever means!      you surely will attain God’s favor!  In the Judgment, He will decide whether you need to “go back to Reform School,” i.e., to Purgatory or reincarnation.  Or, He may decide that you are irreparable and beyond remedy.  Or, He may declare you perfect.

Conclusion: Are Delusion and Folly Pervasive Today among ‘Paulianity Protestants’?

The DIDACHE-Gospel and other reliable sources all tell us that ‘you reap what you sow.’  Despite this, Martin Luther was so caught up in his over-reaction to some questionable Catholic doctrines, that he brazenly advised the ridiculous opposite extreme and (reportedly at least) wrote, Sin boldly’!   Such was the certainty and trust that he put in his own reading of Paul (a dubious source, obviously, in the first place!) 

Thus today, a strong theme of Protestantism and of all of Christianity tells us that we are ‘free from the law.’ 

The real nub of the problem is that, while we are indeed free from the worthless Torah of its 613 rituals and commandments, we who are disciples of Christ and the Teaching He brought, are emphatically subordinate to His Commandments.

And these are not     like the Torah’s “sheaves-and-shekels sheikhdown”     useless and vain religious tenets.  They are virtues, practices, policies and moral codes, the obedience to which will save our souls and save the world.

Yes, we fall short; as James put it, we all stumble in many ways.  But this does not entail that the ‘Law is a curse’ or that we should toss it aside, in the name of ‘faith alone.’  This logic from Paul and the Reformation is truly catastrophic, both for the world (which has become unsustainably over-developed, in large part due to the developmental, imperial, technological and capitalistic excesses of Protestantism-inspired nations) and for individuals.

What a tragedy that we were deceived and led astray from the Word of Life in the DIDACHE-Gospel.  May the Father be merciful in forgiving us and granting us  time and opportunity henceforth to make amends!  Amen

 

Concordance of perfect, Perfection”  in the DIDACHE and New Testament

DIDACHE:

1.4 Avoid the fleshly and bodily passions. If someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other to him also, and you will be perfect. If someone forces you to go
one mile, go with him two. If someone takes your coat, give him your shirt
also. If someone takes away from you what is yours, do not ask for it back,
since you cannot.

6.1 See that no one leads you astray from this way of teaching, since the one
who does so teaches apart from God. 6.2 If you are able to bear the whole
yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect, but if you cannot, do what you can.

10.5 Remember Lord your Church, to preserve it from all evil and to make it  perfect in your love. And, sanctified, gather it from the four winds into your kingdom which you have prepared for it. Because yours is the power and the glory for ever.

16.2 You shall assemble frequently, seeking what your souls need, for
the whole time of your faith will be of no profit to you unless you are perfected
at the final hour.

 

Matthew’s Gospel:

(Mat 5:48)  Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.

(Mat 19:21)  Jesus said to him, If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, follow Me.

(Mat 21:16)  And they said to Him, Do you hear what these say? And Jesus said to them, Yes, have you never read, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings You have perfected praise?”

 

New Testament:

Perfect

(Mat 5:48)  Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.

(Mat 19:21)  Jesus said to him, If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, follow Me.

(Luk 6:40)  The disciple is not above his master, but everyone who is perfect shall be like his master.

(Joh 17:23)  I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.

(Act 3:16)  And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, this one whom you see and know, His name made firm. And the faith which came through Him has given him this perfect soundness before you.

(Rom 12:2)  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

(1Co 2:6)  But, we speak wisdom among those who are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, that come to nothing.

(1Co 13:10)  But when the perfect thing comes, then that which is in part will be caused to cease.

(2Co 12:9)  And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.

(2Co 13:11)  Finally, brothers, rejoice. Perfect yourselves; encourage yourselves; mind the same thing; be at peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

(Gal 3:3)  Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, do you now perfect yourself in the flesh?

(Php 3:12)  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold of that for which I also was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.

(Php 3:15)  Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be of this mind. And if in anything you are otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you.

(Col 1:28)  whom we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, so that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

(Col 4:12)  Epaphras greets you, he being of you, a servant of Christ, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

(1Th 3:10)  night and day praying exceedingly for me to see your face and to perfect the things lacking in your faith?

(Heb 2:10)  For it became Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons into glory, to perfect the Captain of their salvation through sufferings.

(Heb 7:19)  For the Law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, by which we draw near to God.

(Heb 9:9)  For it was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices that could not make him who did the service perfect as regards the conscience,

(Heb 9:11)  But when Christ had become a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building

(Heb 10:1)  For the Law which has a shadow of good things to come, not the very image of the things, appearing year by year with the same sacrifices, which they offer continually, they are never able to perfect those drawing near.

(Heb 11:40)  for God had provided some better thing for us, that they should not be made perfect without us.

(Heb 12:23)  to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are written in Heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

(Heb 13:21)  make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

(Jas 1:4)  But let patience have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.

(Jas 1:17)  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning.

(Jas 1:25)  But whoever looks into the perfect Law of liberty and continues in it, he is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work. This one shall be blessed in his doing.

(1Pe 5:10)  But the God of all grace, He calling us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, He will perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

(1Jn 4:17)  In this is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, that as He is, so also we are in this world.

(1Jn 4:18)  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love.

Perfected:

(Mat 21:16)  And they said to Him, Do you hear what these say? And Jesus said to them, Yes, have you never read, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings You have perfected praise?”

(2Ti 3:17)  that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.

(Heb 5:9)  And being perfected, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him,

(Heb 7:28)  For the Law appoints men high priests who have infirmity, but the word of the swearing of an oath, after the Law, has consecrated the Son forever, having been perfected.

(Heb 10:14)  For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified.

(1Jn 2:5)  But whoever keeps His Word, truly in this one the love of God is perfected. By this we know that we are in Him.

(1Jn 4:12)  No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.

(1Jn 4:18)  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love.

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The ‘DIDACHE on the Mount’ (Mat. 5)

Mat 5:1-48
(1)  And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain. And when He had sat down, His disciples came to Him.
(2)  And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying,
(3)  Blessed are the poor in spirit! For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
(4)  Blessed are they that mourn! For they shall be comforted.
(5)  Blessed are the meek! For they shall inherit the earth.
(6)  Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness! For they shall be filled.
(7)  Blessed are the merciful! For they shall obtain mercy.
(8)  Blessed are the pure in heart! For they shall see God.
(9)  Blessed are the peacemakers! For they shall be called the sons of God.
(10)  Blessed are they who have been persecuted for righteousness sake! For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
(11)  Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for My sake.
(12)  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for your reward in Heaven is great. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
(13)  You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its savor, with what shall it be salted? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and to be trodden underfoot by men.
(14)  You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
(15)  Nor do men light a lamp and put it under the grain-measure, but on a lampstand. And it gives light to all who are in the house.
(16)  Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.
(17)  Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill.
(18)  For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled.
(19)  Therefore whoever shall relax one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.
(20)  For I say to you that unless your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven.
(21)  You have heard that it was said to the ancients, “You shall not kill” –and, “Whoever shall kill shall be liable to the judgment.”
(22)  But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be liable to the judgment. And whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be liable to the sanhedrin; but whoever shall say, Fool! shall be liable to be thrown into the fire of hell.
(23)  Therefore if you offer your gift on the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything 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.
(25)  Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way with him; that the opponent not deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
(26)  Truly I say to you, You shall by no means come out from there until you have paid the last kodrantes.
(27)  You have heard that it was said to the ancients, “You shall not commit adultery.”
(28)  But I say to you that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
(29)  And if your right eye offends you, pluck it out and throw it from you. For it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be thrown into hell.
(30)  And if your right hand offends you, cut it off and throw it from you. For it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be thrown into hell.
(31)  It was also said, Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce.
(32)  But I say to you that whoever shall put away his wife, except for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever shall marry her who is put away commits adultery.
(33)  Again, you have heard that it has been said to the ancients, “You shall not swear falsely, but you shall perform your oaths to the Lord.”
(34)  But I say to you, Do not swear at all! Not by Heaven, because it is God’s throne;
(35)  not by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; not by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King;
(36)  nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.
(37)  But let your word be, Yes, yes; No, no. For whatever is more than these comes from evil.
(38)  You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.”
(39)  But I say to you, Do not resist evil. But whoever shall strike you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
(40)  And to him desiring to sue you, and to take away your tunic, let him have your coat also.
(41)  And whoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two.
(42)  Give to him who asks of you, and you shall not turn away from him who would borrow from you.
(43)  You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.”
(44)  But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you,
(45)  so that you may become sons of your Father in Heaven. For He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
(46)  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same?
(47)  And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax-collectors do so?
(48)  Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.

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