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Re: Matt, Luke and the Didache

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  • Larry Swain
    ... The only place I recall that happening is where the Didache cites the Lord s Prayer, so I m not sure how much weight we can place on it as being from
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 27, 1998
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      Maluflen@... wrote:
      > In a message dated 98-11-22 23:23:22 EST, rmswain@... writes:
      > <<
      > I think the "gospel" [as used in Didache] is analagous to Paul's use of the
      > term "gospel" in his letters. I don't think Paul is referring to one of the
      > written
      > gospels as we know them, but rather the whole Christian package, which
      > in my view was written fairly early on, and of which the Didache for
      > example, would be an instance.>>
      > The difference is, though, that unlike the uses of the term in Paul, the term
      > in Didache is always followed by text that very closely resembles what we find
      > in Matt. One needs to hypothesize the existence of an early form (or source)
      > of Matthew that contained virtually identical material. This is of course not
      > impossible, but it is also not the most natural hypothesis. The fact that
      > (probable) second century references to the Gospel of Matthew are equally
      > vague in their designation of the work would further support the likelihood
      > that the author of the Didache knew Matt (and possibly suggest a later date
      > for it too).

      The only place I recall that happening is where the Didache cites the
      Lord's Prayer, so I'm not sure how much weight we can place on it as
      being from Matthew's gospel, if any weight whatsoever. Such an item,
      then as now, could very well have been a part of oral tradition among
      the Christian communities.

      Further, that vagueness continues well into the medieval period, so I'm
      not convinced that that is really an argument for the lateness of the

      I did a comparison once of how Matthew is used in Ignatius, Barnabus,
      Didache, Shepherd, Justin etc. hoping at that time to prove that Matthew
      was used canonically or understood that way. I was very disappointed.
      But what I did find was that the Didache is no more, and no less precise
      in its citations of Matthew than Ignatius, which may mean that Ignatius
      and Didache both know Matthew, but know him either orally or don't have
      a text before them. Or it may have no meaning for date at all. But if
      we posit that Matthew and Didache come from the same communities
      (generally speaking) and are drawing from M, then the Didache would
      represent just what we would expect. Course there are some pretty big
      ifs in there that I should go back and reexamine.

      > << It's murky. I mean what you detect in your last statement could just as
      > easily be explained by saying that Did and Lk both accessed the same
      > source. Or Did could be a source for Lk. Or vice versa. >>
      > I had hoped to receive more guidance here! I'm not sure I can undertake the
      > project at the moment, but I suspect that a somewhat firmer conclusion on this
      > subject could be arrived at with a little work on the Lk -- Did parallels.
      > E.g., are there other cases where Matt material is expanded, in Lk, in a way
      > analogous to passages such as those that are common to Did and Lk? Or are the
      > common passages better viewed against the background of Luke's known tendency
      > to juxtapose material from texts united by a common theme? (Many of the Luke
      > -- Did parallels are from material that is saying substantially the same thing
      > said in Matt, only in different terms).

      Sorry about that Leonard, I've not done a word comparison with Luke,
      only Matthew. Now you have me curious and I'll put this on the list of
      my projects to do. WIll let you know what I find.

      Larry Swain
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