ἀνάλημψις: Canones Hippolyti 33

Can. Hipp. 33 states that should there be an انالمسيس (a transliteration of analēmpsis) for the departed, then the participants should receive the mysteries before they sit down. The term employed is interesting. Coquin believes this refers to the death of those who are remembered, pointing to the use at Luke 9:51, though comments (Les Canons d’Hippolyte (PO31.2; Paris : Firmin-Didot, 1966), 405, n7)) that the context would indicate a liturgical event. Rather than referring to the death commemorated (which would be otiose, given that the funeral context is then made clear) is it possible that this is the term employed in the community for such an occasion? There is a possible parallel for this use of the word in a third-century inscription from Thrace (SIG 888.39-44), in which villagers are complaining to Gordian about the depredations of troops, and state that “they come to our village and force us to provide them lodgings and everything else for their provision (καὶ ἕτ̣ερα πλεῖστα εἰς ἀ̣νάλη̣μψιν αὐτῶν) without payment of any monies. If this is the case, then this is a significant piece of evidence for the commemoration of the departed in Christian Egypt.

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Didascalia apostolorum 2.26.4

Dani Vaucher’s comment below on the “breaf” abstract from the paper on Didascalia 9 has got me thinking.

The reconstruction of passages from Greek writings preserved only in ancient translations is an uncertain business; if only I had paid more attention in Greek prose composition classes as an undergraduate! Didascalia apostolorum 2.26.4 (from chapter 9 of the Syriac) is of particular interest.

The Constitutiones apostolorum reads: ὁ μὲν οὖν ἐπίσκοπος προκαθεζέσθω ὑμῶν ὡς θεοῦ ἀξίᾳ τετιμημένος (CA 2.26.4). That it is highly paraphrastic at this point (as an adaptation, rather than a translation, of the Didascalia) is evident from both the Latin and the Syriac versions of the Didascalia.

The Latin reads: “hic locum dei sequens sicuti deus honoretur a vobis quoniam episcopus in typum dei praesedet vobis” whereas in the Syriac we read: “He leads (ܡܕܒܪ) you in the place of (ܒܕܘܟܬܐ) the Almighty one. He is to be honoured by you as God (ܐܝܟ ܐܠܗܐ) since the bishop sits among you in the place (ܒܕܘܟܬܐ) of God almighty.”

The statement about being in the place of God is taken by the Syriac translator as being something that the bishop undertakes, through the addition of an object, whereas the Latin understands this to mean that the bishop has second place to God. The question is that of which Greek word might lead to either rendition possibly through misunderstanding. We may suspect the presence of a participle, given that both versions employ participial forms, rather than a simple preposition. One possibility is the aorist participle of ἀλλάσσω, ἀλλαχθείς, meaning that the bishop exchanged places with God; the suggestion, in turn is that the Syriac translator read this as ἀχθείς.

The distinction between the two versions in the second part of the phrase is easier to explain.

We may certainly suspect that the Latin is correct in reading typum, and that this has been read by the Syriac translator as τόπος, perhaps on the basis that τόπος has appeared immediately beforehand. At Ignatius Magn. 6 we read of the bishop that he is προκαθημένου… εἰς τύπον θεοῦ. Although the MS tradition reads τόπον here. Lightfoot suggested τύπον, and is recently followed, very persuasively, by Brent.

As a result I would venture as a retroversion: ἀλλαχθείς τοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ τόπου, ὑφʼ ὑμῶν ὡς θεοῦ τιμῆσθω, προκαθημένου τοῦ ἐπισκόπου εἰς τύπον θεοῦ. The use of the genitive absolute in the last clause, rather than ἐπεί or ἐπειδή or some similar conjunction, is a punt on the hypothesis that the Didascalist was citing Ignatius directly. To be honest the use of a conjunction is more probable, given the quoniam of the Latin and the ܐܠܐ of the Syriac, which rather indicates that he is not citing Ignatius directly.

At the end of which we ask whether we have really learnt anything. Had I been persuaded by this exercise that the Didascalist had direct knowledge of Ignatius that would be worthwhile. Otherwise it has simply exercised the little grey cells for a while without a great deal in the way of progress.

What is perhaps most interesting is that the Constitutiones apostolorum manifestly do not cite Ignatius. Were the redactor pseudo-Ignatius, as we are often told he is, then that would be decidedly odd.

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Church orders at the 2018 British Patristics Conference

The British Patristics conference is being held in Cardiff from 5th-7th September (https://www.britishpatristics.org/). Sadly I am unable to attend.
There is one paper relating directly to the church orders; the author appears to have discovered a Greek text of the Didascalia! I post the abstract here without editing, or further comment.

Liturgical expression of Trinitarian theology in the third century Antioch

Phoebe Kearns

University of Winchester

I will address this topic by exploring how the descriptions of clergy and liturgy in the Didascalia express the understanding of the Trinity in third century Antioch and Syria. My aim in this paper to express the close link between the Trinitarian theology of the church in the Antioch and the developing theology of the deaconate in this region. The Antiochian theology in this era is important since it influenced the development of the theology of the diaconate and the order of the deacon across the Eastern Roman Empire over the succeeding centuries.

I will start by setting out what is known of third century liturgies in Antioch and the surrounding province of Syria along with the first instances of theological linking clergy with aspects of the Trinity by of Ignatius of Antioch. I will then present the passages of the Didascalia which are the focus of my presentation, this being the first paragraph of Chapter 9 of the where the Trinitarian theology is expressed. Other passages of the Didascalia will be used to illustrate and expand on the implied meaning and context of this passage. Since the Didascalia was written within the Aramaic speaking region I will breafly examine the influence this had on the theology of this document. I will also refer to Greek texts of the Didascalia, as this may also provide insights into aspects of the document which are unclear in English translation. Within my presentation I will also refer to Temple and Wisdom Traditions both of which are evident in my key source text and help to place it within the unwritten traditions of the church at this time.

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Euodia and Syntyche

Now published online is “Euodia, Syntyche and the Role of Syzygos: Phil 4:2–3” ZNW 109 (2018), 222–234.

Abstract: In Phil 4:2–3 Paul urges Euodia and Syntyche to unite with each other. He also addresses ‘true yokefellow’, and asks him to assist the two women. This paper disputes the almost universally held assumption that Paul was asking him to mediate a conflict between the two women. Rather, Paul is here calling the church leaders, Euodia and Syntyche, to have the mind of Christ and to foster unity among the Philippian churches, and the other church members to support them. The term ‘true yokefellow’ is a piece of ‘idealized praise’ and is Paul’s way of diplomatically correcting one or more church members.

I do not post the German abstract as I realize that somebody somewhere interfered with my version by turning “Gemeinde” at each point to a singular, whereas I had plurals, reflecting the plural nature of Philippian congregations even in a single Ortskirche.

This article is chiefly the work of Richard Fellows, though I have managed to get my name on it as co-author, mainly by exercising my editorial skills.

By way of an aside, to lighten up a rather quotidian post, we may note that this in part continues my argument in Original bishops that Euodia and Syntyche were patrons, episkopoi, of Philippian Christian associations. Those interested in ancient precedents for the ordination of women (among whom I am not numbered) may do better exploring the roles of these ancient female patrons than by examining the rather dubious and difficult evidence of the church orders regarding female deacons.

Those without access to the online ZNW, or in due course the print version, or those who cannot wait, may, as usual, ask for an offprint in the accustomed manner.

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Deaconesses in Testamentum Domini

I was recently intrigued to notice that in the Church of England’s lectionary Macrina was kept alongside Gregory of Nyssa on 19th July, and described as a deaconess.
As I prepared for mass I wondered what the evidence was for this characterization, and how this might fit with the role and function of deaconesses in Testamentum Domini, which I believe to derive from fourth century Cappadocia, and thus to try and see Macrina in this light.
The only study I can find (though I am open to correction) is Sister Teresa CSA, “The development and eclipse of the deacon abbess” in E.A. Livingstone (ed.), Studia patristica 19 (Leuven: Peeters, 1989), 111-116; although Sr Teresa makes no use of Testamentum Domini, she does concern herself with the Cappadocians and with Macrina. She charts a process of development within forming monasticism in which deaconesses might be given charge of groups of consecrated virgins. As to Macrina, she is rightly cautious, whilst open to the possibility that she was a deaconess. In my opinion the evidence is thin to the point of non-existence.
Deaconesses make occasional appearance in the Testamentum. They stand within the veil, and receive communion before other women but after all others (1.23), and are classed with the readers and subdeacons in the deacon’s litany (1.35). They are to be trained by the widows (1.40). They have a residence near the gates of the church (1.19). Interestingly it is considered possible that they may be among latecomers to church (1.36). Finally we should note that the only liturgical duty attributed to them is to carry communion to women who are sick (2.20), by contrast to their role in baptism in the Didascalia, which in the Testamentum is the task of the widows (Testamentum Domini 2.8, in an addition to the Hippolytean original).
However, although the deaconesses appear occasionally and intermittently it does not appear that they are intrusions from another source, like the reader in Didascalia apostolorum 2.28.5 or the subdeacon in 2.34.3. Rather a coherent pattern emerges in which deaconesses are clearly junior in the hierarchy, and are ranked behind widows, who are the leading female ascetics in this community.
Rather speculatively, and in line with the evidence provided by Sr Teresa of Cappadocian deaconesses having charge of groups of virgins, I suggest the possibility that these deaconesses are the younger female ascetics, or those in charge of them. Hence they are trained by the widows, and rank behind them, on the basis of age, whilst having a recognized place in the ascetic hierarchy. Somehow one doubts that Macrina fits this mould, giving further support to my suspicion of those who compiled the Church of England’s calendar.

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Christ spoke through Hippolytus?

In order to step up with my rather basic Arabic I have begun, very slowly, to read The Canons of Hippolytus in Coquin’s edition. If any reader thought the blog had been abandoned, it will now be clear that I have simply been busy with other things, as well as the day job.

The initial list of titles is not translated in the Bebawi/Bradshaw version. For the most part these are simply the titles which are at the head of the canons in the main text, but at the end we find the following statement, in Coptic and Arabic.

The Coptic is straightforward enough, reading: These are the canons of the church which Hippolytus, sainted archbishop (ⲡⲁⲣⲭⲏⲉⲡⲓⲥⲕⲟⲡⲟⲥ) of Rome, wrote.

The Arabic is more extensive:

These are the canons of the church, the instructions which Hippolytus, chief of the bishops of Rome, wrote, in accordance with the traditions of the apostles, through (جهة) Our Lord the Christ (one MS reads “the Holy Spirit”) the speaker in(?) him (الناطق فيه). (Coquin translates “parlant en lui”.)

Quite apart from the question of whether we should translate the article with the present participle, is the question of whether this applies to Hippolytus or to Christ, that is to say is Christ speaking in Hippolytus (the more probable reading), or is Hippolytus speaking in Christ? In either event a fairly major claim of authority is being staked by this mediaeval scribe, providing interesting evidence for the reception of the church-order tradition in Alexandria as apparently inspired. The vl, attributing Hippolytus’ speech to the Holy Spirit, is also interesting from the same perspective.

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The path to Rome

In preparation for my appearance at the incontro of the Augustinianum soon I have posted a draft of my paper entitled: “From sabbath to Sunday: new evidence from Aristo of Pella” as a discussion session.

There have been some interesting observations. Come and join the fun at https://www.academia.edu/s/ffd9477cbf/the-transfer-from-sabbath-to-sunday-new-evidence-from-aristo-of-pella

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