Re: didaskalia / didache

From: Maurice A. O'Sullivan (
Date: Thu Sep 03 1998 - 08:01:29 EDT

At 01:47 03/09/98, you wrote:
>Does anybody know the subtle difference between
>didache and didaskalia
>Any sources which help would be great
>BAGD is not so useful here.

Nor, to my surprise, is Louw-Nida: normally one would find fine
distinctions within sub-domains.

However, there is an extensive treatment of the two terms in vol. 1 of the
Exegetical Dictionary of the N.T (ed. by Balz, Schneider).

In the case of DIDACH, they distinguish sharply between the use of the term
in the Gospels ( the 'teaching' of the Pharisees, and of Jesus)
and outside of the Gospels, where :
"the use is not uniform". It can be the teaching of Paul as heard by the
high priest or by those who heard him at Athens ( in Acts)
But in the same Acts (2:4) and in the Pastorals it refers to the 'the
firmly established tradition of teaching in the Church '.

 DIDASKALIA ( with 21 occurrences, 19 of them are in the Epistles, and
'remarkably 15 of these are in the Pastorals' )

It really would be better for you to consult the entire article rather than
to rely on extracts quoted here, but if it is not immediately available to
you, here are a few that may help

" in reference to the action of teaching or instruction, DIDASKALIA in Ro.
12:7 and the Pastorals designates a specific function in the Churrch"

There is a further distinction made between the use of the term in the
singular in the Pastorals, where ii " is a technical term for apostolic or
Christian teaching as a whole " -- whereas it is used in the plural ( in 1
Tim 4:1 ) to designate false teaching produced by demonic powers

Then there is the term which, in the nature of human affairs, is required
to describe, literally 'another' but = 'unsound' teaching i.e
hETERODIDASKELEW (1 Tim. 1:3; 6:3 )

So, put crudely -- indeed, extremely crudely -- the terms are used by
modern writers to make a _generational_ distinction between the time of
Jesus and the time of the preachers and the time of the writers.

Hope this is of help


Maurice A. O'Sullivan
[ Bray, Ireland ]

" Blessed he that neither tastes
bitter wisdom from the Greeks,
nor spits out the simple words
of the men of Galilee!"

-------- St. Ephraim the Syrian

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