Friday's Orality/Rhetoric Lesson
Draper, Jonathan A. "Resurrection and Zechariah 14:5 in the Didahe Apocalypse." Journal of Early Christian Studies 5:2, Summer 1997, 155-179.
Draper observes that Didache 16:5 and its reference to "the curse" which saves is a very difficult passage (Draper 2007, 155). Traditionally, this has been understood in light of Galatians 3:13 and 1 Corinthians 12:3 to be a reference to Jesus becoming a curse for us. The concept of a fire of testing may be viewed as cleansing to the faithful and destructive of the unfaithful, as described in Malachi 3:2-4 and 1 Peter 4:12(Draper 2007, 155-156). Draper, in this article, considers the fire to be viewed in light of a Maccabean understanding of martyrdom. This would indicate a resurrection applied only to "those who have emerged unscathed from the fire of testing" (Draper 2007, 157). There may not have been a concept of a general resurrection, but only a resurrection of the righteous. The emphasis is on the rescue of Israel, not onl an overall final resurrection of all, some to perdition and some to glory (Draper 2007, 158).
Of special interest to Draper is the actual citation in the Didache of Zechariah 14:5. The quotation is nearly identical to the Septuagint, but is not exact (Draper 2007, 160).
An analysis of rebbinic exegesis of Zechariah 14:5 may shed light on a period understanding of the passage, though Draper acknowledges the rabbinic writings do come about somewhat later than the Didache (Draper 2007, 161). Draper finds early evidence that the passage is interpreted as having to do with the resurrection, and that the resurrection is considered to be applied to the righteous (Draper 2007, 162).
In Christian texts, Zechariah 14:5 is used to indicate a coming of "the saints," though it is used eschatologically in 2 Thessalonians 1:10. Mark 12:25 suggests little distinction between Christians and angels (Draper 2007, 165). Draper finds in much of Christian literature a close relationship of the coming of Christ in power with accompanying resurrected Christians and angelic beings. This group, in 2 Thessalonians appears to be the force which will "punish and destroy the wicked" (Draper 2007, 167). Draper continues to find little evidence of a resurrection of the unjust, at least in Matthew or Mark. The coming of the Lord with his "holy ones" is to bring judgment to the unrighteous, but not nec3essarily to raise them from the dead (Draper 2007, 169).
Draper observes that Matthew uses Zechariah rather frequently, "twice explicitly and seven times without reference" (Draper 2007, 170). However, he does not consider there to be adequate proof that the Didache's use of Zechariah depends on that of Matthew. However, Draper considers it rightly understood that Zechariah 14:5 is used in Matthew and Mark as a passage which teaches the resurrection of the righteous (Draper 2007, 172). This is also the pattern found in Hippolytus, Origen, and Eusebius (Draper 2007, 174-175).
Draper further compares Didache 16:7 with the eucharistic prayers in Didache 9-10 (Draper 2007, 176). These prayers speak of gathering the church into the kingdom of God (9:4, 10:5-6). This is consistent with the concept of God gathering the righteous. Likewise, in the Two Ways material, the text addresses the ways of life and death as being of eternal importance. To Draper, this indicates resurrection as equated with life, thus applied only to the righteous (Draper 2007, 177).