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ANF07. Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries: Lactantius, Venantius, Asterius, Victorinus, Dionysius, Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Homily
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Chapter I.—The Two Ways; The First Commandment.

1. There are two ways,23702370     This phrase connects the book with the Duæ Viæ; see Introductory Notice. Barnabas has “light” and “darkness” for “life” and “death.”   one of life and one of death;23712371     Deut. xxx. 15, 19; Jer. xxi. 8; Matt. vii. 13, 14   but a great difference between the two ways. 2. The way of life, then, is this: First, thou shalt love God23722372     Comp. Deut. vi. 5, which is fully cited in Apostolic Constitutions, vii. 2, though the verb here is more exactly cited from LXX.   who made thee; second, thy neighbour as thyself;23732373     Lev. xix. 18; Matt. xxii. 37, 39. Comp. Mark xii. 30, 31   and all things whatsoever thou wouldst should not occur to thee, thou also to another do not do.23742374     Comp. Tobit iv. 15; and Matt. vii. 12; Luke vi. 31   3. And of these sayings23752375     These Old-Testament commands are thus taught by the Lord.   the teaching is this: Bless them that curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for them that persecute you.23762376     Matt. v. 44. But the last clause is added, and is of unknown origin; not found in Apostolic Constitutions   For what thank is there, if ye love them that love you? Do not also the Gentiles do the same?23772377     Matt. v. 46, 47; Luke vi. 32. The two passages are combined.   But do ye love them that hate you; and ye shall not have an enemy.23782378     So Apostolic Constitutions. Comp. 1 Pet. iii. 13   4. Abstain thou from fleshly and worldly lusts.23792379     1 Pet. ii. 11. The Codex has σωματικῶν, “bodily;” but editors correct to κοσμικῶν   If one give thee a blow upon thy right cheek, turn to him the other also;23802380     Matt. v. 39; Luke vi. 29.   and thou shalt be perfect. If one impress thee for one mile, go with him two.23812381     Matt. v. 41   If one take away thy cloak, give him also thy coat.23822382     Matt. v. 40; Luke vi. 29   If one take from thee thine own, ask it not back,23832383     Luke vi. 30. The last clause is a peculiar addition: “art not able,” since thou art a Christian; otherwise it is a commonplace observation.   for indeed thou art not able. 5. Give to every one that asketh thee, and ask it not back;23842384     Luke vi. 30. The rest of the sentence is explained by the parallel passage in Apostolic Constitutions, which cites Matt. v. 45.   for the Father willeth that to all should be given of our own blessings (free gifts).23852385     Bryennios finds a parallel (or citation) in Hermas, Commandment Second, p. 20, vol. i. Ante-Nicene Fathers. The remainder of this chapter has no parallel in Apostolic Constitutions.   Happy is he that giveth according to the commandment; for he is guiltless. Woe to him that receiveth; for if one having need receiveth, he is guiltless; but he that receiveth not having need, shall pay the penalty, why he received and for what, and, coming into straits (confinement),23862386     Gr. ἐν συνοχῇ. Probably = imprisonment; see next clause.   he shall be examined concerning the things which he hath done, and he shall not escape thence until he pay back the last farthing.23872387     Matt. v. 26.   6. But also now concerning this, it hath been said, Let thine alms sweat23882388     Codex: ιδροτάτω, which in this connection is unintelligible. Bryennios corrects into ιδροσάτω, rendered as above. There are various other conjectural emendations. The verse probably forbids indiscriminate charity, pointing to an early abuse of Christian liberality.   in thy hands, until thou know to whom thou shouldst give.  


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