Thursday, April 9, 2009

Theodoret of Cyrus: Tradition of Deeds not Words

From this point, he then treats of those transgressing the apostolic decrees. We bid you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (v.6). He made his words creditable by mention of the Lord: He it is (he is saying) who makes this requirement of you. And what is his bidding? Avoid any of the brethren conducting themselves in disorderly fashion and not according to the tradition they received from us. He used the word avoid to mean separate yourself. The tradition he speaks of is not that in words but in deeds; he also brings out what it is: After all, you yourselves know how you must imitate us, that we were not disorderly when amongst you (v.7). What kind of disorder is it? We did not eat bread from anyone without paying but by hard work and toil, working day and night, so as not to be a burden to any of you (v.8): you are well aware that in proposing to you the divine Gospel we took nothing from anyone; rather, we spent night and day hard at work so as to gain necessary nourishment from it.

- Theodoret of Cyrus (around A.D. 393 to around A.D. 457), Commentary on the Second Letter to the Thessalonians, Chapter 3, in Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, Volume 2, p. 132 (2001), Robert C. Hill translator.