"6:4 But concerning food, bear what you can;"
What does this mean?
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The Greek text of chapter 6 of the Didache states,
1 Ὅρα, μὴ τίς σε πλανήσῃ ἀπὸ ταύτης τῆς ὁδοῦ τῆς διδαχῆς, ἐπεὶ παρεκτὸς θεοῦ σε διδάσκει. 2 εἰ μὲν γὰρ δύνασαι βαστάσαι ὅολον τὸν ζυγὸν τοῦ κυρίου, τέλειος ἔσῃ· εἰ δ’ οὐ δύνασαι, ὃ δύνῃ, τοῦτο ποίει. 3 περὶ δὲ τῆς βρώσεως, ὃ δύνασαι βάστασον· ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ εἰδωλοθύτου λίαν πρόσεχε· λατρεία γάρ ἐστι θεῶν νεκρῶν.
which may be translated as,
1 See that no one leads you astray from this way of teaching, since he teaches you excluding God. 2 For if, on the one hand, you can bear the entire yoke of the Lord, you shall be perfect. On the other hand, if you cannot [bear it], what you can [bear], do this. 3 But concerning eating, bear what you can. Be exceedingly cautious of food sacrificed to idols, for it is the worship of dead gods.
“But concerning eating, bear what you can” appears to be elaborated by the following phrase: “Be exceedingly cautious of food sacrificed to idols.” Therefore, when the author implores the reader to bear (i.e., endure) what you can, with respect to food sacrificed to idols, 1 Corinthians 8 comes to mind.
7 However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. NASB, ©1995
“To bear (endure) what you can” would thus mean the following: if you can eat a food that is sacrificed to an idol, without your conscience being defiled or offended, then do so, as you evidently realize that idols are “nothing in this world.”1 However, for those who do not have that knowledge, who may still be offended or their conscience weakened by eating food sacrificed to an idol, they should not eat the food. Moreover, if your brother is offended or their conscience weakened by you eating food sacrificed to an idol, you should avoid offending your brother.2
This teaching of the Didache does not concern unclean versus clean animals, for Christians were under no such obligation.3 Rather, it concerned the issue of food sacrificed to idols,4 which of course, is of no concern to most Christians today.
1 1 Cor. 8:4
2 1 Cor. 8:13
3 Mark 7:19; 1 Tim. 4:4; and, Christians are not under the Law of Moses.
4 Acts 15:20; 1 Cor. 8; 1 Cor. 10:19; Rom. 14:2–3