Daily Prayer in the Early Church: A Study of the Origin and Early Development of the Divine Office 978-1606081051

In liturgical study, and especially in English liturgical study, the subject of the daily office has always been somethi

587 160 12MB

English Pages 104 Year 2008

Report DMCA / Copyright


Polecaj historie

Daily Prayer in the Early Church: A Study of the Origin and Early Development of the Divine Office

Table of contents :
1. Dailv Prayer in First-CenturyJudaism
2. Dailv Praver in First-Century Christianitv
B. The Second and Third Centuries
I. Ttre Carliedral Ol{ice in the East
S. The Monastic Office in the East
6. The Cathedral Olfice in the West
7. The Monastic Office in the West
Select Bibliography
Index of Ref-erences
General Index

Citation preview

ISBN - 13

978 - 1 - 60608 - 105 - 1

ISBN - 10 , 1 - 60608 - 105 - 5



9 781606 081051

DAILY PRAYER IN TFIE, EARLY CFIT]RCI{ A Study of the Origin and Early Deaelopment of the Diuine Off,ce


WIPF d, STOCK . Eugene, Oregon

To my farher

Prrfrce to the 2008 Reprinted Edition


in memory of my morher

As it is now twenfy-seven years since this book first appeared, there have obviously been a number of advances in scholarship that bear upon its subject matter, in a few cases requiring its conclusions to be modified, in others supporting or extending the claims that were

Wipf and Stock publishers 199 W 8th Ave, Suite 3 Eugene, OR 97401

Daily Prayer in the Early Church

1 sIdI of the origin and Early Development of the Divine office By Bradshaw, paui F. CopyrightOlg8l by Bradshaw, paul F.

ISBN 1 3: 978-1-60608- 105-1

Publication date 8106/2008 Previously published by SpCK, lgg l

made in it. In order to guide the reader, I note the most important of these below. While more recent research has often concluded that prayer at Qumran was only offered twice each day, Richard S. Sarason, "Communal Prayer at Qumran and Among the Rabbis: Certainties and Uncertaintiesi'in Esther G. Chazon (ed.), Liturgical Perspectives: Prayer and Poetry in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Leiden 2003), pp. 15I-72, supports Talmon's interpretation of prayer six times a day (ibid., p. 157 & n. 24), and also the idea that the wider tradition of praying three times a day was older than its harmonization i,vith the Tempie sacrifices (ibid., p.167 & nn. 64,65).It needs also to be noted that recent Jewish scholarship has cast doubts upon whether there were synagogue Sabbath services as such (as opposed to assemblies to study the scriptures) or obligatory times of prayer (as opposed to pious groups adopting the practice) until well after the destruction of the ]erusalem temple, and hence the evidence of later Jewish sources shouid now be used much more cautiously in reconstructing first-century practices. See for example Lee Levine, The Ancient Synagogue (New Haven/London 2000), especially pp. 134-59, and Ruth Langer, "Revisiting Early Rabbinic Liturgy: The Recent Contributions of Ezra Fleischer," Prooftexts 19 (1999), pp.


In his essay, "Daily

Prayer in the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytusl' Iournal of Theological Studies 40 (1989), pp. 389-400, Edward Phillips built on my ciaim that prayer three times a day was the standard Christian custom in the early centuries by arguing that

in some communities this took place at the third, sixth and ninth hours and not simply at morning, noon and evening as in other places. However, the most significant contribution to the early development of the cathedral and monastic daily offices was Robert F. Taft, The Liturgy of the Hours in East andwest (collegeville 19g6, 2nd edn, 1993), which also contains a very extensive bibliography. In particuiar, Taft corrected my misinterpretation that pss. l4g-150 simply formed the conclusion of the early monastic night office, rightly showing that they were the nucleus of the ancient cathedral morning office, as well as my failure to take into account differences in early Egyptian monastic practice between upper and Lower Egypt,and the need to be much more cautious about the reliability of Cassian's testimony with regard to that region. In my essay, "cathedral vs. Monastery: The only Arternatives for the Liturgy of the Hours?j'in J. Neil Alexander (ed.), Time and



Sean Gallagher et al. (eds), Western Plainchant

in the

First Millennium (Aldershot/Burlington, Vermont 2003), pp. 11-43.

-Paul Bradshaw luly 2008

community: studies in Liturgical History and TheologT (washington

DC 1990),pp.123-36,I not oniy acknowledged the above mistakes but also put forward the claim that the urban monastic office should be seen not merely as a hybrid of cathedral and desert monastic but rather as the preservation of what had been previously common practice among ordinary christians, though now subjected to influence from both of these newer developments. More recently, I have summarized all these findings in chapter g of my book, The search for the origins of christian worship (2nd edn, London/New York 2002), and in my essay, "cathedral and Monastic: what's in a

Name?j' Worship 77 (2003), pp. 34t-53. Finally, on the subject of the piace of psalms in early christian

worship, there is not only my essay, "From word to Action: The changing Role of Psalmody in Early christianity" in Martin Dudley (ed.)' Like a Two-Edged sword: The word of God in Liturgy and History (I'{orwich 1995): 2l-37, but also some significant articles by iames w. McKinnon, which were subsequently collected into a singie volume, The Temple, the church Fathers and Early western chant (Aldershot 1998), and a further important contribution by Joseph Dyer, "The Desert, the city and psalmody in the Late Fourth




Abbreviations Preface




Dailv Prayer in First-CenturyJudaism


Dailv Praver in First-Century Christianitv



The Second and Third Centuries



Ttre Carliedral Ol{ice in the East


The Monastic Office in the East


The Cathedral Olfice in the West



The Monastic Office in the West









Select Bibliography


Index of Ref-erences


General Index





Ar c hiu ft


E phemeride s Litur gicae


Li t ur gie wi

s s e

n sc



J ournal of.l ewish S tudie s


J ewish Qtarterly Reuiew


Journal of Theological Studies



La Maison- Dieu


New Testament Studies


Oriens Christianus






C hris tiana P e rio dic


P. Migne (eri.), Patrologia

J r

a Li




Strack & P Billerbeck, Kommentar zum l,/euen Testament aus Talmud und fuIidrasch, Munich r gz e-8 SE

Studia Evangelica


Studia Liturgica


Studia Patristica


Theological Dictionary of the New Grand Rapids, Michigan r 964f.


T he

de vogrie'






gis che Z e it s c hrift


Rigle de ,Saint Benott, r85, Paris rg7I

The Hebre\,v numbering of rhe psalms is followed rhroughout:

where thc septuagint/Vulgare numbering is used in a quotation, rhe Hebrer.v numbering is supplied in square brackets.

Placc of publicarion is nor given for books publishecl United Kingdom.


In liturgical study, and especially in English liturgical studv, the subject of the daily office has alH'ays been something of the poor relation. The attention of scholars has been concentrated to such an exten[ upon the Eucharist and upon the rites of Christian initiation in recent years that many other fields have not received their due consideration, and thus the time seems more than ripe for a nerv study of the origins and earlv historv oI ihe office. Almost the only textbook on the subject i,vhich is available to English students of liturgy is The Inf,uence of the Syagogue upon the Diuine Off,ce by Professor C. !V. Dugmore, first published by the Oxford University Press in 1944 and reissued by the Alcuin Club in r 964 (Alcuin Club Collections :- :.^ l^.,.t-ir\I^ . .\ \rrl-:l^ ^ *^:^- ^^-..--iL---:^-- -- -L i\O. +51. VViiiiC ili itS CiZ-v'iiiiS Iiia(iC -^J^ a IliajUr LUIILI llrullull L(, tllc

subject, it is now not only out of print but also seriouslv out of date in the light of the cnorrnous strides in scholarship which have taken place in subsequen[.vears. It is therefore extremely misleading lor students to continue to use this work as though it were unquestionably accurate. Ho',vever, since the majority of rnore recent research has been undertaken by continental scholars and their findings nearly all buried in the pages of learned journals in foreign languages, they have up Lo now been effectively inaccessible to most English-speaking students. Moreover, not only translation but also bridge-building is called for, since such work as has been done has on the whole been pursued in separate, seemingly watertight, compartments: Jewish scholars have worked largelv in isolation from Ne',v Testament scholars, New Testament scholars largelv irt isolation from liturgical scholars, and so on, with the result that hardlv at all have the findings in one area been related to

thosc in another. Even among liturgical scholars stud,v has tended to be restricted to srnall areas of the subject, and the effects of new perspectives and discoveries in one historical period or geographical area upon the understanding of the offrce at other times and in other places have rarely been considered or worked out in full. Even more importantly, there has been a need fbr sorne cherished asslrmptions to be exposed vlt

to further scruriny, assumptions r,vhich have been repeated by of scholars but have not therebv become

successive generations

any more assured of veracity rhan when they were first made. A

fresh look ar the evidence, freed from the blinkers of

trad.itional presupposirions, ofren vields surprising results. This book is rherefore ofrered as a conrribution Lo a much neglected field of study, and I am grareful to Gabriele winkler who many years ago encouraged me ro begin my labours on ir. I would also like ro express my gratitude to the Reverend Dr. Geollrey cuming for his consrant help and interesr in my

lor his kindness in allowing me ro quore from his rranslation of the Apostolic Traditiin of Hippolyrus, and also ro mv colleagues on the Alcuin club studics, and


committee for accepring my lvork for publication.

Preface to the Second Impression The need fbr a reprint of this book gives me rhe opportunity to express my graritude to all those who were so kind as to commen[ on rhe first edirion, or to write to me and draw mv attention to studies they had written rvhich were relevant to rny work, often generously enclosing copies of them. I am espccially grareful for rhe cornmenrs made by Gabriele winkler and Robert Tafr, both of whose scholarship far exceeds my own.

No changes havc been made in this new impression, as I would still rvant to defend substantially rhe poiition I originally adopred, and I have alreadv tried to u.,r*.r elsewheie rhe criticisms advanced by Gabriele Winkler IGabrieleWinkler, 'New Srudy of' Early Development of the Divine office', lVorshilt 56 (rg8z), pp. ? 7-ZS; paul F. Bradshaw, .Response ro Gabriele Winkler', ibid., pp. 2 6a-6), Only ar one poini woulcl I now wish ro make a significant alrerarion in whar I have written, and that is on pp. 95-6, where I lailed to rake into accounr the most recent researches into the early pachomian liturgical tradition, which reveal a more complex picrure than I have described. Readers should thereforc coniult Armand veilleux, La Liturgie dans le cdnobitisme pach6mien au quatriime siicle (studia Anselmiana 57, Rome r96g), and Robert Taft,

'Praise in the Desert: The Coptic Monastic Office Yesterdav and Today', Worship SA (r98r), pp. 513-36. However, rhis need not seriously affect the argument of' the rest of rhe book. Although it suggests rhat the custom of assembling for praver immediatelv upon rising and again before retiring to bed had alreadv become established by the beginning oF the lourrh cen[ury, there is, as we ha'u'e sho'rvn, no fir'rn evidence of a tradition going back earlier than this rvhich singled out these nvo hours from other times of prayer, Contrarv to popular belief, morning and evening were not the only, or even the principal, times of prayer in the Jewish svnagogue tradirion, but only among the Therapeutae, and conceivably, rhough not verv probablv, also at Qumran (see belorv, pp. r-r r); and there is no real indication at all that these two hours had any prirnacy in the earlv Christian tradition: to interpret Tertullian's expression legtttmis orationibus as irnplying this is to rrrisunderstand its context (see below, pp. q7-62, and esp.

5o-r ). Moreovcr, it cloes not now seem a particularlv lruirful approach to ask whcther the rwice dail,v monastic services of Eg-vpt were the equivalents olt the rnorning and evening offices in the 'cathcdral' tradition or not. Aithough thev rake place ar sirrrilar time.s r-o the secular offices, at the beginning and encl of thc day, it should be notecl rhat (a) in the practice described bv Cassian, the nronk's 'day' was much longer than his secular counterpart, and so had its beginning in the night; (b) their /brm is entirr:ly diflbrent and is that of vigil-praver, with rhc alternation of psaim anci prayer, since thcy merel,v mark the beginning and encl oF the continuous vigil of praver which the rnonk was expected to rnaintain throughout his lvaking hours, daV and night; and (c), whatever it r,r'as originailv intended to be, the first assemblv o[ the day was understood both bv Cassian and by the iater rnonastic tradition in general as a vigil or night office, and in orher places lvhere it lvas imitated a further rnorning office tcnded to lollow it (see below, pp. ro2-9;rz4ff.). Finallv, I would also like to draw attention to the follorving spccialist srudies on other aspects of the monastic liturgical tradition not previouslv listed in the bibliography: E. or Bse,lDRArrHE, '"fhe Morning Olfice ol rhe Rule of the Master', Benedictt Stutha,Annuariunt Intenmtionale 5 (t976), pp. ?or-t3. lx


K. NIcDoNxrr-r",'prayer (r 98 r ),

pp. 84-61

the Ancienr Wesrern Tradirion ,

W'or.shi1t 55


N. MrrcHrLL, 'The Liturgical code in the Rule of St Benedict in fiB r98o; , The RuLe of St Benedict in Latin and English u,ith l,lotes, ed,. Timothy Fry (Collegeville r 98o), pp. 379-4

AoeLsnnr oa

Concihum r4z

(r98r), pp. 7r-7.



Voci;i, 'Monastic Life and


in Common',

D aily Prayer

in f irst- C entury Judaism

PAUL F. BRADSHAW April r g6*


to the

assumptions made

by many scholars of

previous generations, and regrettablv still made by sorne of this generation, theJewish n'orship to whichJesus and his lollowers were accustomed was not necessarily identical with that which is found in the second century and later. Judaism in the New Testarnent era had not reached the stable and fixed form which it was to have at a subseqlrent period, but was still in the process of development and change: orthodoxy had not vet become crvstallized, variant traditions existed side b1'side, and new elcments were constantly being added. It is therefore extremeiy ciangerous to reaci baci the New Testament period as though thev rvere Llnquescionably the universal customs of the time,

and we must proceed witli great cautiolt in attempting to

reconstruct the pattern of dailv praver current among Jcrvs in the first century. Aithough it is nor strictly a praver but rarher a creed, the recitation of the Shema'(Deut. 6.+-g; r1.r3-2r; Nurn. 15.374r ) is 'uvell attested as the fundamental dailv devotion oftJervs in the first century, both in Palestine and in the Diaspora.r The custom of reciting it twice a day, 'when you lie down and when you rise'(Deut.6.7; r1.1g), according to the Mishnah in the morning between dar,r'n and sunrise and in the cvening after sunset,z is first mentioned in the Letter of Aristeas (r45-roo s.c.),3 ir is re{'erred to bv Philo and by Josephus,a and it ',vas also apparentlv observed at Qumran.s The obligation to recire it came to be laid upon all lree males from their rwelfth birthdav onrvards, whereas wonren, children, and slaves were fiee from

this and from all other acts rvhich had to be performed at specific times because their time was not considered to be at their own disposal.6 According to the Mishnah the Shema'was to be accompanied by a series of fixed benedictions: 'In the morning two benedictions are said beflore and one alter; and in the evening two benedicti()ns are said before and tw'o after, rhe



one long and the other short'.7 whether or nor these rvere in it is possibie thar only the benedicrion yozer 'or, which blesses Gocl fo. the gift oil;gh; and darkness, dares fiom this period.s For some time ihe Decalogue was recited together r,virh rhe shema', both in the svnagogue liturgl'- and ar Qumran, but ir was dropped, according to the Talmud, 'because of the fauk-finding oi the heretics (minim)' , who said thar only the Decalogue and not rhe shema' had been given to Moses at sinai.e It is not clear whether these minim are ro be ide.tified wirh rhe early christians or wirh some earlier heretical group.ro Alongside rhe nvofold recitarion of rhe shema,we find in Rabbinic.Judaism the quire dillerenr cusrorn of praying ,h..; times a day-morning, afternoon, and evening,'the fiist and la.st being in pracrice combined with rhe saying of tr," shema,.rl The observance of rire ahernoon time of p.uy"i is mentioned in thc New Testament: peter andJohn go up to the Temple ,at the hour of prayer. rhe ninrh hour' (Ac1s 3.r), and Cornelius the centurion keeps rhe ninrh hour of prayer in his house (Acrs 1o.3, 3o). The ninrh hour, g p.m., appears to have been chosen lor rhe afternoon prayer in order ihat it mighr coincide r,virh tl're rir'e of rhe olfering of rhe evening sacrific! in rhe Herodian Temple.12 The origin of, this custom of threefold p.aye. hu, r-rsually been attribured to rhe insritution of the maiamad,oth or 'standing-posrs'.r3 After rlie Exile the priests and Levites had been organized into tr,vertv-four courses, ear:h of which went up toJerusalem ro lulfil a r,veek of scrvice in rurn, and attached to each course was a lav group called a ma,amad,, part of which accompanied the priests a'd Levites t, Jerusaiem ancl was present ar rhe daily sacrifices ro repres..rt th. people and part of which remained ar home and came togethei at rhe times of rh^e rnorning and evening sacrifices in order to read the account of creation in Genesis and ro pray, thus participating in the olfbring from a dishnce. ra There are, however, problems in ascribing the origin of the practice of'threefold daily prayer ro these Jssemblie-s, in that there are significant differences between them which are not easy to explain. Firstly, .the ma'amadoth services were gatherings of specific groups of men i' specific r,veeks of the y.ui, wherels the times of praver were observed througho,rt ih" y.ear and were a general obligation upon all members of a householcl, irrc.ludirrg-unlike dre reciratiorr of rhe Shem4r-1ys11en, chil_ use in the firsr cen[ury is not certain, and

dren, and slaves.15 Professor Joachim Jeremias would attri-

bute to the Pharisees the responsibility for bringing about this somewhat radical change, but he has no real evidence to support this conjecture: the book ofJudith and the Psalms of Solomon which he cites are evidence only that the Pharisees kept times of praver, no[ that chese times were derived lrom the ma'amadolh services.l6 Secondlv, the times of prayer could be observed individualiv as well as corporately in the synagogues,

and contained no trace of the reading of the account of creation. Thirdlv, except on Sabbaths, new moons, and festivals, when an additional sacrifice was appointed, there were normallv oniv two daily sacrifices in the Temple, rnorning and evening: how then did they give rise to a threefold pattern of daily prayer? Dugmore appears to believe that this developmen[ came about as a result of the transfer of the evening sacrifice from irs original time of twilighttT to the afternoon. the evening rime of prayer being nroved to rhe afternoon to correspond with the new time of the sacrifi.ce rvhile the practice of praying again after sunset along with the recitation of the Shema'tended to continue, although this thirci time of prayer onlv became obligatorv in the second century.r8 Jeremias, on the other hand, believes that the evening sacrifice already took place in the afternoon in the time of the rna'amadoth and that they assembled three times a day-at the morning and afternoon sacrifices, and again at the closing of the Temple gates-a vierv already expressed in the Mishnah, Ta'an. 4.1.rs This passage, holvever, looks very like an early attempt to find a link between the ma'amadoth and the times of praver, as it does not harmonize with the description of the ma'amadoth which lollows: instructions are given lor the reading of'the account of creation only at the times of the two daily sacrifices, and the additional sacrifice when prescribed, and it is explicitly stated that, even when there was an additionai sacrifice, the ma'amadoth assembled no more than three times a dav.20 In anv case it tras been suggested that the ma'amadoth mat have been a much later institution than the establishment of the svnagogue,zr and so the only firm link between them is that two of the times of prayer do correspond with the times of the daily sacrifices, and hence with the assembly of the ma'amadoth. Moreover, even the link between the times of prayer and the dailv sacrifices is not as strong as might appear at first sight. In

contrast to the more precise rules governing the recitation of the shema', no attempt was made to regulat" th. times of praver so that rhey should always coincide exicrly with the times^of ihe sacrifices: rhe Mishnah records that the morning prayer might be said at any rime until nridday, the afternoon prayer until sunser, and the evening prave r had no set time. ?2 Thrus although no doubr in Jerusalem, rvhere at the momenr of the sacrifi"ce loud [rumpers were sour-rded frorn the Temple over the city,23 and perhaps also in other places where these prayers were said corporarely in the synagogues, rhey would tenj to be at rhe hours of rhe sacrifices, elsewhere when they were said privarelv

bv individuals rhere mighr well have been

(b) at its turning-point,

with the laws o{' tirc (ct at its being gathered to the dweliing decreed fbr it,

(d) at the beginning oF the



variation in their times.?a Furthermore, there was no univer_ sallv accepted Rabbinic tradition which linked the times of prayer with the sacrifices but, while some thought rhat they were derived fro.rn the Temple cult, others believed that they originared with the patriarchs, and orhers linked them with rhe threefold prayer menrioned in Dan. 6.ro and ps. Fi'allv, if rhe rimes of prayer had been insritured ss.t7.zs is rhe counterpart of daily sacrifices, then one might have .rhe expected rhis to have been srronglv reflected in the conrent of the prayers used at those times. This, however, does not appear to have been rhe case: in the earliest written form of the p.uy.., preserved in Rabbinic Judaism there are onlv rvvo very brief refbrences to the Temple cult.26 These considerations at least suggest the possibiiity thar the associarion of the daily prayers with the tinres of sacriirce was a secondary development, and encourage consider.ation of an alternative hvpothesis to ac_ count for rheir prirnary origin. Moreover, there is some evidence to suggest that at least one other pattern of daily prayer was also .rrri..rt in fudaism in the first centurv, alongside that which ultimarely became normative. The evidence tbr this comes principally, though not exclusively, fi-om Qumran. Two parallel puri"g., in the Dead sea scrolls appear to describe the daily cvcle of prayer fbllowed by mernbers of rhe communirv:


r QS ro.r-3a


at the times wtrich he has ordained,

at all times and seasons,

at the beginning of

at the coming of light from

rule of lighr,


al lts turnlng-polnt ln


ordered course, ir-i accordance

rvatches of' darkness n'hen he opens his treasury and sets hirn abol'e , at its turning-point,



at the turn of the evening and the cleparture of the light, at the beginning of the rtrle of darkness,

in the season of the niglrt,


its turning-point,


at its being gathered from befbre the light,




and at their being

the appearance of the lurninaries frorn thcir I-roly

at the turn of the morning and the time when it is gathcred to its dr,velling befbre the light, at the r{eparture oI the night,


and at the conring o{'the dav;

gathered to the abode of


The translation and interpretation of these passages is not without its difficuldes. S. Holm-Nielsen rvould prefer to take the r QH text as not relerring to definite tinres o[ prayer at all but describing 'the continual relationship between the righreous and God', but admits that it is not possiblc to ignore the ideer of fixed times because o{-the similarity of tl're r QrS passage, and therefore concludes:

The reai solution could be thar there is indeed relerence to set times, but that the text is not designed to present an argument for the practice of set tirnes lor praver, but is intended for those to whom such practice was a nratter of course; this would make it understandable that it is expressed in morc fluid terms, giving most nearlv the impression of wanting to show' the eternall.v valid rlature of the state of praver.27

A. R. C. Leaney believes that the I Q;S passage enjoins only two times of prayer each dav, morning and evening, but describes thern in three wavs, although this does involve, as he admits, treating it as poetical reperition.2s He would rhus take (a) and (b) above together, as borh refbrring to the morning prayer, and (c) as referring to the evening, (d) as the evening again, and (e) and (f) together as the morning, and finally (g) as the evening and (h) as the morning for the third time. He further


Iits dwellingJ,


clains that t qS lo.to, r qM

14.1 z_t



, qH


supporr rhis inrerprerarion. we have alreidv suggesied that i Qs r o. r o re lbrs to rhe recirarion of the shema,u'J ,.o, rhe dailv times of praver,2e and the same nrav also be true of r qM r4.r2-14, since rhere is some slight similaritv between the trvo passages.3o N,loreover, 1 QH r 2,4-7 will not provide an exact parailel ro his inrerprerarion of r 1o.1-3a, since (g) and (h) i. thar doc'umenr must refer to theeSsame time of dayl and nor the evening and the morning. However, the view that onlv rwo tirnes .of' daily prayer are inrended in these passages is'also shared bv ceza Vermes in his translarion and tv vr]Delcor in his commenrary on t qH,', and ir does accord with the pracrice of- rhe Therapeurae near Lake Mareotis in Egypt. as described bi' Philo, r,vho have sorne affrnities wirh the coilmu.,_ ity at.Qumra'.and who pravecr onrv nl,ice each dav, in the morning and the eveni.rg.,t c.-H. Hunzinger claims rhar a manuscripr from cave 4 at eumran conrains the text of the morning and evening pravers for each dav of the month,3' but this has so fa.r been published and in any case appears to be 'or so lragmenrary.rhat it is impossibie ro be certain thaiir r,.r, also have included pravers lor other times of rhe day. -uy on the other hand, s. Talmon would fincl in these nvo passages no less than six rimes of prayer assigned to every period o{-rwenrv-four hours, one ro each of rhe six parts into rvhich. the dav rvas divided in Jeivish rradirion, rhree lor rhe periocl.ol davlight, morning (a)l noon (b), and evening (c), a.cr three fbr the rhree night warches (cl, e, and f-h).rn ;. similar posirion was adopred bv Josef Jungmann, rvho saw a link benveen rhem and tire chriitian obr.*o.rce of rhe third, sixth, and ninth hours, evening, midnight, and morning.r, However, it is difficulr to see that a clear distinction i' rirne is intended between rhe deparrure of light (c) and rhe coming o{, darkness (d), especially when the end of night and rhe begLning of'dav tg & h) are regarded as relerring io rhe same rime, or rhat rhis latter occasion is ro be disringuished from a subsequent 'coming of' lighr' menrioned in (a). A modified version of Talrnon's interpretation may therefore be preferred, that prajver nrorning, n()on, and evening are intended in (a), (b), and (c), as he claims, but that (d) is a conrinuation clf the ref'erence to the evening prayer, (e) refers, as he savs, to nridnighr praver, and (f), (g), and (h) complete the .y.r" by returning to rhe morning praver with whiih th. descriprion

began. That rhe communiry did observe a regular time of praver ar night is confirmed bv r QS 6.7-8a ('and the manv shall keep vigil in community for a third of all the nights of the year, to read the Book and to studv its decree and to bless God in conrmunitv'), and as Leaney himself admits. the description bv Josephus of the daily routine of the Essenes-if, as is generallv accepted, the communitv at Qurnran is to be identified lvith the Essenes-is as consistent with a practice of threefold daily praver as with prayer twice a da-v: the assemblv in rhe middle of the day for ablution and food may or may not have included a time of prayer, and the absence of anv explicit rne ntion o[ it is not conclusive, as Josephus similarlv makes no explicit reference to evening prayer.36 T. H. Gaster also interprets the tr^ro passages in this manner in his translation of them, but in his notes equates the three times of praver during the dav with those prescribed in Rabbinic Judaism.3T It is, however. unlikelv that the communitv at Qumran would have described 3 p.m. as the 'turning-point' of rhe day, or r,vould have adhered to a rimenble of'praver reguiated by a sancruary rvhich they regarded as corrupt. Nor does the tact that at Qurnran praise and prayer, 'the oflering of the lips', and a lif-e of obedience to the Law were seen as temporarv substitutes for tire Tenrple sacrifrcesss necessarily implv that their pravers were off'ered only at tlie tirles of the morning and evening sacrifices.

Clearh' much depends upon the precise sensc of the word tequphah, literallv'circuit'or'revolution', translated as 'turning-point' in the above passages. Holm-Nieisen would prefer to take it as meaning 'course' or 'duration' here, but allows that 'zenith' is a possible aiternative rendering.3e Others would trarrslate it as the 'completion of the course' or 'end of the circuit',aO as in Ps. r9.6. lt can be translfred as'turningpoint' in the other three Old Testament instances of the word, irr Exod. 34.2e; r Sam. r.2o; q Chron. 24.2g,ar though again

others r,vould prefer 'end' here.a2 The possibiliq' of the rendering 'turning-point' in thc Qumran texts is perhaps strengthened by the fact of the Rabbinic use of tequlthah for

solstice and equinox.

Apart from a few relerences to prayer at night in the Psalter i 1r9.55, 62, t48; r g+.1; cf-. also Neh. r.6), the significance of which is difhcuit to determine, evidence fbr a regular- pracrice of night prayer in Judaism outside Qumran (Pss. 63.6; 88.r ; 92.2

is lacking. However, rhe possibilirv of the existence o[a cycle of daily prayer morning, noon, and evening does receive some support from other sources: (i) Daniel 6.io: 'when Daniel knew rhat the docurnent had been signed. he went ro his house where he had windorvs in his upper chamber open towards Jerusalem; and he gor down upon his knees rhree rimes a day and prayed and gaie thanks before his God, as he had done previously.' 5o-. have supposed that these rhree times of prayer were, morning, afternoon, and evening as in later Judaism,as but this theorv can only be upheld if the time of the evening sacrifice had already been changed ro the afternoon before the book of Daniel \,vas composed (c. r65 n.c.). Aithough the date of this change is unknown, rhere is no indication ai"**here in rhe old Testamenr that the sacrifice was offered ar any orher time than the evening,aa and the book of -Judith (c. 16o s.c.) which Jeremias cires as evidencing morning prayer (rz.5f.), prayer ar the time of the 'afrernoon' sacrifice (9.r), and evening prayer (r3.3f.)a5 does not in fact do so, sinte the first and-the last ref'erences are to the same time of prayer-made at night 'towards the morning watch'-and the sacrifice is said to be offered in the evening. Moreover, there is a significant diflerence berween Daniel's prayer and rhat of laier Rabbinic Judaism: it was made kneeli.g and nor sta'di'g. If rherelore the sacrifice was srill ofl{'ered in the evening ar thii period, whar was the middle lime of prayer observed by Daniei ? Ludwig Blau suggested rhat it corresponded 'perhaps with the sacril fices.offbred b;- individuals blti.r'een rhe official morning and evening sacri{rces',ad Dugmore that it 'may have been at ioon, though we are nor told rhat ir was, and was probably purely private custom, fbr we have no other refbrence to a ..grrlu. daily prayer either at noon or in the afternoon at that perio6'.+z It is unlikelv, however, that the author of the book of Daniel would have referred ro rhe cusrom if it had not been widelv observed ar that.rlme: if'the regular practice had been,o p.ui twice a day, would he not have spoken of Daniel praving twice

and not rhree times a dayp (ii) Ps. 55.17: 'Evening and morning and at noon

I utter mv complaint and moan, and he will hear mv voice'. This u..r. Tuy pe thoughr ro be no more than a poetic way of expressing the facr rhar the psalmist pravs .o.rii.r.rullv, just as in p; 1 19.164 the psalmist says 'seven times a day I praise thee for thy

rightcous ordinances', but it is at least possible that it is a relerence to a regular pattern of threefold praver. (iii) z Enoch 5r.4: 'It is good to go morning, rnidclav, and evening into thc Lord's dwelling fbr the glory of'your crcator'. The common assumption that this book originated some time in the {rrst centur-y befbre the fall of Jerr.rsalern and was the work of a HellenisticJerv of Alexandria has been challenged in respect of' botir date and provenance.as If hor,vever the traditional origin can still be accepted, then this verse rvould seem to indicate che observance of a clrstom of praving morning, noon, and evening in HellenisticJudaism, or at least at Alexandria, in the first centurv. If, on the other hand, as some scholars have suggested, the book is a Jer,r'ish Christian work originating from Syria towards the end of the first centlrrv,4e then it constitutes valuable evidence for the adoption of these tirncs oI prayer by the Church at an early da[e, and so again points indirectlv towards aJewish origin for them, (iv) Epiphanius, Adu. Haer. 2g.g: 'rising up in the morning and in thc nriddle of the da,v and irr the evening, three times a dar', when rhey say thcir praycrs in the synagogues . . .'. If this is an accui'ate account of Jewish worship, then praver morning, noon, and evening persistcd, at leasr in srlrne plar:es, up tvizations of the people lvho gathered on r.arious occ.asiorrs tr-r prav in the si'nagogue. since the occasions and places of'worshilr were nurnerous, it rvas onlv natural that they should give rise to arr abundance o1'pravers, displaying a lvide varietv olt fbrms, stvles and patterns. Thus rhe first srage in the development of'rhe liturgy lvas characterized bv diversitv and varierv-:rncl rhe task of' rlie Rabbis was to svstetnatize and to impose order on rhis nultipiicitv of' fbrms, parrerns and srrucrures. This task rhev undertook aiter the lact; onl.v aiier rhe nurnerous pra),ers hacl corne into being anci rvcre farniliar ro rhe rnasses did the sages decide that the time

had come to establish sorrle r'easure of uniibrmitv


standard ization.8e

This process took place gradualll': frrst came rhe obligarion to mention certain rhings in rhe praver. then lronr rhe third r7

century onwards the opening and concluding formulas of rhe praver began ro be fixed while the rest remained relarively free and diflerent versions continued to exisr side bv side, and much later still a definirive rexr was prescribed.e0 Thus there are good grounds for believing thar in rhe Nerv Testament period a number of differenr orders of pravers were in use, having some features and subjects in common rvith one another, but not as vet restricted to any definitive wording, structure, or liturgical form. There was also some variation in language-both the shema'and the Tefltaft might be said in any language, although Hebrew and not "Aramaic seems ro have been used in Paiestinegt-and very possibiy in the posture adopted for praver: rhe posrure ro be adopted fbr rhe reiiration of the shema' 'uvas srill a marter for debate between rhe Rabbinic schools of gillel and shammai in rhe firsr cenrury l.o..e2 ancl although no such debate is recorded in the IVlishnah in rhe case of'thc dailv prayers but it is accepred that thev are to bc said standing, nevertheless the practice of kneeling for prayer mav also have existed in the {irst cenrury, especially as rhe Olcl Testamenr references ro kneeling fbr prayer suggest thar the custom rvas larer than rhat of standing and arose onlv in the post-exilic period.es whether kneeling or sranding, horvever, the suppliant's hands were lifted up and spread our rowards

Rome, nevertheless it is almost certain that lor the great majoritl' of Jews rhe rimes of praver were of necessiry private

der,'otions. it rvould appear that even members of thc Pharasaic partv were not above deliberatelv absenting themselves lront the daily worship of'the svnagogue in order to be seen at the ir pravers in the streets (Mt. 6.5), and the lact that there were peoplc to see thern shows horv limited lvas attendance at the svnagogues fbr the times of prayer. The Essenes, on the other hand, did meet together fbr their dailv pravers,e6 whereas the Therapeutae lived in recluse and assernbled together for ',vorship only on the Sabbath.eT On certain days of the rveek, however,-the Sabbath, Nlondav, ancl Thursdav-there 'uv