Dating the didache
The long title, quoted above, would have been added later when it was written down (incidentally, shorter versions of the title do exist, namely ‘The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles’, and just ‘The Teaching’, or ‘ is an anonymous document.
Although the 12 apostles are mentioned in the title, they are not referred to in the text.
But after the Council’s ruling of four initial prohibitions (Acts ), what else was required of Gentiles if they were to progress in the faith?
If they were not expected to keep Torah as fully as their Jewish brethren, what did they need in order to walk in the same Way?
In addition, a Coptic fragment from Cairo, dating back to the 5 but was dismayed that some of its liturgy wasn’t there.
Similarly, Protestants, pleased to see these omissions, did not like the emphasis on what they saw as ‘works of righteousness’, such as fasting twice a week.
It has been described as one of the last voices of authentic apostolic faith: the final flowering of Judeo-Christianity before Greek influence and theology took charge.
This alone makes it a fascinating and worthwhile document to study.
is a short work, approximately one third of the length of Mark’s Gospel.
Overall, the Section 2 provides regulations for eating, baptising, fasting and praying.
The chapter on food is very short and simple, and covers meat offered to idols.
Known as Codex Hierosolymitanus 54, it now resides in the library of the Greek Orthodox patriarchate in Jerusalem.
In 1922 two Greek fragments were found in Egypt which were textually very close to that found in Istanbul, thus verifying its accuracy.
These linguistic clues suggest the following four sections (though some split the third into two parts, making five in total): Section 1 refers to two ‘ways’: the Way of Life and the Way of Death.