Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Didache

Has everyone read at least a little of the Didache? Excellent. Here are some excerpts from Quasten:

"The complete title of this work is however: [lots of Greek words], i.e. 'The Lord's Instruction to the Gentiles through the Twelve Apostles'. The latter seems to have been the title by which it was originally known. The author does not reveal his name. Nevertheless, it would be rash to presume, as Duchesne suggested, that the title points to apostolic authorship. The text in no wise justifies this. This author's intention, evidently, was to give a brief summary of the doctrine of Christ as taught to the nations by the Apostles.

"Judging by the title only, one might expect the Didache to reveal the evangelical preaching of Christ, but we find it to be more on the order of a compendium of precepts of morality, of instructions on the organization of communities, and of regulations pertaining to liturgical functions; we possess here a summary of directions which offer us an excellent picture of Christian life in the second century."

More later. Any thoughts?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kind of reads like a broadside for the early Christian community. What better way to condense the epistles than this? Thanks for posting it, Sharon- though I have heard of the Didache, I never had occasion to follow up on it. Recipe for a full and fruitful life!

husband of Suzanne

8:55 AM  
Blogger The Opinionated Homeschooler said...


A very insightful friend of mine once called the Didache a kind of pocket handbook for Christianity. It's interesting what you say about it summarizing the epistles; sometimes, reading the epistles, I find myself wishing we could read the initial (presumably unwritten) conversations that sparked the follow-up letters. The Didache seems almost like a chance to do that.

6:35 AM  

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