The Didache - an early early Christian handbook

By: ; Date: Mon Jan 04 2021 13:13:44 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

We could learn a lot about the original intentions for Christianity from the way early Christians taught their religion.

The Didache, or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, is a brief early Christian treatise. Its purpose was to teach Gentiles the way of Christianity. It was used in the 1st Century A.D. as a teaching aid by the Christians in Jerusalem, to help them bring converts into the Christian community.

The text, parts of which constitute the oldest surviving written catechism, has three main sections dealing with Christian ethics, rituals such as baptism and Eucharist, and Church organization. It is considered the first example of the genre of the Church Orders.

The Didache could have become part of the New Testament, but was later rejected. For centuries the work had thought to have been lost completely, but in 1873 it was rediscovered by Philotheos Bryennios, Metropolitan of Nicomedia in the Codex Hierosolymitanus.

The Didache is a work of the Jewish Christians (Wikipedia) which are a thread of Jewish reform in the 1st Century that later became Christianity itself. Later in Christian history, as the breed of Christianity developed in Rome became dominant, Christian Officialdom persecuted the Jewish Christians causing them to relocate themselves beyond the edge of the Roman Empire.

Video: Why Study...the Didache with Tom O'Loughlin

He wrote: Didache, The: A Window on the Earliest Christians: "The Didache (or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) is one of the earliest Christian writings, compiled between 50 and 70 C.E. . Thus, it probably predates the four Gospels. It offers a unique glimpse into how some of the earliest Christian communities lived and worshiped. This accessible volume offers an introductory guide to this important text, including a new translation and a commentary highlighting areas of interest to Christians today. It is an essential resource for readers interested in history, Scripture, and liturgy in Christianity's earliest period."

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The Didache: Text, Translation, Analysis, and Commentary: "In this study edition, Aaron Milavec provides an overview of his pioneering efforts to surface the hidden unity governing the progression of topics in the Didache, a mid-first-century pastoral program for training converts. Milavec's commentary uses literary and sociological insights to reconstruct the faith and hope, the discipline and rituals, the anxieties and challenges facing gentiles being trained for full, active participation in the earliest Jewish-Christian communities, 50-70 C.E. His analytic, Greek-English side-by-side, gender-inclusive translation is included as well as a description of how the only surviving manuscript was discovered. Women's voices and women's issues surface throughout. His study questions, bibliography, and flowcharts enable even first-time users to grasp the functional and pastoral genius of the Didache."

The Teaching of the Twelve: Believing & Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community: "What can we know about the practices of the early church? 'The Didache is the most important book you've never read,' begins Tony Jones, in this engaging study. The Didache is an early handbook of an anonymous Christian community, likely written before some of the New Testament books were written. It spells out a way of life for Jesus-followers that includes instruction on how to treat one another, how to practice the Eucharist, and how to take in wandering prophets. In The Teaching of the Twelve, Jones unpacks the ancient document, and he traces the life of a small house church in Missouri that is trying to live according to its precepts. Readers will find The Teaching of the Twelve inspirational and challenging, and they will discover a unique window into the life of the very earliest followers of Jesus the Christ. A new, contemporary English translation of the Didache is included."