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CDF47

The Didache (The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles)

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The Didache (The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) is a brief anonymous early Christian treatise dated to the first century AD. It is interesting to see how early Christians planned the organization of the church based on this document. If you have not read it, I recommend it. It does not take long to read. Below is a link to the document:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/didache.html

 

What are your thoughts on the Didache?

Edited by CDF47

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In my opinion it is worth reading. How influential or wide spread it was is difficult to say. As I have pointed out else where in regard ancient documents:

 

These documents gives us a better insight in the culture and historical context of the time. They are a window into the thoughts and ideas of the writers. They tell us what the authors thought was important, the issues, the events. These texts provide a matrix for their understanding of the Scriptures just as the DDS did for Qumran community.

 

There is also the linguistic impact these texts have had upon lexical studies, the understanding of idioms, and syntax. The more literature we have the better our understanding of the languages (i.e. Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.).

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In my opinion it is worth reading. How influential or wide spread it was is difficult to say. As I have pointed out else where in regard ancient documents:

 

 

Yeah, I think it is a good brief short instruction definitely worth reading. I don't hold it over the New Testament but it summarizes some of the New Testament in a way and shows the plans for the early Church which is cool to see. This is my favorite non-Biblical document that I have read and I think it is authentic.

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I would like to add this site for some scholarly references.

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/didache.html

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At one point it is written, "Do not even the Gentiles do the same?" It appears that the audience for the document was Jewish. (???)

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At one point it is written, "Do not even the Gentiles do the same?" It appears that the audience for the document was Jewish. (???)
I believe that is the prevailing opinion.

 

 

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It is very informative, interesting, but why should a Christian refer to it? It was written to Jews. I don't believe the 12 Apostles were Christian.

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At one point it is written, "Do not even the Gentiles do the same?" It appears that the audience for the document was Jewish. (???)

 

The translation I have states, "Do not even the heathens do the same?"

 

The source below states the Didache was written for a non-Jewish audience which by reading the Didache appears to be true. I think the Didache was intended for a Christian audience.

 

http://www.pathguy.com/didache.htm

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It is very informative, interesting, but why should a Christian refer to it? It was written to Jews. I don't believe the 12 Apostles were Christian.

 

I believe it was intended for Christians, not Jews. See post above.

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The translation I have states, "Do not even the heathens do the same?"
Alright lets take a closer look at this. The first thing to note is Did. 1:3 is a quote of Matt. 5:47. Second, the Greek word is ἔθνη (i.e. nations, gentiles). "Heathens" is an interpretation of the word. The nations were heathens\pagans because they were not Israel, because they did not follow the God of the Scriptures. Thus the term could be used in a derogatory sense. Nevertheless the word is simply nations/gentiles.

 

The source below states the Didache was written for a non-Jewish audience which by reading the Didache appears to be true. I think the Didache was intended for a Christian audience.
Your sources is an M.D. a pathologist and not a biblical scholar of any kind (nor any related field of study). While he might have done his homework, his word carries lno weight on this subject. For example, it is pure conjecture that the Didache "could well be the results of the first Apostolic Council recorded in Acts 15:28." There is zero evidence for that claim.

 

Moreover if that conjecture were correct it follows that the Didache ought to be part of the N.T. canon. If that conjecture were true then it would be necessary to explain why such an early document, the results of the first Apostolic Council, where Jame the brother of Jesus, Paul and Barnabas, the apostles (note apostle is plural) and elders of the church at Jerusalem, and the events concerning Peter and the Gentiles are referenced, was not considered part of the canon.

Edited by Origen
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Alright lets take a closer look at this. The first thing to note is Did. 1:3 is a quote of Matt. 5:47. Second, the Greek word is ἔθνη (i.e. nations, gentiles). "Heathens" is an interpretation of the word. The nations were heathens\pagans because they were not Israel, because they did not follow the God of the Scriptures. Thus the term could be used in a derogatory sense. Nevertheless the word is simply nations/gentiles.

 

Your sources is an M.D. a pathologist and not a biblical scholar of any kind (nor any related field of study). While he might have done his homework, his word carries lno weight on this subject. For example, it is pure conjecture that the Didache "could well be the results of the first Apostolic Council recorded in Acts 15:28." There is zero evidence for that claim.

 

Moreover if that conjecture were correct it follows that the Didache ought to be part of the N.T. canon. If that conjecture were true then it would be necessary to explain why such an early document, the results of the first Apostolic Council, where Jame the brother of Jesus, Paul and Barnabas, the apostles (note apostle is plural) and elders of the church at Jerusalem, and the events concerning Peter and the Gentiles are referenced, was not considered part of the canon.

 

I understand your points. In reading the document though it appears the document is intended for Christians. It gives a good look at what the early Christian church was thinking. I was unaware that this was considered to be written for Jews or Jewish Christians.

 

Who are the hypocrites that fast on Mondays and Thursdays? In the past I thought this was referring to Jews and was a bit antisemitic.

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I understand your points. In reading the document though it appears the document is intended for Christians. It gives a good look at what the early Christian church was thinking. I was unaware that this was considered to be written for Jews or Jewish Christians.
That is the argument some scholars make. I am not sure I fully agree with it but some scholars believe it was meant for Jewish Christians.

 

Who are the hypocrites that fast on Mondays and Thursdays? In the past I thought this was referring to Jews and was a bit antisemitic.
Kurt Niederwimmer in his excellent commentary states:

The sharp polemic against the ὑποκριταί, and the necessity of distinguishing oneself from the fasting customs of the pious Jews by the choice of other fast days, presumes (on the one hand) an ongoing, close contact between the communities reflected here and their Jewish environment. On the other hand, the text requires us to suppose that these communities are in the process of separating themselves from the religious communion of Israel, or else they have already done so. (The Didache A Commentary, Hermeneia, p. 131)
Niederwimmer makes a good point. There would be no reason to distinguish oneself from the Jewish days of fasting if there was not some close connection between the two groups in time and place.
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That is the argument some scholars make. I am not sure I fully agree with it but some scholars believe it was meant for Jewish Christians.

 

Kurt Niederwimmer in his excellent commentary states:

Niederwimmer makes a good point. There would be no reason to distinguish oneself from the Jewish days of fasting if there was not some close connection between the two groups in time and place.

 

Good points.

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