The Didache is written from the view point of a community leadership that distrusts, and yet respects, Christian prophets, one that wishes the prophets to leave town as quickly as possible, yet would have them welcomed in town when they arrive.
The Pastoral and Petrine epistles stem from a slightly later time, when authority in the Christian movement was based on the prerogatives of office rather than on prophetic powers." Crossan observes the following on the text of the Didache (The Birth of Christianity, p. The Didache, then, was a small text, fifth among others mostly larger than itself, lost in a small library in the Fener section of Istanbul, halfway up the west side of the Golden Horn.
Despite small differences, the wording on those scraps is very close to Byrrenios's text.
A Coptic papyrus containing Didache 10:3b-12:2a, dated to the end of the fourth or start of the fifth century, was bought in 1923 for what was then the British Museum and catalogued as British Library Oriental Manuscript 9271. They conclude that "this sheet was originally cut from a roll of papyrus in order to serve as a double-leaf in a codex," but instead it was used "as a space for scribal exercises" (87).It was, in other words, a rather casual copying of that section of the Didache for purposes of writing practice.Oxy 1782) from the fourth century and in coptic translation (P. 3/4th, abbreviated as Ca) and partially by various Egyptian and Ethiopian Church Orders, after which it ceased to circulate independently. 173): "Of course today, when the similarities between the Didache and Barnabas, or the Shepherd of Hermas, are no longer taken as proof that the Didache is literarily dependent upon these documents, the trend is to date the Didache much earlier, at least by the end of the first century or the beginning of the second, and in the case of Jean-P. E." Udo Schnelle makes the following remark about the Didache (The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings, p.Athanasius describes it as 'appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us, and who wish for instruction in the word of goodness' [Festal Letter 39:7]. 355): "The Didache means by 'the gospel' (8.2; 11.3; 15.3, 4) the Gospel of Matthew; thus the Didache, which originated about 110 CE, documents the emerging authority of the one great Gospel." Stevan Davies comments on the Didache (Jesus the Healer, p.It is not enough, in any case, simply to note the mention of "firstfruits" in Didache 13:3-7, since that could indicate urban-based landowners.
My own preference for a rural over an urban setting comes not from those few verses but from the Didache's rhetorical serenity, ungendered equality, and striking difference from so many other early Christian texts. Kraft says about the provenance of the Didache (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 197): "That most commentators now seem to opt for Syria (Audet 1958; Hazelden Walker 1966; Rordorf and Tullier 1978) or Syro-Palestine (Niederwimmer 1977) as the place of origin is not in itself an indication that the supporting evidence is compelling; Egypt (Kraft 1965) and Asia Minor (Vokes 1970) also have their supporters." On source criticism of the Didache, Kraft observes (op. 197): There seems to be a general consensus that the 'two ways' material in chaps.Essentially the Orthodox Church shares much with the other Christian Churches in the belief that God revealed himself in Jesus Christ, and a belief in the incarnation of Christ, his crucifixion and resurrection.The Orthodox Church differs substantially in the way of life and worship.It bears no date itself, nor does it make reference to any datable external event, yet the picture of the Church which it presents could only be described as primitive, reaching back to the very earliest stages of the Church's order and practice in a way which largely agrees with the picture presented by the NT, while at the same time posing questions for many traditional interpretations of this first period of the Church's life. Traces of the use of this text, and the high regard it enjoyed, are widespread in the literature of the second and third centuries especially in Syria and Egypt.Fragments of the Didache were found at Oxyrhyncus (P. It was used by the compilator of the Didascalia (C 2/3rd) and the Liber Graduun (C 3/4th), as well as being absorbed in toto by the Apostolic Constitutions (C c. Patterson comments on the dating of the Didache (The Gospel of Thomas and Jesus, p.It has been depicted by scholars as anything between the original of the Apostolic Decree (c.