Didache


#1

Question,
I understand that the Didache is not considered inspired work, but considering the close ‘proximity’ in time to the apostles (~60 AD) What is the CC view on this document

In Christ


#2

From my understanding, the Didache is a catechetical work from the very early Church meant for the instruction of the faithful. In a very simplistic analogy, it can in many ways be compared to our Catechism today which draws heavily on the texts of Scripture and Tradition.


#3

It is not canonical but was accounted by some of the Fathers as next to Holy Scripture.


#4

The Didache, translated as the Teaching of the Apostles, is a very early Christian text. Scholars vary on dating this work any where from 70 AD to 140 AD. It was used to catechize (sp) early converts and it also includes rubrics for worship. That makes a combination of the catechism and the sacramentary, or so it seems to me :slight_smile: .

It is in the Didache that we find the (perhaps earliest) additon of the doxology to the “Our Father”. Our Protestant Brethren add this almost every time they recite the Lord’s Prayer, we generally add it only when we recite the Lord’s Prayer at mass…“For thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory forever, Amen.”

In the Didache we find a list of sins that includes pedophelia (don’t we wish our priests and bishops had held fast to that tradition!) and abortion (how many catholics just don’t see that as sinful, just a matter of personal opinion or choice!).

In the Didache we have the instructions on how to baptize, preferably in ‘living’ water (rivers/streams), warm water (ponds/baths) and if necessary by spinkling where abundant or large valumes of water are unavailable. Ther persons being baptized, their sponsors and the minister of the baptism are called to fast before the event along with as many of the community that are able to participate.

There is a very early version of the Eucharistic Prayer that is very beautiful. When I read ti, it was not the differences to our present versions that caught my attention. What grabbed my heart was how similar and true to the meaning that version was to what is said in mass every Sunday. The version in the Didach is shorter and the wine is consecrated first, then the bread but the essence is the same, jsut as Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Those early CHristians were encouraged to fast on Wednesday and Friday not Tuesday and Thursday as the ’ hypocites’ did. This is probably the distinction between the Jewish fast practices and the young Christian community that was in the process of becoming a distinct religious sect.

I actually enjoy reading, studying and reflecting with the Didache.

Pax


#5

How wonderful! Can a translation be found online?


#6

[quote=LSK]How wonderful! Can a translation be found online?
[/quote]

newadvent.org/fathers/0714.htm


#7

[quote=LSK]How wonderful! Can a translation be found online?
[/quote]

earlychristianwritings.com/didache.html


#8

Yes, you can get several translations online and others have provided links. It is found in the 3 Volume “The Faith of the Early Church Fathers” Willam A. Jurgens, which we have. I have read about for or five different translations, some are better than others IMHO.

My favorite translation is an early translation that I bought through Ignatius Press, I think, some years back. It is like a pamphlet in size and it had a nice history at the beginning about where a copy was found etc. I am at work and do not have it in front of me but I paid $9.00 for it. My husband said “You paid $9.00 for that!?!, They should give it away” Well, we both love it and consider it one of the best buys we ever made! We still think they should give it away because it is so inspirational and a wonderful testimony to the constancy of the faith as handed down through the years from the Apostles to Christians today.


#9

[quote=YADA]The Didache, translated as the Teaching of the Apostles, is a very early Christian text. Scholars vary on dating this work any where from 70 AD to 140 AD. It was used to catechize (sp) early converts and it also includes rubrics for worship. That makes a combination of the catechism and the sacramentary, or so it seems to me :slight_smile: .
[/quote]

Yada,

I’ve been reading, and not just lately, of more and more theologians and Bible exegetes (exegetists? I don’t know which term is the most correct!) who are now placing all but one portion of the Didache closer to 50-70 AD as they perceive that most scriptural references might include a familiarity with Mark (or based upon the hypothetical ‘Q’) but not a knowledge of either Matthew or Luke (and, it goes without saying, I suppose, John).

If this is the case this places the Didache - and it’s region of origin - beyond the influence of Paul but within the sphere and geography of the Jerusalem church and the earliest apostle/disciple evangelists. This is very exciting as it presents us with a very early (maybe the earliest?) look at how a church during apostolic times actually ‘functioned’ and, of course, lays the protestant claims of their resemblance to the ‘early apostolic church’ at odds with the fact that the Didache confirms, even if just by implication, a great number of practices, liturgy, and sacrament understanding that are thought, today, as being ‘uniquely Catholic’.

I recall that when I first read about it, it was placed within the time period of the “Apostolic Fathers” (qualified as “early second century”) but over the past 20 years or so many (but certainly not all) experts in the field are now arguing for the earlier dating of 50-70 AD. It’s easy to see why it could be viewed as almost Scriptural and certainly a written text that should be (if it isn’t) considered to be a significant and early portion of Sacred Tradition. Although… given that in John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae he says that part of “the living Tradition of the Church - as shown by the Didache, the most ancient non-biblical Christian writing…” and quotes from the text ( English version ). So although I may be reading too much into this statement, the “‘official’ Magisterium viewpoint” may well be taken to include the Didache as a part of Sacred Tradition.

I’m going to dust my copy off (and print out some of the other translations that I’ve found online) and give it another read. Perhaps this thread can grow to include a discussion of the Didache or perhaps, if there are those interested, another thread may be started to discuss the content: although, to my way of thinking, the discussion is proper to Apologetics and is certainly a tool to be utilized in that endeavor! I came first to the Apologetics board and searched for the word “Didache” in the topic and this was my first ‘hit’ - I’d love to find some people with whom to discuss the work.


#10

why is the Didache not considered inspired? Is there something wrong in the Didache?


#11

[quote=YADA]Yes, you can get several translations online and others have provided links. It is found in the 3 Volume “The Faith of the Early Church Fathers” Willam A. Jurgens, which we have. I have read about for or five different translations, some are better than others IMHO.

My favorite translation is an early translation that I bought through Ignatius Press, I think, some years back. It is like a pamphlet in size and it had a nice history at the beginning about where a copy was found etc. I am at work and do not have it in front of me but I paid $9.00 for it. My husband said “You paid $9.00 for that!?!, They should give it away” Well, we both love it and consider it one of the best buys we ever made! We still think they should give it away because it is so inspirational and a wonderful testimony to the constancy of the faith as handed down through the years from the Apostles to Christians today.
[/quote]

Yada,

I was just about to purchase the Aaron Milavec translation and commentary (for $9.95 at Amazon ) since it’s the translation I’ve seen used most recently in most ‘popular-scholarly’ texts which I’ve been reading BUT I’d like to get a translation for discussion purposes in which the translation and verse numbering is like that which others have. Can you find the ISBN and/or the name of the translator on the Ignatius Press copy that you have? Even if it is not still being published, the translation may be available (even online, perhaps) so that those interested (and I’m hoping there will be some!) the Didache will have a ‘common’ text to reference. Some that I’ve found on line are not ‘versified’ (or whatever the technical term for breaking down text into numbered verses), some which are are numbered differently, and no one translation, naturally, is in word-for-word agreement with the other!

Sincerely,


#12

why is the Didache not considered inspired? Is there something wrong in the Didache?

There is most certainly nothing wrong with the Didache–it provides a pretty fair indicator of the Church’s moral and theological teachings from the very earliest years of the Church. It is not considered inspired because the Church never issued an infallible statement saying that it was an inspired work to be included in the canon of Scripture. There were hundreds of works, such as the Didache and Pope Clement’s Letter to the Corinthians, that many of the faithful felt belonged in the canon. Church councils sifted through these works and infallibly proclaimed what belonged in the NT.

So, in short, nothing wrong with it. It’s just not Scripture.

-ACEGC


closed #13

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