Is the Didache contradict Paul as an Apostle?



Is the Didache contradict Paul as an Apostle, since Paul seemed to be a tent maker and stay in a place longer than what the Didache prescribed for authentic Apostles? I was thinking about that after hearing what Jimmy mentioned in his video. Also, wondering the authenticity of the Didache.

Thanks! Brian




The Didache is about as authentic as it gets without actually being in the Bible. It’s probably the earliest non-Biblical document about early Christianity that still exists. There was debate about actually including it in the Bible, but in the end, it was left out NOT because of anything inauthentic, but because it didn’t contain anything inspired and necessary for our salvation. It basically served as one of the earliest catechisms of the Christian Church. It is more of a procedural document on how to run a Christian community than anything.


I believe that the Didache might have been written right after St. Paul and maybe view it as something that came after St. Paul or right after him. It in that sense not be a contradiction.


One thing to always be mindful of, know who the intended audience of the writing is aimed at, because it will help you in understanding it better.

The Didache was written to established Christian communities who had already been visited by Apostles and other disciples and those who had built them up. Naturally they would need to stay for an extended time to instruct them in the Christian faith. This document is teaching them after this event. The concern is with people who would mooch off a community claiming to be an Apostle. A true Apostle would not need to stay in an established community for very long. They were always looking to expand the message of Christ, so they would rest and recupperate with them, and then move on to evangelize new places/peoples.

Those sections are warnings on how to spot false teachers/prophets/Apostles so they wouldn't be taken advantage of, especially since all Christianity was being persecuted, and it could be difficult to truly know who was who since they worked very hard to maintain necessary secrecy at times.

As to supporting prophets (chapter 13), nothing in there says that Apostles or prophets can't support themselves, only that the community should support them as they generally are so busy spreading the Gospel that they are unable to earn a living. They are distinctly noted separately from regular Christians who were supposed to earn their keep (chapter 12).


Thank you for all of the posts, everyone!

Maybe I need to better understand what an Apostle is and is not. I know Apostles are Christ’s messengers. There were the original 12 Apostles, but are there more and what is the context of this Didache? Where disciples also called Apostles and were they Bishops, Priests, and Deacons?

Maybe the Didache is only referring to the a certain group of Apostles?

It seems at 2:05 into the video Jimmy mentions there were only Bishops and Deacons at the time as the Church was in the early stage of development, but the bible says there were Presbyters. Please help me to understand. Thanks!


Jimmy said the Didache is about 50AD so it had to be around during the time of the Apostles… FYI. So maybe it didn’t refer to the 12 Apostles who were well known, who could stay in one place longer, as did Paul as a tent make early on in his journeys.


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