02.02.08 Didache. The Didache, meaning The Teaching of the Twelve Apostlesis a small book that describes the church rule of order. It was written about the time John wrote the book of Revelation, or possibly a decade or two later (A.D. 95-120). It begins with the statement “There are two ways, one of life and one of death.” It describes the basic instruction of the early church with a focus on how converts need to change their lives in order to belong to a Jewish-Christian fellowship; what responsibilities were expected of them. Scholars believe that since baptism (Ch. 7) is followed by communion (Ch. 9 & 10), this underscores the point that the book was intended only for the full membership of the congregation.
- Chapters 1 through 6 explain the two ways of life and death, and that there is a huge difference between them.
- Chapter 7 is on baptism
- Chapter 8 discusses prayer and fasting, and includes the direct quotation of the Lord’s Prayer. The Jewish people already had a ritual of praying three times a day, now they replaced their traditional prayers with the Lord’s Prayer. Since the Pharisees fasted on Mondays and Tuesdays, early Christians fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays – the fasting tradition continued but they did not want to be identified with the Pharisees.
- Chapters 9 and 10 discusses the Communion service, and
- Chapters 11 through 15 discuss church organization and administrative issues as well as discipline of those who violated the biblical commands of a Christ-like life described in chapters 1 through 6.
. Cate, A History of the New Testament and its Times. 40.
. Didache 1:1a.
. One minority view argues for a date as early as A.D. 60, and another for a late date of mid-second century.
. See 08.03.04; Acts 3:1; 10:3, 30; Didache 8:3.