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The Sources, Date and Transmission of Didache 1.3b–2.1

  • Bentley Layton (a1)


The unsatisfactory quality of the witnesses to the text of the Didache, especially that of Bryennios' codex Hierosolymitanus 54 (a.D. 1056), has been emphasized in a well-known paper by Erik Peterson. This evaluation holds true for Did. 1.3D–2.1, the object of the present study, to an even greater extent than was indicated by Peterson.



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1 Peterson, E., Über einige Probleme der Didache-Überlieferung, Riv Arch Crist 27 (1951), 3768, now in his Frühkirche … (Rome, etc., 1959), ch. 13. For the most part Peterson's specific conclusions can be accepted only with hesitation, but their diagnostic value is sometimes appreciable.

2 Witnesses to Did. 1.3D–2.1 comprise: H: cod. Hierosolymitanus 54 (a.D. 1056), discovered by Bryennios.

g: manuscript (s. XIX p.) of a Georgian version (made s. V/X p.), now lost and known only from Péradsé's, G. collation published in ZNW 31(1932), 111–16.

papyrus: pap. Oxyrhynchus 1782, Gr.-H. vol. 15 (s.IV p. exeun.), two short fragments: recto = 1.3d–4a and verso = 2.7b–3.2b [the recto text breaks off 47 words before the corruption emended below, pp. 345–349].

Const. Apost.: lost copy of the Didache used by the compiler of bk. VII of the Apostolic Constitutions (a.D. 360–80 ca.), ed. F. X. Funk, from which its readings can sometimes be inferred. Differences against H which obviously represent conflation with readings from the parallel NT pericopes are extensive and have not been noted below.

To these better-known witnesses may now be added the Syriac Liber Graduum (s.IV/V p.), ed. Kmosko, as was recently pointed out by Adam, A. in ZKG 68 (1957), 25f.: a lost copy of the Didache (perhaps in a Syriac version) quoted — sometimes quite freely — in several passages of the Liber. Loci are collected by Adam, ubi cit. The two instances where verses from 1.3–1.4 are used prove to be of no significance in textual criticism of the passage.

The most complete critical edition of the Didache is in Audet, J.-P., La Didaché (Études Bibliques: Paris, 1958), superseding F. X. Funket al.. (19562). Bibliography is given by Audet (X-XVI) and must be supplemented from Quasten, J., Initiation aux Pères, trad, par J. Laport, t. I (Paris, 1955), 4648, and items under “Doctrina Apostolorum” in Schneemelcher, W., Bibliog. Patrist. (Berlin) for 1956 seqq.

For all NT citations below, Nestle-Aland24 is followed, with comparison of Tischendorf8crit. mai., Von Soden. and Aland-Black-et al. (1966). The reader is referred to K. Aland, Synopsis IV Evang. (19658), 82ff. for the relevant Synoptic parallels. For Hermae Pastor, M. Whittaker, ed., Die Apost. Väter, I, Der Hirt des Hermas (GCS: Berlin, 1956) is used; for the Apostolic Constitutions, F. X. Funk, ed., Didascalia et Constitutiones apost., I (Paderborn, 1905); for the Liber Graduum, M. Kmosko, ed. et trad., in Patrologia Syriaca accurante R. Graffin, Pars Prima, III (Paris, 1926).

3 The papyrus and the Vorlage of Const. Apost. appear to belong to a different branch of the transmission from codex H. The Georgian version has not been placed. Cf. below, n.61 and p. 376f.

4 P. Bryennios, ed. (Constantinople, 1883).

5 Koester, Helmut, Synoptische Überlieferung bet den Apost. Vätern (Texte und Unters. 65: Berlin, 1957), where Did. 1.3b–2.1 is treated on pp. 217–39.

6 See also the recent attempt of Massaux, E., Influence de l'Évangile de saint Matthieu sur la littérature chrétienne avant saint Irénée (Louvain, 1950).

7 Audet, J.-P., La Didaché. Instructions des Apôtres (Études Bibliques: Paris, 1958) [Hereafter Cited as “Audet, Didachè”].

8 Audet (Didachè, 185) has already raised this issue, but for the opposite reason. He rejects the possibility of any use of written sources for Did. 1.3b–1.4. Harmonization of Synoptic gospel passages is excluded, he maintains, because the order of phrases would have been rearranged without apparent motivation … the putative Editor seems to take neither Mt. nor Lk. as a base but would be working from both … “Il est impossible d'imaginer comment il aurait put travailler sur Mt. et Lc. pour arriver a son texte. Et quel profit aurait-il churché?”

9 Thus Audet, Didachè, 198; ibid., 271.

10 Below, p. 355, with the remarks by Stendahl cited there.

11 As, recently, Audet, Didachè, 187–210; Daniélou, J., Theology of Jewish Christianity, tr. Baker, J. A. (London-Chicago, 1964), 30; Adam, A., Erwägungen zur Herkunft der Didache, ZKG 68(1957), 147. Conversely, such results could be used to argue for the primitive nature of the Didache.

12 Harnack, A., Die Lehre der zwölf Apostel (Texte u. Unters. 2: Leipzig, 1884), in loc.; Lake, K., ed., Apostolic Fathers, I (Loeb C. L.: London-New York, 1912), 311 n.

13 Tr. Péradsé (see note 2).

14 ΔΙΔΑΧΗ (Constantinople, 1883), in loc. Later cited by A. Harnack (op. cit., n. 12) and Funk, F. X., Doctrina duodecim apostolorum (Tübingen, 1887).

15 Harnack, op. cit. (n. 12), 6.

16 “It is characteristic of the pious to give to everyone who asks, while of those more pious still (to give) even to him who does not ask: it is, however, a property of the impassible and solitary, it would seem, not to ask back (stolen goods) from him who takes them away — most of all when they are able to.”

17 Knopf, R., Die Lehre der zwölf Apostel … (Lietzmann'sHandb. z. NT, Ergä I: Tübingen, 1920), 9. Minasi, I., La Dottrina del Signore dei dodici apostoli … (Roma, 1891), 5, had explained the phrase from the verse which follows (assuming πατήρ there refers to the idea of the brotherhood of all men). Cf. Audet, Didache, 268: “Peut-être aussi l'idée est-elle simplement que réclamer (ἀπαιτέω) revient à chercher une compensation, et que chercher une compensation même dans l'ordre de la propriété, ne vas pas sans un secret retour au vieil équilibre: ‘Œil pour œil, dent pour dent,’ ce qui s'accorderait avec le contexte.”

18 Seen by Péradsé, , ZNW 31 (1932), 111–16, at 115.

19 It is unclear whether (τέλειος εἶναι)(cf. 6.2 τέλειος ἔσῃ) or 〈 τελειωθῆναι 〉 (cf. 16.2 ὲὰν μὴ … τελειωθῆτε) is the preferable emendation. Professor K. Stendahl prefers the former, comparing Mt. 5.48 (ἔσεσθε … τέλειοι) and suggesting that τελειωθῆναι (as in Did. 16.2) may mean “be found to be perfect” in a special eschatological, rather than ethical, sense.

20 On the conjectured original form of this verse, see below, pp. 374–376.

21 That harmonization somehow played a role in the composition of 1.3–1.4 was suggested as early as Harnack's edition of 1884. The relationship of 1.5 to Hermae Pastor has always been considered more dubious. Cf. however, Robinson, J. A., Barnabas, Hernias and the Didacke (London, 1920). Because no detailed formal analysis of the supposed harmony has ever been published, the matter has remained controversial. See recently, for example, Glover's, R. negative judgment in The Didache's Quotations from the Synoptic Gospels, NTStud 5 (1958), 1229, and that of Audet quoted above in note 8.

22 The limits of the passage as given here (i.3b–2.i) are firmly established both on internal grounds and on the literary evidence discussed below, pp. 379–380.

23 Rhetorical climax, chiasmus, refrain, Blessing-and-Woe, citation of proverb. Cf. the analyses which follow.

24 Tatian's teacher Justin used a harmony, perhaps less inclusive than Tatian's own Diatessaron (cf. Sanday, W., The Gospels in the Second Century [London, 1876], 90102; E. Lippelt, Quae fuerint Justini Martyris Apomnemoneumata [Diss. Philol. Halensis: 1901]; Sparks, H. F. D. in JTS2 14 [1963], 462–66). It is known from Apol. I 15, 9–13, that Justin's gospel text did not resemble the Didache harmony. Both Basilides and Mani are sometimes held to have used harmonizing gospel texts (Hennecke-Schneemelcher, New Test. Apoc, I, 346ff. and 3Sif. With bibliography); Theophilus of Antioch's lost harmony is alluded to by St. Jerome (epist. 121, 6 ad Algasiam, VII, p. 30, Labourt), and a verse has now been recovered in the Liber S. Jacobi, Codex Calixtinus, ed. Whitehall, apud B. De Ganrier, Une citation de l'harmonie évangélique de Théophile …, Mél. Andrieu (RevScRel, extra vol., 1956), 173–79. C. Vetttus Juvencus wrote (ca. 330) a harmony of the gospels in Vergilian hexameters (ed. J. Huemer, Vienna, 1891) ; nor was his attempt the last. The first and third canonical gospels are themselves partly harmonies, of course (of Mk. and “Q”). Many of the early papyrus fragments of “Apocryphal Gospels” display harmonizing or quasi harmonizing tendencies. Koester (op. cit., n. S, 109f) also draws attention to II Clement in this regard.

25 Cullmann, O., Die Pluralität der Evangelien als theologisches Problem im Altertum, ThZ 1(1945), 2437.

26 Drx's, G. argument for this hypothesis (JTS 34 [1933], 242–50) rests upon textual evidence (Isaac of Nineveh's Cephalaia) which derives not — as Dix maintained — directly from the Didache, but from the Apostolic Constitutions, as indeed Audet has already seen. What Dix calls a “Tatianic” reading in Isaac is actually only a conflation with the Lukan parallel to the text in question (cf., however, Liber Graduum, ed. Kmosko [n. 2 above], cols. 27 and 671). The origin of such conflations, themselves minute harmonizations, clearly lies in the perfect familiarity of many Christian priests, monks, and scribes with the Biblical texts — of which we are reminded by the recent republication of a Coptic document in which clerics just ordained … give to the bishop a written undertaking that they will inter alia learn by heart and be able to recite a specified one of the four Gospels within a period varying from roughly two to four months” (J. Drescher in JEgArch 51 [1965], 225). Elsewhere, monks are reported to have known the entire Bible, or great parts of it, by heart (Palladius, Hist. Laus., 11, 26, 32 end, 37).

27 The evidence is limited to Tatian's form of Mt. 5.39//Lk. 6.29//Did. 1.4, reconstructed from quotations in Ephrem'sCommentary, viz., in the Syriac manuscript (ed. Leloir, L., Chester Beatty Monogr. 8 [Dublin, 1962]) at XII, 2 (p. 76 Lel.) and in the Armenian version (ed. Leloir, CSCO 137, arm. 1 [Louvain, 1953]) at VI, 4 (p. 74, 7 and 15 Lel.), VI, 11 (78, 24), VI, 12 (79, 10), VI, 13 (80, 5), VI 14 (80, 14), XII, 2 (159, 24), XIX, 10 (273, 10). As retroverted by Prof. Robert W. Thomson of Harvard, the Diatessaron verse corresponds to the following harmonization of Mt. and Lk.: * ὅστις ῤαπίςει τὴν σιαϒόνα σον, πάρεχε (praebe, with Lk.: not Mt.'s στρέψον, verte) [ σὑ] αὐτῷ [ καί] τὴν ἄλην + latus. Any putative relationship of the Didache to the Diatessaron is further complicated by the likelihood that the latter was first composed in Syriac, Kraeling's Greek Dura fragment being only from a subsequent translation into Greek.

28 Contrast the synopsis prepared by Ammonius of Alexandria, as also, its successor, the Eusebian Canones (cf. Euseb. epist. ad Carpianum). In the present context can also be mentioned the strange document, perhaps itself a synopsis, recently edited by I. A. More, Codex Climaci Rescriptus Graecus … [Ms. Gregory 1561, L] (Texts and Studies, N.s. 2: Cambridge, 1956), whose exact purpose and date of composition have not yet been fully understood (“Possibly we have here the rough drafts of some worker who planned to produce an early equivalent of Tischendorf's or Huck's synopses,” ibid., 19).

28a A brief critical apparatus is supplied only for selected words of the NT passages quoted below. That for the Didache is complete.

29 The third sentence of the § is a paratactic equivalent (Blass-Debrunner, Grammar, § 471.3) of the conditional sentence * ἐὰν δ᾽ ύμεῖς ἀϒαπᾶτε τοὺς μισοῦντας ύμᾶς, οὐχ ἔξετε ἐχθρόν. But the latter structure is avoided because of preference for the imperative, as elsewhere in the parenetic pericopes § § I–III.

30 K. Stendahx, Hate, Non-Retaliation and Love, 1 Q S x, 17–20 and Romans 12: 19–21, in HTR 55(1962), 343–55, at 355, n. 25.

31 Replacement of Mt.ʼs σὲ ῥαπίζει with δῷ ῥάπισμα is perhaps to avoid four utterly parallel sentences (cf. what follows), or perhaps only random.

32 Viz. of highway robbery, rather than lawsuit (as in Mt.), since the ίμάτιον is an outer garment worn over the χιτών.

33 Discounting of course, synonyms like Lk. 6.29 τῷ τύπτοντι. = Mt. 5.39 ὄστις ῤαπίςει, already used

34 Less abstract translations such as “your property,” “what is thine” (Lake) or “ton bien” (Audet) are probably less correct. For the general distinction, cf. Kühner-Gerth, Ausf. Grammatik der gr. Spr.3 (1897), II, i, 268, A. 3.

35 The compositor has now used both Mt. 5–39–42 and 5.43–48. The next verse of Matthew (Mt. 6.1) begins a pericope on almsgiving; thus the Didache introduces a pericope on almsgiving at the corresponding point, even though Matthean material is not in fact utilized again until Did. 1.5c.

36 It must be stressed that the geographical situation of the compositor of 1.3 b–2.1 need not be the same as that of the editor who compiled the remainder of the Didache (for the problem of dual authorship, cf. below, pp. 378–382); Alexandria, where the Pastor was considered ϒραϕή at least by the third century, would be a distinct possibility. Furthermore, papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1782 attests to the existence of an Egyptian transmission of the Didache by the end of the fourth century; cf. also Athanasius' thirty-ninth Festal Letter (a.D. 367), quoted in Audet, Didaché, 83 f.

37 S. Glet (Hernias et Les Pasteurs [Paris, 1963], 92ff.) notes the parallel between mand. II (27) 4 and the Latin Doctrina Apostolorum (on the latter work, cf. below, pp. 379–380): omnibus enim dominus dari (Giet, dare MS.) uult de donis suis (Doct. Ap. 4.8). Whether the verse was already present in that Greek Vorlage of the Latin Doctrina which found its way into the Didache as Did. I-VI, can be doubted on the basis of the convincing alternate text at Did. 4.8. Perhaps use of a common source by the author of Pastor mand. II (27) 4 and the editor of Doctr. Ap. 4.8 is implied: but more likely, the Latin (quoted above) only represents a secondary text of the verse, conflating from Pastor — or even from the Didache itself — later in the transmission.

38 The word χάρισμα does not occur in Pastor; δώρημα (τοῦ κυρίου)elsewhere occurs only at sim. II (51) 7.

39 A few Jewish and Mandaean parallels to Lk. 6.20–26 are gathered in Bultmann, R., History of the Synoptic Tradition, tr. Marsh, J. (Oxford, 1963), 112 [German ed.,4 117].

40 For exceptions, see below with note 56.

41 Hermae Pastor mand. II (27) 4b–7a ed. Whittaker:

4b καί ἐκ τῶν κόπων σον

ὡν ὁ θεὸς δίδωσίν σοι,

πâ σιν ὑστερουμένοις δίδον ὰπλῶς,

μὴ διστάζων τίνι δῷς

ἥ τίνι μὴ δῷς.

4c πâ σιν διδου.

πâ σιν ϒὰρ ὀ θεὸς δίδοσθαι θέλι

ἐκ τῶν ίδίων δωρημάτων.

5a οί οὖν λαμβάνοντες

ἀποδώσουσιν λόϒον τῷ θεῷ διατί ἔλβον

καὶ εἰς τί.

5bοἱ μὲν ϒὰρ λαμβάνοντες


οὐ δικασθήσονται.

οἱ δὲ ἐν ὑποκρίσει


τίσουσιν δίκην.

6a ὁ οὖν διδοὺς

ἀθῷός ἐστιν.

6b ὡς γὰρ ἔλαβεν

παρὰ τοῦ κυρίου

τὴν διακονίαν τελέσαι,

ἁπλῶς αὐτὴν ἐτέλεσεν

μηθὲν διακρίνων

τίνι δῷ.

ἢ μὴ δῷ.

6c ἐγένετο οὖν ἡ διακονία αὕτη ἁπλῶς τελεσδεῖσα ἔνδοξος παρὰ τῷ θεῷ.

6d ὸ οὖν οὕτως ἁπλῶς διακονῶν

τῷ θεῷ


7a φύλασσε οἶν τὴν ταύτην,

ὥς σοι λελάληκα …

42 Audet, Didacè, 165f.

43 Giet (op. cit. n. 37, 91, n. 3), however, compares Sirach 29.9–13.

44 Considered apart from the Matthean context, Mt. 5.25–26 has been seen to derive ultimately from the rhetoric of eschatological proclamation (Bultmann, op. cit., n. 39, 99 and 172 [German ed.,4 103 and 185f.]). Matthew's use of the topos (in a pericope on reconciliation) is ambiguous enough to sustain literal interpretation — as is that of the Didache (note that the words τῷ θεῴ, Pastor mand. II [27] 5a, are not borrowed in the Didache).

45 συνοχή ‘imprisonment’, with a flavor of bureaucratic jargon (abstract for concrete): an earlier example in pap. Lond. vol. II 354, 24 (dated 10 B.C.) è ν συνοχῇ ϒενόμενος.

46 For association of this term with judiciary torture, see references in W. Bauer, Lexicon, s.v. (2).

47 P. Skehan, Didache 1,6 and Sirach 12,1, Biblica 44(1963), 533ff.

48 From readings scattered throughout the manuscript evidence: ibid., 533.

49 The Didache's form of Sir 12.1 is quoted, in a Latin translation from the Greek second recension, by several Medieval commentators (as early as Augustine). In HUGH of St-Cher there is positive identification of the verse as “alia translatio” of Sir 12.1 (Audet, Didaché, 275ff.). Skehan (art. cit., n. 47) shows that the variant Hebrew Vorlage presupposed by the “alia translatio” is in fact attested in Hebrew by a Cairo Genizah manuscript; he demonstrates that this Vorlage evolved through inner-Hebrew corruption (posterior to, or independent of, the Hebrew Vorlage of the LXX). A second Greek translation of Sirach, or at least of certain variant verses like the present one, must have been made upon the basis of a secondary (corrupt) Hebrew text and entered Greek transmission by the time of the Didache compositor.

50 Which may somehow relate to the omission of both verses 1.5 and 1.6 from the Georgian version, unless that is the result of sheer carelessness on the part of translator or copyist.

51 Rhetorical climax, chiasmus, Blessing-and-Woe, refrain.

52 See Audet's complaint, above in n. 8.

53 Not from the parallel texts: νηστεύετε δέ, (§ I), καὶ ούχ ἓξετε έχθρόν (§ II), ἐξετασθήσεται περὶ ὧν ἓπραξε (§ IV). Examples of “framework”: μακάριος … ούαί … (§ IV), έάν τις … (§ III).

54 ἔθνη for έθνικοί (§ II), τὸ σόν for τὰ σά (§ III — stronger and more appropriate to its position in the figure) ; while πατήρ for θεός (§ IV) and χαρισμάτων for δωρημάτων (§ IV) are explained above on other grounds. δῷ ῤάπισμα for ῤαπίζει is more puzzling, although cf. note 31 above.

55 Perhaps χαρισμάτων for δωρημάτων (§ IV), Σνα τί for διατί (§ IV) and μέχριςού for ἒως ἂν, v.l. οὔ (§ IV, Mt. 5.26).

56 μὴ χρείαν ἔχων for έν ὑποκρίσει λαμβάνοντες, δώσει δἰκην for τίσονσιν δίκην, ίνα τί for διατί, οὐκ + fut. tense for οὐ μή aor. Sub]., ἔως ἂν cf., however, note 55. θλιβόμενοι is not converted into ἐν θλίψει perhaps in order to avoid eschatological overtones.

57 Cf. above, p. 362, on the canonicity of Hermae Pastor.

58 Cf. the title.

59 Cf. notes 24 (Justin) and 27 (Diatessaron).

60 Audet, Didachè, 264.

61 The Georgian verb chiquarebdeth (Péradsé in ZNW 31[1932], 112 note 1, in loc., for the text) is used equally to translate φιλεῖν and ἀγαπᾶ in the Georgian New Testament. Other words (mostly verbs) from the now lost Georgian manuscript are mentioned ibid., but these — according to the kind advice of Prof. Robert W. Thomson of Harvard — appear to offer no clue as to whether g belongs in the textual family of H or with papyrus Const. Apost.

62 Koester, op. cit., n. 5, 222.

63 Chiasmus at the end of 1.3 is destroyed by replacement of the last member with ἔσεσθε οὗν etc. (a future tense of categorical injunction: Blass-Debrunner, Grammar § 362).

64 VII 2.3–4, ed. Funk, 388.

65 Modern editors, however, often excise the preface to the command but wrongly keep ἀπέχου τῶν σαρκικῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν following codex H.

66 Perhaps a reminiscence of Tit. 2.12, ἀρνησάμενοι … τἐσ κοσμικὰς ἐπιθυμίας.

67 Isaac'sCephalaia (ed. M. Besson, Oriens Christianas, I [1901], 51, line 21) paraphrases only the Apostolic Constitutions (cf. note 26), ἀπέχου τῶν σαρκικῶν καὶ βιωτικῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν καὶ τῶν ἡδονῶν τοῦ κόσμου(cod. Vat. graec. 375).

68 Cf. note 61.

69 Peterson (n. 1, Frühkir., p. 149) brackets 1.6 because of the internal contradiction; but cf. above, p. 369

70 See recently S. Giet, op. cit., n. 38, 280–310, using to establish a terminus post quem the reference in the Muratorian canon (ed. Leclercq, ‘Muratorianum’, Cabrol-Leclercq, DACL, XII [1935], i, 543–60), lines 73–77: “Pastorem uero nuperrime temporibus nostris in urbe Roma Hermas conscripsit sedente cathedra urbis Romae ecclesiae Pio episcopo fratre eius.” On Giet's arguments, that edition of the “Shepherd” ascribed to the brother of the pope was slightly earlier than the edition for which the “mandata” were composed. Pius's dates are usually taken to be a.D. 142–55. The earliest known reference to the Pastor is by Irenaeusapud Eus.hist. 5.8.7. A Michigan papyrus fragment (p. Mich. 130, olim Inv. 44–H) containing mand. II (27) 6 – III (28) 1 dates from only two generations after the reign of Pius I: cf. Bonner, C. in HTR 20(1927), 105–16.

71 Codex Monacensis 6264 (olim Frising. 64), Schlecht, J., ed., Doctrina XII Apostolorum, Die Apostellehre in der Liturgie … (Freiburg i. B., 1901). Cf. also the fragmentary codex Mellicensis Q.52, ibid., 16f.

72 Only the title “(De) Doctrina apostolorum” and the concluding doxology “per dominum Iesum Christum” etc. are specifically Christian; otherwise the work could be taken for Jewish.

73 Cf. Robinson, J. A., The Problem of the Didache, JTS 13(1912), 339.

74 Parallel texts in Audet, Didachè, 138–53 (where on 139f. transpose the headings “Barn.” and “Doctr.”).

75 Clearest evidence in Barnabas and in the Vita Shenuti now preserved only in Arabic manuscripts (trans. Heusler, A. in Iselin, L. E., Eine bisher unbekannte Version des ersten Teiles der “Apostellehre” [Texte u. Unters. 13: Leipzig, 1895], 610) and presumably based upon a lost Coptic version of the “Two Ways.” Shorter citations from the “Two Ways” (unless from the Didache itself) are studied by Altaner, B., Zum Problem der lateinischen Doctrina apostolorum, VigChr 6(1952), 160–67 (now in his Kleine patr. Schriften [Texte u. Unters. 83: Leipzig, 1967], 335–42).

76 Young, D., ed., in Theognis… (Bibl. Teub.: Leipzig, 1961), 95112. “Das Interesse des Mittelalters [für ps-Phok.] beweist die Verhältnismäszige gute und reiche Überlieferung,” Kroll, ‘Phokylides’, in Pauly-Wissowa, , RE 20(1941), col. 510; “in der byzantinischer Zeit vielfach als Schulbuch benützt,” Schürer, E., Gesch. d. jüd. Volkes,4 III (Leipzig, 1909), 617.

77 See note 72.

78 Textual evidence for the title varies between the singular and the plural. The singular has been used throughout this article because it is now conventional.

79 Audet (Didachè, 91ff.) suggests that behind the second title lies that of the Jewish Grundschrijt, which he conjectures to have been entitled Διδαχgὴ κυρίουτοῖς ἔθνεσιν (such an hypothesis is made plausible by the word ἔθνεσιν). But even if AUDET is correct, the critic is not therefore justified in restoring the shortened title when editing the text of the Christian Didache. Audet's theory of such an original Jewish title, would rather imply that addition of the phrase διὰ τῶν δώδεκα ἀποστόλων was accomplished by the Christian redactor of the “Two Ways.”

For other Christian disciplinary writings with a double ascription in the title, cf. Διαταγαὶ τῶν δώδεκα ἀποστόλων διὰ Κλήμεντος (the Apostolic Constitutions); Διατάξεις τῶν ἁγίων ἀποστόλων περὶ χειροτονιῶν διὰ ‘Ἰππολύτου (bk. II of the Epitome Constitutionum Apost. VII, ed. F. X. Funk, in Didascalia et Const, apost., II, 77–84). John of Damascus refers to Acts as Πράξεις τῶν ἁγίων ἀποστόλων διὰ Δουκᾶ τοῦ εὐαγγελιστοῦ (de fide orth. IV 17 [284], Migne PG 94.1180C).

80 Accordingly one would not assign to this putative earlier Didache (without 1.3b–2.1) the same date and geographical location as the Gospel of Matthew. Koester (op. cit., n. 5, 159–241) notes the lack of positive evidence that the Didache shows any knowledge of Mt. except in 1.3b–2.1.

81 The literary fiction in the title (τῶν δώδεκα ἀποστόλων) is, unless the date of composition be extremely early, a clear example of archaism, used here to lend authority to the document. (“The twelve apostles” later authored the Epistula Apostolorum, Syriac Didascalia, Apostolic Church Order, etc.) The most important points of evidence usually adduced for an early dating of Did. 6.2ff. are its utilization of what seem to be Jewish liturgical prayers in the eucharistic service (Did. ch. 9 and 10) and the references to “apostles,” “teachers,” and “prophets” as though contemporary ecclesiastical officers. For a much later parallel to the first phenomenon (pace Audet, who argues that borrowing of Jewish prayers would not have occurred after destruction of the temple in a.D. 70) one need only turn to the Apostolic Constitutions, bk. VII, which has taken over — a.D. 360–80 ca. — a number of Jewish liturgical prayers for Christian use: see Goodenough, E. R., By Light, Light (1935, New Haven [Conn.] -London), 306–58, using Bousset's remarks in NAkGött, Ph.-Hist. Kl. (1915), 435–83.

Furthermore, the references to prophets do not necessarily presuppose that wandering (or even domesticated) prophets were at all common. Indeed, the Didachist seems to be much more concerned with the danger of false prophets than the conduct of true ones: later-second century movements like Montanism and figures like Peregrinus (called a “prophet” in Lucian, de morte Peregr. 11) or the prophets seen by Celsus (cf. below) may well have contributed to his concern. Apelles, too, had his prophetess. The apocalypse in Did. 16 would then have been included more as a blast against false prophets (16.3) than a genuine expression of “heightened apocalypticism” (even though it may correspond Formally to a quite “primitive” category of material). Earlier in the work the church which has a genuine prophet is instructed to offer him subsidy in the form of “first-fruits”; yet the real situation may be implied in Did. 13.4 (which, pace Audet, there is no truly compelling reason to bracket): ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ἔχηε προφήτην δότε τοῖς πτωχοῖς. Of crucial importance is the interpretation of Did. 15.1 χειροτονήσατε οὖν ἑαυτοῖς ἐπισκόπους καὶ διακόνους ἀξίους … ὑμῖν γὰρ λειτουργοῦσικαὶ αὐτοὶ τὴν λειτουργίαν τῶυ προφητῶν καὶ διδασκόν. Perhaps “true” apostles and prophets are here chiefly remembered as the historical predecessors of the contemporary bishops and deacons and ex post facto lend the weight of their authority to the latter. In the early-second century, the Antiochene bishop Ignatius could describe himself as continuing the “apostolic” style of business (ad Trail., inscr.). A few decades later, Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, is said by his church (mart. Pol. 16.2) to have been διδάσκαλος ἀποστολικὸς καὶ προφητικὸς γενόμενος ἐπίσκοπός [τε], where the terms “teacher,” “prophetic,” and “apostolic” are certainly reminiscent of an earlier age. Cf. Eus. hist. 3.36.10. Something of the same stage of development in ecclesiastical polity that we find in the Smyrnean church of St. Polycarp may have obtained in the community of the Didache compiler — the apostles-prophets-teachers serving as convenient authoritative prototypes for more contemporary church offices which might evolve. The literary vogue of discussing the distinction between true and false prophets is still attested ca. 150 by Hermas (Pastor mand. XI [43]7 seqq.) — though a hundred years later Origen (c. Cels. 7.11) can doubt that true prophets “like the ancients” of the Old Testament ever existed in later times and brands Celsus a liar for having asserted that in his day (a.D. 180 ca.) wandering Christian prophets could be seen in Phoenecia and Palestine. As H. Chadwick (Origen Contra Celsum [Cambridge, 1965,2] 402, n. 6) and others have suggested, what Celsus really encountered must have been enthusiastic wandering preachers like Peregrinus.

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Harvard Theological Review
  • ISSN: 0017-8160
  • EISSN: 1475-4517
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