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'The Didache, also called The Teaching (or Doctrine) of the Twelve Apostles, is a short treatise that dates back to the early Christian Church and was accounted by some of the Fathers as next to Holy Scripture. It was probably written in Syria during the second half of the 1st century, although some scholars suggest a 2nd-century composition.

The first part of the Didache is a moral treatise describing the Two Ways, the Way of Life and the Way of Death. The second and third parts contain instructions on baptism, the Eucharist, fasting, prayer, matters of church organization, apostles and teachers, prophets, bishops, and deacons. The Didache is perhaps the first text to append a doxology to the Lord's Prayer: "...for thine is the power and the glory unto all ages."

The Didache was discovered in 1873 by Philotheos Bryennios, Metropolitan of Nicomedia, in a small eleventh century codex of 120 pages. He astonished the world by publishing a text towards the end of 1883.

The Didache falls into two parts. The first (Chapters 1-6) is a version of the treatise on the Two Ways similar to the end of the Epistle of Barnabas. The second part is concerned with the worship and discipline of an early Christian community. It falls into three sub-sections: the first (Chapters 7-10) give direction about the administration of baptism, the institution of fasting, daily prayer and the celebration of the Eucharist; the second (Chapters 11-15) is a disciplinary section concerned with Sunday worship (Chapter 14) and the ministry of apostles and prophets (11-13) and local bishops and deacons (15). The third section (Chapter 16) is an exhortation to be ready for the impending end of the world and coming of the Lord.

Not to be confused with the Didascalia Apostolorum, Teaching of the Twelve Holy Apostles and Disciples of Our Saviour, a 3rd century text founded upon the Didache [1], [2], [3].

See also

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