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Oxy 1782) from the fourth century and in coptic translation (P. 3/4th, abbreviated as Ca) and partially by various Egyptian and Ethiopian Church Orders, after which it ceased to circulate independently. 173): "Of course today, when the similarities between the Didache and Barnabas, or the Shepherd of Hermas, are no longer taken as proof that the Didache is literarily dependent upon these documents, the trend is to date the Didache much earlier, at least by the end of the first century or the beginning of the second, and in the case of Jean-P. E." Udo Schnelle makes the following remark about the Didache (The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings, p.Athanasius describes it as 'appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us, and who wish for instruction in the word of goodness' [Festal Letter 39:7]. 355): "The Didache means by 'the gospel' (8.2; 11.3; 15.3, 4) the Gospel of Matthew; thus the Didache, which originated about 110 CE, documents the emerging authority of the one great Gospel." Stevan Davies comments on the Didache (Jesus the Healer, p.It "speaks principally to rural milieus converted early on in Syria and Palestine and no doubt furnishing the first Christian communities outside of cities" (128).Kurt Niederwimmer, however, writing in a major German series, considered it still possible that "the Didache could derive from an urban milieu," but he agreed that it was not from the great metropolis of Antioch (80).It does not really remove many "difficulties" in the logical flow of the text, and it hardly leaves an adequate ending for the writing. Crossan comments on the provenance of the Didache (op. They noted that the text is addressed to "rural communities of converted pagans" (98).To these points, Crossan adds the consideration that the reading of the Coptic text of is likely to be secondary, while the Greek text is more difficult and earlier, and that this "would render doubtful Patterson's proposal that the Coptic fragment represented an earlier and shorter edition of the Didache" (op. It "reveals a Christianity established in rural communities who have broken with the radicalism of earlier converts" (100).
That is very important confirmation for the basic accuracy of Codex Hierosolymitanus 54, given the gulf of centuries between it and the earlier fragments. Mirecki offer a photographic reproduction along with an excellent transcription, translation, and commentary on this document.Since it was discovered in a monastery in Constantinople and published by P.Bryennios in 1883, the Didache or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles has continued to be one of the most disputed of early Christian texts.Especially important are two Greek fragments, Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1782, dated to the "late fourth century" and published by Greenfell and Hunt in 1922 (12-15).These tiny scraps, about two inches by two inches apiece, contain verses 1:3c-4a and 2:7-3:2.
It bears no date itself, nor does it make reference to any datable external event, yet the picture of the Church which it presents could only be described as primitive, reaching back to the very earliest stages of the Church's order and practice in a way which largely agrees with the picture presented by the NT, while at the same time posing questions for many traditional interpretations of this first period of the Church's life. Traces of the use of this text, and the high regard it enjoyed, are widespread in the literature of the second and third centuries especially in Syria and Egypt.