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The Didache

The Didache [DOC], or the Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles, was an early document believed to have originated in Syria. It was written between 65 and 80 CE, though it is often attributed to the second century. Although lost for many centuries, the Didache was rediscovered by Archbishop Bryennios of Nicomedia and published in 1883. Though fragmentary, the work is divisible into two distinct sections: one morally instructional, the other disciplinary. The first portion deals with the new Christian's tasks of conversion, including guidelines for ritual and prayer. Instructions for baptizing converts are also included: baptism is to occur in a lake or river if possible, but otherwise water is to be poured over the head three times. The second portion of the Didache warns against evildoers and their attempts to take advantage of the faithful. The work 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." In addition, it speaks of the heirarchy of local ministry as a two-tiered system between bishop/presbyter and deacon, thereby providing important evidence about the sturcture of the primitive Church.

Emily K. C. Strand (The Ecole Initiative)

Go to the Chronological List of all Early Christian Writings

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Kirby, Peter. "Historical Jesus Theories." Early Christian Writings. <>.