Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Didache: Text, Translation, Analysis, and Commentary

The sectarian rules that the Qumran community followed represented one of the ways they kept the community united. “The Master shall teach . . . to live, according to the Book of Community Rules, that seek God with a whole heart and soul, and do what is food and right before Him” (1QS 1:1-4). The Didache written between 40-60 CE provided the church rules of a Jewish-Christian community. The Didache consists of various parts, starting with the “Two Ways” ethical instruction and including community rules for liturgical practices and leadership conduct, before ending with a short apocalyptic section.

The Didache offers a tough moral code which includes:

Murder, theft and abortion are unthinkable for a Christian; Almsgiving is a moral obligation, except for the poor; Christians must not only pray, but also fast, for their enemies; and other provisions setting forth demanding standards.

The 25 years Aaron Milavec spent training future priests and lay ministers has no doubt influenced the creation and presentation of the thesis set forth in this landmark study of what he considered to be a training manual. This book is not only a thematic commentary but also a social narrative of how these first Christian men and women organized their community life religiously in order to safeguard their members from the challenges and temptations of the surrounding society.

Copyrighted 2008


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