Didache, The: A Window on the Earliest Christians

Overview

The Didache is one of the earliest Christian documents, earlier than most of the writings that make up the New Testament. It provides practical instructions on how a Christian community should function, and offers unique insights into the way the earliest Christians lived and worshipped. In this highly readable introduction, Thomas O'Loughlin tells the intriguing story of the Didache, from its discovery in the late nineteenth century to the present. He then provides an illuminating commentary on the entire text, ...

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Overview

The Didache is one of the earliest Christian documents, earlier than most of the writings that make up the New Testament. It provides practical instructions on how a Christian community should function, and offers unique insights into the way the earliest Christians lived and worshipped. In this highly readable introduction, Thomas O'Loughlin tells the intriguing story of the Didache, from its discovery in the late nineteenth century to the present. He then provides an illuminating commentary on the entire text, highlighting areas of special interest to Christians today, and ends with a fresh translation of the text itself.

"A valuable and thorough introduction to an important though little-studied work that provides a unique window on a corner of the early Christian world."—Sean Freyne, emeritus professor of theology, Trinity College Dublin

"A truly accessible commentary on this ancient text and on the early Christian communities that lie behind it, and yet one that incorporates up-to-date academic scholarship."—Paul Bradshaw, professor of liturgy, University of Notre Dame

"I highly recommend this informed, engaging, and pastorally sensitive exploration of the Didache. Reading the text within its Jewish roots and in harmony with its New Testament parallels, Thomas O'Loughlin shows how the Didache admirably shaped the faith and practice of second-generation Christians in ways that have relevance for us today."—Aaron Milavec, author of The Didache: Faith, Hope, and Life of the Earliest Christian Communities, 50-70 CE

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801045394
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/2010
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 604,589
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas O'Loughlin (PhD, National University of Ireland; DD, Bangor University) is professor of historical theology at the University of Nottingham in England. His books include Discovering Saint Patrick; Celtic Theology: Humanity, World, and God in Early lrish Writings; and Saint Patrick: The Man and His Works.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations viii

Preface ix

Acknowledgements xi

Introduction xiii

1 A chance discovery 1

2 Choosing a way 28

3 Joining the group 46

4 Prayer and fasting 66

5 Meeting and eating 85

6 A network of service 105

7 Fears and hope 129

8 The challenge of the Didache 145

The Teaching of the Lord Given to the Gentiles by the Twelve Apostles 161

Further reading 172

Index of biblical and ancient texts 179

Index of authors and subjects 182

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2012

    I have just finished reading what I consider one of the most hel

    I have just finished reading what I consider one of the most helpful books I have ever come upon, Thomas O'Loughlin's The Didache. As a practicing Christain for seventy-five years and now an Episcopal priest for almost ten, I have studied, reflected upon and prayed about Christian Scripture and matters theological for over fifty. This small volume, by its lucidity and depth of exposition, helped clarify and reinforce for me answers to questions for which I had reached but tentative answers previously as well as some questions I had not even known to ask.

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