Didache (Hoole translation)/Notes
Cap. I.—The introductory part in the recension of Bryennius is largely taken from the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke. From cap. i. to vi. it is almost certain that the writer must have had the text of the Sermon on the Mount in his possession, as the coincidences are too numerous to allow it to be supposed that they are based on traditional sayings. The Gospel of St. John does not seem to have been used, and St. Mark is only quoted once, in cap. xii., where St. Mark xi. 9 is alluded to. There are a few quotations from the Old Testament. In my own reconstruction of the text I have prefixed the commencement of the Epitome, as it gives the names of the twelve Apostles, and assigns the maxims to their various authors. The substance of the teaching is nearly the same in the two works as far as cap. vi. At cap. vii. the Didache of the recension of Bryennius diverges from the Epitome, and directions from the Clementine Liturgies for the administration of the Sacrament are added. The resemblance to the Clementine Liturgy in the 7th book of the Apostolic Constitutions cannot be disputed, the form for the administration of the Communion being substantially the same, though with a few differences of expression employed.
Cap. III. μὴ γίνου ψεύστης.—This passage is quoted by Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, i. 319; he apparently supposed that it came from one of the canonical books: οὗτος κλέπτης ὑπὸ τῆς γραφη̄ς εἴρεται· φησὶ γάρ τις, μὴ γίνου ψεύστης· ὁδηγεῖ γὰρ τὸ ψεῦσμα πρὸς τὴν κλοπήν. No other quotations from the Didache have been found.
Cap. VI. λατρεία γάρ ἐστι θεῶν νεκρῶν. St. Clement to the Corinthians, ii. 3: ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες τοῖς νεκροῖς θεοῖς οὐ θύομεν καὶ οὐ προσκυνοῦμεν αὐτοῖς.
Cap. VI.—No book of the Old Testament is mentioned in cap. i.–vi. of the Didache, but a number of passages are evidently alluded to. The following seem to have been used: Exodus xx. 13, Proverbs xii. 15-28, iii. 34; Tobit iv. 15; Habakkuk ii. 9; Psalm i. 3, 4; and allusions to the following books may be traced: Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Zechariah, the Book of Wisdom (several times), and the Book of Baruch. With regard to the New Testament, besides the quotations from St. Matthew and St. Luke, which form the basis of the doctrine of the Way of life, there are many allusions to the Epistles of St. Paul, particularly the Epistles to the Romans and Galatians, and the Epistles of St. Peter, St. James, and St. Jude, so that there can be little reason to doubt that the author or compiler had a complete copy of the canonical books of the New Testament in his hands, from which he drew the substance of his teaching.
Cap. VII.—With regard to the liturgical fragment given in cap. vii.–x., it is necessary to remark that it does not harmonise with any of the ancient liturgies, with the exception of that found in the Clementine Constitutions. The whole body of the Eastern and Western Liturgies may be divided into four classes—the Roman, the Gallic, that of Alexandria, and that of Jerusalem. The Clementine Liturgy, as found in the Apostolic Constitutions, differs entirely from these four, and does not seem ever to have been used, the object for which it was composed being apparently unknown. The form given in the Didache for the celebration of the Communion belongs to the Clementine series, and does not resemble in any way that contained in the four ancient liturgies; and though it is not precisely the same as that found in the 7th book of the Apostolic Constitutions, it evidently belongs to the same recension.
The form given for the administration of baptism does not seem to correspond with any form that was ever actually employed in the Primitive Church. The expression, "having first recited all these things"—i.e., all the preceding part of the Didache—cannot he allowed to represent correctly the primitive form of baptism, which was entirely different, nothing resembling the commencement of the Didache having been employed. The oldest form, after that used in the New Testament, is found in Tertullian and Cyprian. According to Tertullian, the person to be baptized renounced publicly the Devil, his pomp and his angels, and was then dipped three times into water in the names of the three Persons of the Trinity; and according to Cyprian, at a period a little later, a formal confession of faith was made: "Dost thou believe in eternal life and the remission of sins?" &c. The Clementine form for the administration of baptism is given at cap. xxxix.–xlv. of the 7th book of the Apostolic Constitutions, and does not resemble that given in the Didache, being a service of some length, containing a confession of faith and directions for the details of the baptism, which included the anointing with oil, and instructions for the consecration of the oil and water employed. The reason why the form given in the Didache differs from the Clementine Constitutions does not seem to be known, the editor for some cause declining to give the Clementine form, which is followed in the form for the administration of the Communion. The form given in cap. ix. for the administration of the Eucharist agrees on the whole with that found in the Apostolic Constitutions, vii. 25, 26, though there are a few differences in the expressions employed, and in the Apostolic Constitutions no form is given for the consecration of the cup. Neither form resembles that found in the ancient liturgies, where the service is of much greater length. The expression "Holy vine of David" does not occur in any of the earlier liturgies, and together with the sentence, "This broken bread scattered upon the mountains," seems to point to Palestine as the source of the passage, which may probably be a fragment of the ancient Liturgy of Antioch or Caesarea. Cf. Clement of Alexandria, Quis. Div. Salv. 29, p. 952: οὗτος ὁ τὸν οἶνον τὸ αἷμα τῆς ἀμπέλου τῆς Δαβὶδ ἐχέας ἡμῶν ἐπὶ τὰς τετρωμένας ψυχάς.
Cap. VIII.—The version of the Lord's Prayer given in the Didache agrees on the whole with that in the Apostolic Constitutions, with the following variations:—
Didache: τῷ οὐρανῷ; ἐπὶ γῆς; τὴν ὀφειλὴν; ὅτι σοῦ ἐστὶν ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας.
Apostolic Constitutions: τοῖς οὐρανοῖς; ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς; τα ὀφειλήματα; ὅτι σοῦ ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας ἀμὴν.
The occurrence of the Doxology in the version given by the Didache, and also in that of the Apostolic Constitutions, which, though not precisely the same as that found in St. Matthew, is in both instances substantially the same, proves conclusively that it must have been part of the original prayer as recorded by St. Matthew, and not an addition, as some critics hold, from the Greek service books. The following are the variations in St. Matthew and St. Luke from the version of the Didache:—
St. Matthew vi. 9: τοῖς οὐρανοῖς; ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς; τὰ ὀφειλήματα.
St. Luke xi. 2: τοῖς οὐρανοῖς; ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς; τὰς ἁμαρτίας.
St. Matthew: ὅτι σοῦ ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία καὶ ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. ἀμὴν..
St. Luke: the Doxology is omitted.
Cap. XI.—The directions given for the reception of prophets and apostles are not precisely parallel to the directions in the Apostolic Constitutions, and in some respects are peculiar to the Didache, though there is a general resemblance to cap. xxviii. of the Apostolic Constitutions. As to the substance of them, they do not justify the statement in the text that they are κατὰ τὸ δόγμα τοῦ εὐαγγελίου (according to the precept of the Gospel), as nothing resembling them is found in the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke. They do not, further, harmonise with the passages relating to Church offices in Clemens Romanus and Hermas and the other early authorities, who make no mention of the order, of prophets and apostles as still existing, so that it seems best to regard them as the composition of the compiler of the Didache, who inserted them to convey the impression that the work was written in the time of the apostles themselves.
Cap. XIII.—The passage about the maintenance of the ministers of the Church is parallel to cap. xxix. of the Apostolic Constitutions, and from cap. xiv. of the Didache to the conclusion the two works are substantially the same, as will be seen by comparing them with cap. xxx.–xxxii. of Book vii. of the Apostolic Constitutions.
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- Tertullian, De Corona, iii.; Adver. Prax., xxvi.; De Baptismo, vii., viii. Cyprian, Epist., xlix. 6; lxx. 1, 2.