Religious Beliefs And Practices Of The Church At The Time

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Believed to have originated in Syria or Palestine c.100-150, the Didaché is one of the earliest Christian writings outlining the beliefs and practices of the Church at the time. Although there are a number of different areas discussed by the author(s), there are four main subtopics that are focussed on. These are: the practice of baptism, the need for fasting, the observation of the Eucharist, and the importance of strong leadership in the church. The relevance of the Didaché in today’s church is often a topic of debate, with some seeing it as outdated, while others still see it as significant.

Before looking at the contents of any writing, it is important to look at the purpose with which the author(s) wrote. Aaron Milavec (2004, p.42) states that “The Didaché does not have a topic paragraph serving to specify its overall purpose and name the progression of topics to be treated.” However, I believe that if you look at the meaning of the word Didaché, you get a fair indication of what exactly the author(s) set out to do when writing the book. In its original Greek, the word Didaché “means “teaching,” “instruction” as a fact,” according to Kittel (1985, p.166). It is therefore likely that the author(s) was writing to instruct others on the practices of the Early Church and the way of faith.

The Didaché begins with a 6-chapter summary of ‘The Way of Life’ and ‘The Way of Death’.

Holmes (2007, p.335) writes that:

The Two Ways material appears to have been intended, in
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