Stephen Patterson, on the contrary, considers it the end of an earlier edition of the Didache, which concluded precisely at 12:2 (199-324).The assumption that the scribe's copy of the Didache actually ended with Did 12.2a, though such cannot be absolutely dismissed, is thus an unnecessary and excessive extrapolation. the Didache may derive from a rural rather than an urban situation.It bears no date itself, nor does it make reference to any datable external event, yet the picture of the Church which it presents could only be described as primitive, reaching back to the very earliest stages of the Church's order and practice in a way which largely agrees with the picture presented by the NT, while at the same time posing questions for many traditional interpretations of this first period of the Church's life. Traces of the use of this text, and the high regard it enjoyed, are widespread in the literature of the second and third centuries especially in Syria and Egypt.Fragments of the Didache were found at Oxyrhyncus (P. It was used by the compilator of the Didascalia (C 2/3rd) and the Liber Graduun (C 3/4th), as well as being absorbed in toto by the Apostolic Constitutions (C c. Patterson comments on the dating of the Didache (The Gospel of Thomas and Jesus, p.Since it was discovered in a monastery in Constantinople and published by P.
1-6), a liturgical manual (7-10), instructions on the reception of traveling prophets (11-15), and a brief apocalypse (16).Hence a date for the Didache in its present form later than the second century must be considered unlikely, and a date before the end of the first century probable. 175): "The Didache is a text that gives instruction on how a Christian community should treat itinerant Christian prophets.It was written sometime in the late first or early second century and gives good evidence for a structured church's shift in orientation away from spirit-possession.It is not enough, in any case, simply to note the mention of "firstfruits" in Didache 13:3-7, since that could indicate urban-based landowners.My own preference for a rural over an urban setting comes not from those few verses but from the Didache's rhetorical serenity, ungendered equality, and striking difference from so many other early Christian texts. Kraft says about the provenance of the Didache (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 197): "That most commentators now seem to opt for Syria (Audet 1958; Hazelden Walker 1966; Rordorf and Tullier 1978) or Syro-Palestine (Niederwimmer 1977) as the place of origin is not in itself an indication that the supporting evidence is compelling; Egypt (Kraft 1965) and Asia Minor (Vokes 1970) also have their supporters." On source criticism of the Didache, Kraft observes (op. 197): There seems to be a general consensus that the 'two ways' material in chaps.It has been depicted by scholars as anything between the original of the Apostolic Decree (c.50 AD) and a late archaising fiction of the early third century.It does not really remove many "difficulties" in the logical flow of the text, and it hardly leaves an adequate ending for the writing. Crossan comments on the provenance of the Didache (op. They noted that the text is addressed to "rural communities of converted pagans" (98).To these points, Crossan adds the consideration that the reading of the Coptic text of is likely to be secondary, while the Greek text is more difficult and earlier, and that this "would render doubtful Patterson's proposal that the Coptic fragment represented an earlier and shorter edition of the Didache" (op. It "reveals a Christianity established in rural communities who have broken with the radicalism of earlier converts" (100).The following two points speak against this assumption: 1) There are no decorations which mark the end of the text. It may stem from the consensus of rural households rather than the authority of urban patrons.2) The proposed elimination of all of the material after Did 12.2a is a rather radical solution to the open question of the disposition of the Didache. Willy Rordorf and Andre Tullier, writing in a major French series, located the Didache in northern Palestine or western Syria, but not in the capital city of Antioch.