Audet, Jean-Paul. “Literary and Doctrinal Affinities of the ‘Manual of Discipline’” pp. 129-147 in Draper, Jonathan (editor). The Didache in Modern Research. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1996.
Audet compares the second section of the Manual of Discipline (1QS 3:13-4:26) with the Two Ways narrative and the Shepherd of Hermas so as to weigh the Christian and, possibly more striking, Jewish tone (Audet 1996, 129). He considers the ongoing dialog between Jewish and Christian authors to be a substantive factor in the type of moral and ethical teachings of the primitive Church. He particularly notes that Christians tended to transcribe or adapt Jewish works to their purposes (Audet 1996, 130).
A key to this analysis may be the Duae Viae narrative. Audet considers the material, as found in the Epistle of Barnabas 18-20, to have the same stylistic and verbal elements as the rest of the Epistle. He concludes it is composed by the same author (Audet 1996, 131). The version in the Didache, while similar in content, draws from different soures and apparently engages in some revision. However, Audet immediately discounts the idea that the material as found in the Jewish Manual of Discipline could ever be adapted from a Christian source (Audet 1996, 132). The matter of dependence is not resolved, but it is Audet’s opinion that the concepts and even the arrangement was known to Barnabas from another source. This view is in contrast to the prominent statements of J.A. Robinson, who asserted Barnabas as the originator of the Two Ways (Audet 1996, 133).
Audet further considers the work of Funk in the late 19th century (Here Audet does not provide a first name, but refers to an 1887 edition of the Didache published by Henrici Laupp.).Funk assigned the Didachist as the author of the Duae Viae (Audet 1996, 134). Audet considers Funk’s assignation inadequate. He rather sees the Duae Viae may well have existed in different forms and different languages, being adapted by a number of authors, including the Didachist and Barnabas (Audet 1996, 135).
Audet follows a fairly conventional process of presenting texts next to one another, with the similar statements more or less parallel (Audet 1996, 136ff). The text from 1QS is significantly longer than the passage of Doctrina Apostolorum. Audet observes that the literary frameworks and developments of the two texts are very similar (Audet 1996, 141). This leads him in turn to look for a unifying principle in the historic faith of Israel. This pattern of light and dark, good and evil was found frequently in Jewish literature, and even in some Greek literature of the period (Audet 1996, 143).
Despite the existence of the themes in Jewish literature, Audet does not find the themes occurring together with one another in proximity anywhere else. Rather, he sees striking parallels between the Duae Viae and the Manual of Discipline (Audet 1996, 144). The similarities in structure, especially the proximity of “light and darkness, life and death” which Audet finds nowhere else, point him to a common source (Audet 1996, 144).
To show fairness in his analysis, Audet does list numerous difficulties in his comparison. There are various ideas which are not consistent in their treatment (Audet 1996, 145). It is a matter of interest that the two texts did not become progressively more uniform over time. Yet some divergence in structure and concepts is a commonly-found feature within Christian literature. The roots of two pieces of literature may be the same but we still find distinct literary works (Audet 1996, 146).
Audet’s only conclusion, aside from similarity of the documents, is that both have a similarly early date, and that the Manual of Discipline probably dates to the early first century (Audet 1996, 147).