Stewart-Sykes, Alistair. "Chapter Fifteen: Ἀποκύησις λόγῳ ἀληθείας: Paraenesis and Baptism in Matthew, James, and the Didache." in Van de Sandt, Huub & Zangenberg, Jürgen K. (editors). Matthew, James, and Didache: Three Related Documents in their Jewish and Christian Settings." Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008, 341-359.
Stewart-Sykes considers the paraenetic content of Matthew, James, and the Didache as regards baptism (Stewart-Sykes 2008, 341). He is particularly interested in the specific pre-baptismal instruction specified in the Didache. Following Pseudo-Isocrates (Ad Demonicum), Stewart-Sykes suggests a distinction between paraenesis, or ethical advice, and exhortation (Stewart-Sykes 2008, 342). There is certainly an element of exhortation, but the primary goal is giving advice. Stewart-Sykes goes on to cite a variety of scholarly opinions further identifying what would be meant by paraenesis (Stewart-Sykes 2008, 343-345).
The Two Ways material in the Didache, taken in context, is ethical instruction intended to prepare one for baptism (Stewart-Sykes 2008, 345). Matthew 5-7 is another example of paraenesis. Stewart- Sykes considers that, in light of the command to baptize and teach, from Matthew 28, that the instruction in chapters 5-7 should be viewed in light of pre-baptismal instruction (Stewart-Sykes 2008, 345-346). James, as a whole, can readily be understood as paraenetic in nature (Stewart-Sykes 2008, 346). It is marked by extensive ethical content. The context, however, is not that of prebaptismal instruction.
Stewart-Sykes begins an analysis of the meaning of baptism with James, who views baptism as the point of rebirth, a gift of God (Stewart-Sykes 2008, 348). This is accompanied by a "word of truth," which would likely be either words spoken at the baptism or as teaching beforehand. Matthew's Gospel ties baptism to an eschatological hope. The baptized person has an immediate hope in Christ as well as a hope at the end of the world (Stewart-Sykes 2008, 349).
Stewart-Sykes discusses the understanding of baptism as either in the name of the Trinity (Matthew and Didache) or in the name of Jesus (James) (Stewart-Sykes 2008, 350ff). By the early third century we have more extensive baptismal rites, though without a specific formula spoken. There are some assumptions that a development in thought occurred, resulting in a clear Trinitarian confession and act, but this is nowhere clearly stated in antiquity (Stewart-Sykes 2008, 351).
Stewart-Sykes returns to the question of pre-baptismal instruction in James. The concept is not stated clearly in James, but there may be allusions to it (Stewart-Sykes 2008, 353). He finds this to be the case in James 1:19-21, where there is exhortation, apparently repeated for those who have already been taught, to pursue life consistent with that in Matthew 5:21-23 and in the Didache's Way of Life (Stewart-Sykes 2008, 354). Stewart-Sykes goes on to identify a number of instances where James calls readers to a life consistent with the Didache's Way of Life.
In conclusion, Stewart-Sykes finds the three documents all speak to the reality of pre-baptismal instruction, and that those instructions guide the candidate for baptism into a particular mode of life which also includes an eschatological hope (Stewart-Sykes 2008, 356-357).