Draper, Jonathan A. "Social Ambiguity and the Production of Text: Prophets, Teachers, Bishops, and Deacons and the Development of the Jesus Tradition in the Community of the Didache." in Jefford, Clayton (editor). The Didache in Context: essays on its text, history, and transmission. Leiden: Brill, 1995, 284-312.
Draper observes the warning of Didache 16.3-4 speaks of deceivers coming from within the community. The concern is surprising because one would expect those within the community to be safe and dedicated (Draper 1995, 285). Yet the enemy seems to be ever present.
The phenomenon Draper analyzes corresponds to a hich could be described for a witch-believing society (Draper 1995, 283). As described by Mary Douglas, characteristics such as the level of formal structure, which she calls "grid," and the degree or exclusivity in the community, which she calls "group," may be used to profile communities (Draper 1995, 86). Draper sees the Didache community as having a high level of group identity but a relatively low level of structural grid (Draper 1995, 286-287). Draper sees a very strong set of group boundaries, as the distinction between members of the community and outsiders is made plain. This is particularly the case when the Two Ways are cosnidered as the instructional requirement for each community member (Draper 1995, 286). Draper illustrates numerous ways in which the gorup identity is of great importance.
In Douglas' model which Draper is utilizing the roles within the community are less well defined, resulting in what we would see as a weak "grid" (Draper 1995, 290). Various types of leaders are mentioned, but their roles are not described well. Draper describes the leadership, beginning with the bishops and deacons, who come from within the community (Draper 1995, 291). Of note to Draper is that the bishops and deacons are tested by the community and are volunteers, without any means of remuneration (Draper 1995, 292). Draper suggests this would indicate the bishops and deacons serve as patrons in the cultural schema. The prophets and teachers, in contrast, ask for and receive money. They are assumed to have the Holy Spirit, so are not tested, as are the bishops and deacons (Draper 1995, 293). While apostles, also from outside the community, are to be received freely, they visit with a number of limitations (Draper 1995, 294). The true apostle is always assumed to be on his way somewhere, so he will not stay in a community very long.
Draper observes that the prophetic office is one in which the prophet would be evaluated frequently and rigoously. It was expected that at any time it was possible that the prophet would become a deceiver (Draper 1995, 296). Further, the roles of all these ministers are poorly defined. We have little information about an expected role of the prophet (Draper 1995, 299).
Finally, Draper observes that teachers are sometimes grouped with apostles and sometimes with prophets. Their specific role is not clear, though they are accepted as special messengers from God (Draper 1995, 301).
As he returns to the original suggestion, that the Didache community fits Douglas' description of a "witch-believing" society, Draper cosniders what this identity may imply (Draper 1995, 303). When there is conflict, as Draper assumes to have been the case, those members of the community who can be portrayed as dissident receive the blame for the conflict (Draper 1995, 303). Draper considers it quite possible that the division was between the prophetic and priestly leaders in the commnity. Evaluating the message of a prophet was a difficult matter, especially as the prophet's main characteristic was to have the τρόπος τοῦ κυρίου, the "character of the Lord," which is only vaguely defined (Draper 1995, 305-306).
Draper suggests that the true prophets may have served as keepers of the authentic Jesus traditions which were not included in canonical writings. Thus, their authority would be high but it would not be practical to test them (Draper 1995, 308-309). The community depicted in the Didache would have been substantial, if multiple prophets could be expected to want to stay there and receive support. It is largely Torah observant. This suggests Antioch to Draper (Draper 1995, 310). The prophets may have been displaced in one way or another, resulting in their migration. Draper suggests this could be explained by a date for the Didache subsequent to the fall of Jerusalem (Draper 1995, 311).