Draper, Jonathan A. "Chapter Twelve: Do the Didache and Matthew Reflect an 'Irrevocable Parting of the Ways' with Judaism?" in Van de Sandt, Huub (editor). Matthew and the Didache: Two Documents from the Same Jewish-Christian Milieu? Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005, 217-241.
Draper observes that there is clearly, at some point, a definitive break of Christianity away from Judaism, after which reconciliation was not possible. He asks whether the Didache and Matthew represent that breaking point (Draper 2005, 217). Both Matthew and the Didache can be seen as forceful in their anti-Jewish views.
In its title, the Didache expresses that it is addressed to gentiles, not Jews. It is set apart, at least in some way, from the Jewish community (Draper 2005, 218). The gentiles are to separate themselves from things sacrificed to idols. However, they are not compelled to take on the entirety of the Mosaic Law.
Matthew, while showing a critical attitude toward some elements of Judaism, embraces those who would believe on Jesus and, in many ways, holds a positive attitude toward Judaic roots (Draper 2005, 220).
Draper notes that one of the challenges in this analysis is the definition of "Judaism" (Draper 2005, 220). The Didache makes no reference to "Jew" or "Judaism." The communities are simply separate. Christians set themselves apart from "the hypocrites" (8:1). Draper does not see this as a vehement rejection, though Van de Sandt and Flusser do (Draper 2005, 221). Matthew also uses "Jew" or "Judeans" five times, and is not always specifically negative. Though Matthew shows differences and even some disputes with the majority culture, it is not a violent distinction between groups which consider themselves completely different. Draper suggests there may be more clarity if we note that "Jew" was normally applied to the people by outsiders and that the internal discussion was concerning who was a true "Israelite" and who was not, as a distinction between having faith and merely having heritage (Draper 2005, 222).
An additional problem Draper finds in this discussion is that the distinction must be defined. To speak of a "parting of the ways" may imply anything from acceptance of clear distinguishing marks to a division including irreconcilable animosity and alienation (Draper 2005, 223). One could argue for recognition of distinctives but hardly for lasting alienation based on either the Didache or Matthew.
Draper considers whether there is evidence of a move toward separation in the interim between the Didache and Matthew (Draper 2005, 224). He dates Matthew shortly after 70 and before 100. Dating of the Didache is not as clear. Therefore, he declines to speculate on development, as we really cannot date both documents clearly.
Draper continues by analyzing the Didache in relation to Israel (Draper 2005, 225ff). He does this by tracing key words as used in the Didache and in Matthew. The communities are to pursue righteousness, which is closely related to the concept of perfection. The pursuit of righteousness is perfectly consistent with an Israelite desire for righteousness (Draper 2005, 226-227). The Didache does specify that the entirety of Torah is not necessary for righteousness. There is a standard which may stand above that of the Torah (Draper 2005, 228). However, Draper finds the trains of thought to be largely compatible (Draper 2005, 230). There is not a rejection of piety.
The anti-Jewish nature of the Didache is largely tied to the distinction made with "the hypocrites" in 8:1-2 (Draper 2005, 230). The accusation of hypocrisy can be broadly applied to anyone who, in one's opinion, is deficient in practice. Therefore, Draper does not consider it as an indicator of separation between Christians and Jews. It can be applied in too many contexts (Draper 2005, 231). There are many accusations against hypocrites in Matthew. However, it is not a blanket statement against all Jews. The Didache specifies different fast days and prescribes a prayer. Again, this is not indicative of a radical division (Draper 2005, 232ff). Draper finds in Matthew some evidence of Christians separating themselves from the community, fasting and praying in secret (Draper 2005, 234). This could indicate their immersion in a community which was more hostile than that of the Didache. Draper theorizes that the Didache may have set the stage with different fast days for a later hostile response against Christians, forcing them to be more discreet at the time of Matthew's Gospel (Draper 2005, 235).
The Didache is clear that those not baptized are to be separated from communion, comparing them to dogs (Draper 2005, 235). The language here is similar to that used in rabbinic writings (Draper 2005, 236).
The Didache speaks of gathering an ἐκκλησία from around the world (Draper 2005, 237). This has been seen as a slur against Judaism. However, Draper finds ἐκκλησία and συναγωγή used as synonyms in the Septuagint. The langauge refers to a gathering, specifically of the faithful. Rather than being an exclusive statement, this is radically inclusive. Matthew tends to view the assembly in more narrow terms. The ἐκκλησία is built on Peter (Matthew 16:17), and doesn't always appear as universal (Draper 2005, 238).
Draper finally considers the statement of the eucharistic prayer in the Didache, which makes God known through Jesus (Draper 2005, 238). The language actually serves to describe the Christians as part of God's covenant with Israel through baptism (Draper 2005, 239). Matthew uses the term "son of David" frequently to refer to Jesus. Jesus' claim as the king who comes after David is potentially quite divisive, and is something which could separate Christians and Jews.
Draper's conclusions are made "somewhat tentatively" (Draper 2005, 239). The Didache and Matthew show different levels of separation from Israel. They do, however, remain parts of one whole. The thought world is, for the most part, quite similar (Draper 2005, 240).