Jefford, Clayton. "Chapter Three: Related Investigations." The Sayings of Jesus in the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. Leiden: Brill, 1989, 93-145.
Jefford here asks whether Didache chaper six is more connected to chapters 1-5 or to chapters 7-15 (Jefford 1989, 93). He finds strong evidence for an influence of a source other than that of chapters 1-5, and particularly a source related to Paul. He takes from this a level of redaction which, unlike for chapters 1-5, had Paul's epistles as a source.
An important element to Jefford is the reference in Didache 6.2 to "the yoke of the Lord" (Jefford 1989, 95). While the word is used in Matthew 11:28-30, the context doesn't seem to point the same direction. In the Didache, the Christian is assumed to take on the yoke of the Lord in whatever way he is able. Didache 6.3 goes on to speak of food sacrificed to idols, a concept which first comes up in Paul (Rom. 14, 1 Cor. 8, 1 Cor. 10) (Jefford 1989, 96). The Didache speaks of this matter only briefly, while it is addressed at greater length in the biblical texts.
Jefford moves on to an exploration of Didache 6.2-3 and Acts 15:23-29 (Jefford 1989, 96ff). Paul's involvement in the council of Acts 15, and his interactions with the concept of the decree, suggests a connection between his thought and Didache 6 (Jefford 1989, 97).
Considering the connections between Paul's thought and that of the assumed redactor of Didache 6, Jefford speaks of the importance of world view in analysis of writings. Chaptesr 1-5 of the Didache can express an understanding of the community as part of established Judaism, while chapers 7-15 may see the community in terms of Hellenistic Christianity (Jefford 1989, 98). With this feature in mind, Jefford moves on to analyze the major sections of the Didache and probe the redactional worldviews.
In chapters 1-5, Jefford finds a rigid dualism, which he considers to be characteristic of much of Judaism and early Christianity (Jefford 1989, 100). The presence of the decalogue, but with significant alterations, refins the picture. In this, Jefford finds the cultural isolationism of Judaism when faced with opposition. The rpesece of some elements from early traditions about Jesus moves us to understand the community in terms of nascent Christianity which still considers Torah as its foundational code (Jefford 1989, 101).
In chapters 7-10 Jefford finds a shift from a concern of the creedal nature of the decalogue to a concern with correct ritual observance (Jefford 1989, 103). This shift is consistent with the early Christian move toward liturgical traditions, a pattern which Jefford finds in Paul (Jefford 1989, 104). Interestingly, Jefford applies the teaching requirement and the trinitarian formula of Didache 7 to this concept, understanding the liturgical element to be more important than what it represents (Jefford 1989, 104). Likewise, the prayers surrounding the eucharistic meal are treated as bearing importance, whihe the content of the meal and its underlying significance seems less important (Jefford 1989, 105). In this, Jefford says, "I disagree with the observation of Peters (Harvest, 492), who teands to see this eucharistic liturgy in the Didache as already 'fairly sophisticated.' Indeed, the perspective of the Didache is quite divergent from the 'Christ cult' idea of eucharist that is found both in the Pauline and in the Synoptic traditions" (Jefford 1989, 105, footnote, cf. Peters, Francis E. The Harvest of Hellenism: A History of the Near East from Alexander the Great to the Triumph of Christianity. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1970). The liturgical concern is accompanied by a lack of specific Christology, which moves Jefford to assign an early date to the Didache (Jefford 1989, 106). He further takes the material in chapters 7-10 as representing a ritual manner in which the precepts for chapters 1-5 could be applied.
Jefford identifies yet another change in worldview in Didache chapters 11-15 (Jefford 1989, 108). Here, the bishops, deacons, and resident prophets are discussed in their relationship to wandering apostles and prophets. Jefford sees here the development of a local identity and governing structure which, without direct reference to Torah, would be able to deal with external societal pressures (Jefford 1989, 109). The heart of dealing with these pressures is seen as holding to orthodox teaching. True prophets are to be recognized and false prophets are not. Overall, the chapters focus on a coherent social order within the community (Jefford 1989, 112). This is similar to chapters 1-5.
Jefford's next investigation deals with chapter 16 and 1.3b-2.1. Some commentators suggest the two passages belong to the same redactional layer, while others are less certain (Jefford 1989, 113). The passages contain relatively densely packed phrases and concepts which are clearly tied to New Testament material.
The question of a heirarchy within the community is significant. Jefford observes that Matthew makes some assumptions of heirarchy in ecclesiastical leadership (Jefford 1989, 118). Jefford sees Peter's role as a lead apostle to be a creation which emphasizes heirarchy and a departure from the Judaism which recognizes the educated elite (Jefford 1989, 119). Yet the Christian community stll has a heirarchy, with apostles, prophets, regular discioples, and others.
One of the puzzles in our attempts to harmonize the progress of early Christian development is the fact that the Didache identifies bishops and deacons, but not presbyters (Jefford 1989, 123). The role of a bishop could possibly be the same as that of a presbyter, with a distinction arising at a later date. Yet the term for presbyter, rooted in Judaism, would seem the most intuitive to use in a document with such clear Judaic roots (Jefford 1989, 124). A challenge which Jefford notes in all of the possible explanations of the heirarchy is that the instruction in the Didache is for the community, not the leaders, to baptize and appoint bishops and deacons (Jefford 1989, 125). The leaders are discussed in functional terms - what they do, rather than in terms of character. This is also a challenge, as one would assume the function of baptizing and appointing officials would belong to the officials (Jefford 1989, 127). This all contributes to a rather complex view of the community.
In his attempt to identify a community, Jefford suggests a set of Jewish-Gentile interactions around Antioch prior to 70 AD, as Christianity was growing and becoming distinct from Judaism (Jefford 1989, 128). Jefford then reviews salient issues in reconstructing the community. These include a tradition of the Decalog and Jewish wisdom and sayings traditions (Jefford 1989, 129). There are influences from a Matthean source, though not necessarily the Gospel (Jefford 1989, 130). There are certainly common elements in the thought of the Didache and of Matthew's Gospel. Jefford compares some specifically, in terms of review. Jewish and Gentile Christianity are not entirely in agreement (Jefford 1989, 133). Language and terminology usage are also similar. Jefford finds this to be the case particularly in regard to ritual and traditional elements, suggesting a strong affinity between the wo traditions (Jefford 1989, 135). Jefford particularly describes the similar views on baptism (Jefford 1989, 13), fasting, prayer (Jefford 1989, 137), and table fellowshiop (Jefford 1989, 138). As those have all been discussed earlier in this book, he presents them only in a brief summary here.
Jefford's overall conclusion is that the Didache uses sayings from a Jesus tradition and other early Judeo-Christian sources extensively (Jefford 1989, 142). He sees the work developed in several stages, gradually showing more sophisticated Christian theology.