Syreeni, Kari. "Chapter Five: The Sermon on the Mount and the Two Ways Teaching of the Didache." in Van de Sandt, Huub (editor). Matthew and the Didache: Two Documents from the Same Jewish-Christian Milieu? Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005, 87-103.
Syreeni takes the Two Ways portion of Didache 1-6 to be significantly similar to the Sermon on the Mount of Matthew 5-7 (Syreeni 2005, 87). However, when evaluated in terms of catechetical object, composition history, and possible source material, they are not very similar. So as to work toward a possible history of development, Syreeni begins with the Didache, which he assumes to presuppose Matthew, then looks to earlier stages.
The Didache contains both a catechetical section and a section we would take as a church order. Syreeni considers both to have been adapted as they were pulled into a collection of materials (Syreeni 2005, 88). The various segments may rightly be understood as fitting into different genres. Syreeni also views the sections of the Didache as self-consciously not exhaustive. They do not provide everything that might be taught before baptism or all one would need in terms of community practices (Syreeni 2005, 89). They point out essential principles.
Syreeni reviews the materials within Diache 1-6, noting that the conceptual framework is similar at some points to material in the Epistle of Barnabas, and that the concepts stress boundaries between Christianity and paganism, rather than between Christianity and Judaism (Syreeni 2005, 91). Due to the relative clumsiness of Barnabas, Syreeni considers the Two Ways materials in the Didache to be based on Baranabas, rather than the opposite flow of influence (Syreeni 2005, 92). It is further possible that both Barnabas and the Didache drew on a common source. Syreeni does think there is something which underlies Barnabas, though he does not pursue it in this chapter (Syreeni 2005, 93).
Syreeni notes that the Didache has particular ways of dealing with moral exhortation. Specifically, prohibitions are drawn from the second part of the decalogue. Leviticus 19:18 is present, and there is an address to "my child" (Syreeni 2005, 94). These uncercurrents in gathering commands could lead both to the distillation of Torah in James and also to the Sermon on the Mount. Syreeni is clear that this is not a necessary outcome but that it is certainly a possible one (Syreeni 2005, 96).
Next, Syreeni considers the compositional history of Matthew 5-7, which he takes to be clearly based on Q 6:20b-49, as informed by his two source theory (Syreeni 2005, 97). The intent of Matthew is to produce a gospel based on narrative and discourses, while the Didache is identified as a paraneitic set of instructions (Syreeni 2005, 98). The Sermon on the Mount is an example of what Jesus, in 28:19, would refer to as what he commanded his disciples. Syreeni takes the Sermon on the Plain in Luke to be constructed from the same Q material. Though Q is a hypothetical document, Syreeni notes that it also has a debated history of composition. He summarizes that the passage is a composite of several groups of sayings (Syreeni 2005, 99). Logically, he finds ties to the structure of the Didache, with an early emphasis on discipleship, further moral teacings, and eschatology toward the end. The redaction which could lead to Matthew 5-7 shows marks of oral enhancement and reorganization of ideas in order to strengthen its impact (Syreeni 2005, 100). Syreeni does not consider it conclusive either that Matthew 5-7 shows the work of a community or of an individual redactor (Syreeni 2005, 101).
Syreeni concludes that while Matthew knew of Two Ways teachings, the Sermon on the Mount was not directly influenced by them. However, both Matthew 5-7 and Didache 1-6 set out to teach essentials of the Christian faith, using Jewish patterns, and taking fairly similar structural paths (Syreeni 2005, 102).