Tour of Christian History
van de Sandt, Huub, & David Flusser. "Chapter 9: The Didache Community and its Jewish Roots (Did 11-15)." The Didache: Its Jewish Sources and Its Place in Early Judaism and Christianity. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002, 330-364.
Didache chapters 11-15 are very like a church order, discussing disciplinary practices and other matters pertaining to living in an ordered community (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 330). Van de Sandt and Flusser discuss this passage's literary composition, then its view of apostles, prophets and teachers, then the Jewish roots of the ideas (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 331).
The relatively scattered organization of materials in Didache 11-15 suggest that this protion of the Didache is not the responsibility of a single author (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 331). Van de Sandt and Flusser discuss the views of Niederwimmer, Patterson, and Draper, who have traced redactional layers based on the clusters of ideas in Did. 11-15 (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 331-334). Van de Sandt and Flusser do find "a coherent legal style and a logically consistent line of thought" in chapters 11-13 (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 334). Of interest to my research, van de Sandt and Flusser discuss a ontrast in views of composition. J.P. Audet sees the text as originally written by an apostle, then later undergoing readaction. Rordorf and Tuilier consider that particularly chaptesr 11-15 are the product of a community in which the role of different leadres has already changed from any apostolic model (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 336). Van de Sandt and Flusser observe that much of the material in Didache 11-15 has parallels, not only in content, but also in organization, within the canonical letters of Paul (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 339).
Didache 11-13 takes a particular interest in apostles and prophets, who were apparently itinderant in their work (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 340). Teachers, possibly a different group than apostles and prophets, also are discussed in Didache 11-13 (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 342). Teachers seem to be part of the community, while apostles and prophets come from other places. Though apostles are to be received, their time in the community is to be brief and their teaching is to be evaluated very closely (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 343). Prophets, hwo would speak "in the spirit," were accorded a good deal of authority (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 344). Their speech was largely to be accepted, counter to the teaching of Paul, who urged testing prophecies. In the Didache, prophets could be tested by the character of their lifestyle (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 345).
The itinerant nature of aposltes and prophets in the Didache can be contrasted with the acocunts of Paul and Luke. However, it seems fairly consistent with the pattern in Matthew 10 and Matthew 7, where people are sent out on itinerant missions (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 347). Van de Sandt and Flusser find other accounts of itinerant preachers, inclduign those fo a dishonest nature, in early documents. This was particularly prevalent in the rural parts of Syria (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 350).
Van de Sandt and Flusser move on to analyze Jewish roots of Didache 11-15. Chapters 14-15 and the emphasis on the Lord's Day could suggest a contrast with those early Christian communities which still recognized the Sabbath rather than the Lord's Day (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 351). Likewise, the references to the bishop, or overseer, is a prallel not only to Greek culture, but also to the Jewish synagogue ruler. References to what you "have in the gospel" may be speaking of a canonical work or some other document. This also may point toward the community rule of Qumran (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 352). The identities of apostles, prophets, and teachers were common in Jewish thought. They were not only recongized groups, but typically worked in an itinerant manner (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 353). Roles of these apostles, prophets, and teachers can also be seen as consistent with their description in the Didache. Van de Sandt and Flusser describe this at length. Finally, as described in didache 13:3-7, leaders are eligible to receive financial support. This is consistent with Jewish custom as well (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 361). Van de Sandt and Flusser conclude that Jewish customs were at the heart of the context of all the materials in Didache 11-15 (van de Sandt & Flusser 2002, 364).