I’m going to depart from my traditional series of Thursday posts on the New Testament to spend a little while on an early Christian document called The Didache. This little document, which I think comes from the period 51-57, but which some will date as late as 120, is a very early guide to churchly practices. We’ll walk through it a bit at a time before returning to actual New Testament texts.
The Didache. (translated by Kirsopp Lake) Loeb Classical Library #24. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1912, reprint 1985, pp. 303-334.
Chapter 9, pp. 322-323.
In chapter 9, the author deals with the Eucharist. There is a blessing of the cup, referring to Jesus as the grape vine of David (Didache IX.2). There is a breaking of bread with a blessing, thanking God for giving Jesus (Didache IX.3). There is a comparison of the gathering of grain to make bread and a gathering of the saints (Didache IX.4). The eucharist is restricted to those who have been baptized, referencing what “the Lord said: ‘Do not give the holy things to the dogs;: (Didache IX.5, personal translation).