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 16, pp. 332-333.
The Didache closes with an eschatological exhortation. The reader is encouraged to guard his life closely and watch for the coming of the Lord (Didache XVI.1). Christians should assemble frequently, seeking that which profits souls (Didache XVI.2). There is a warning against false teachers who change sheep to wolves, love into hate (Didache XVI.3). There will be an increase of strife and a deceiver will appear as the Son of God, doing evil. There will be offense and falling away, but those remaining in their faith will be saved (Didache XVI.5). Then at the end there will be true signs, a sign in heaven, a trumpet, and a resurrection of those dead in Christ (Didache XVI.6-7). The Lord will come and the world will see his coming.