Grosvenor and Schaff, in turn, provided open letters regarding Bryennios and the Didache, recently published, for the 1885 Century. Grosvenor describes the Greek district of Istanbul (then Constantinople) and its “Jerusalem Monastery of the Holy Sepulchre,” home of the Metropolitan Bryennios (Grosvenor & Schaff 1885, 167). Grosvenor describes the Metropolitan’s residence, particularly his study, in some detail, as well as Bryennios’ appearance and manner of greeting his visitors with warmth and respect. Grosvenor’s interview with Bryennios focused on the recently published Didache, which Grosvenor notes is not the same work as the then well-known Apostolic Constitutions (Grosvenor & Schaff 1885, 168). Bryennios, in 1873, had come across a volume in the monastery library, in which he had initially noted with great interest a manuscript copy if 1 Clement, 2 Clement, and the Epistle of Barnabas. It was not until 1880 that he noticed the volume also included the Didache, which he published in 1883 (Grosvenor & Schaff 1885, 169). Grosvenor goes on to describe the library itself, containing approximately 1,000 volumes. It is unclear from his description whether that includes or is in addition to 400-600 manuscripts. The volume which includes the Didache was copied by one “Leo, notary and sinner,” and dates to the year 1056 (Grosvenor & Schaff 1885, 169). Grosvenor observes that he has only been allowed to see or handle the manuscript twice, due to security limitations at the library (Grosvenor & Schaff 1885, 170). He does, however, provide photos of parts of two pages.
Schaff continues with a discussion of the contents, which Bryennios divided into chapters. The text itself is on “about ten octavo pages” (Grosvenor & Schaff 1885, 170). Schaff classifies it as a Church Manual, the earliest example of such a work known to us. Chapters 1-6 are a doctrinal section, in a parabolic form, discussing the Way of Life and the Way of Death. Schaff identifies the form as consistent with Matthew 7:13-14, Jeremiah 21:8, and Deuteronomy 30:15, which all speak of the ways of life and death. He also observes a similarity to Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount (Grosvenor & Schaff 1885, 170). A description of ritual pertaining to baptism and the eucharist follow in chapters 7-10. Schaff notes the text speaks of baptism by sprinkling or pouring but makes no reference to infants as recipients of baptism (Grosvenor & Schaff 1885, 170). Chapters 11-15 make various comments about church polity, particularly about true and false apostles and teachers (Grosvenor & Schaff 1885, 170-171). Finally, chapter 16 makes eschatological warnings, reminiscent of Matthew 24 and possibly 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (Grosvenor & Schaff 1885, 171). Schaff sees the Didache as “a witness of catechetical teaching and ecclesiastical usages at the close of the first or the beginning of the second century” (Grosvenor & Schaff 1885, 171).