Overman, J. Andrew. "Chapter Eleven: Problems with Pluralism in Second Temple Judaism: Matthew, James, and the Didache in their Jewish-Roman Milieu." in Van de Sandt, Huub & Zangenberg, Jürgen K. (editors). Matthew, James, and Didache: Three Related Documents in their Jewish and Christian Settings." Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008, 259-270.
Overman observes a growing awareness in scholarly discussion that the Jewish and Christian traditions in ante-Nicene Roman contexts are difficult to separate. It took several hundred years for them to become clearly distinguished from one another (Overman 2008, 259). This may well have been related to the rather significant tolerance of the Roman administration, which allowed an extensive collection of fragmentary groups to exist, all being tolerated as varieties of Judaism (Overman 2008, 260). In fact, in Overman's opinion, these groups would have been indistinguishable to a Roman. Overman describes, using Matthew, the Didache, and James, the distinctions which set three groups apart from one another.
Matthew holds that the orthodox Christian community is centered around Jesus' teachings of a right view of Torah (Overman 2008, 261). Other teachers have brought trouble on the people (Overman 2008, 262). Several of the parables of Jesus illustrate the damage caused to the society by unjust client and lordship relations and abuse of tax and charitable policies.
The Didache has a different way of identifying the Christian community. Overman takes it possibly to distinguish between ὁ κύριος and Jesus, with Jesus being mentioned only rarely (Overman 2008, 264). The church, which is seen as larger than a local organization, is loyal to "the Lord." Structure and order of the community is an important element. The ethic articulated is similar to that of Matthew, creating a kinship between the documents (Overman 2008, 265). This, rather than a Christology, would define the group.
James, by contrast to Matthew and the Didache, shows considerable influence of thought rooted in both Hellenism and an allegiance to Jesus (Overman 2008, 266). Overman finds it philosophically sophisticated, with elements of Stoic philosophy present (Overman 2008, 267). The tension over economic diversity is present both in the Didache and James. The community is to embrace humility, which will move them to correct this tension.
Overman estimates that of the three types of Christianity represented by Matthew, the Didache, and James, it is the vision of James that would be able to engage the Roman culture in a long-lasting manner (Overman 2008, 269).